Skip Navigation

2012 – Kinetic Sculptures for Maine Discovery Museum - 2012 Gold Team

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Senior Capstone Project 2011-2012: Kinetic Sculptures

                                 Team Members from left to right: Jeff Soreide, Ben Leal, Brad Webb, Daryl George,                                       Jacob Beach, Jordan Powers, and Jon Campbell

Mission Statement: To create an aesthetically pleasing Kinetic Sculpture to be placed in downtown Bangor, Maine at the Maine Discovery Museum compiling all skills acquired by members of the group throughout their years at the University of Maine for the benefit of future engineering technology students.



◊ ◊ ◊

Recent Updates

Latest Videos:

Photos of our progress so far:

Sponsors (Each name links to a website)*:
                                         Old Town Rotary Club     Home Depot Bangor              AEWC  
Robert Dana, Vice President for Student Affairs     
Rose Bike
Bangor Paint & Wallpaper
*More information on our sponsors can be found below.

Team Members

*Each name below links to a RESÚME*

Jacob Beach is in his 4th year at the University of Maine in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program with an Electrical Engineering Technology Minor. Native of Eliot, Maine, who enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and watching the Boston Bruins.

Jon Campbell is in his 4th year at the University of Maine in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program with an Electrical Engineering Technology Minor. Originally from Wiscasset, Maine, he enjoys being outside and keeping busy. In the future he hopes to find a job that will allow him to stay in the New England area.

Daryl George is in his 4th year at the University of Maine in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program with a minor in Electrical Engineering Technology. Originally from Weare, New Hampshire, enjoys bass fishing, poker, and camping during the summer.

Benjamin Leal is in his 4th year at the University of Maine in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program with an Electrical Engineering Technology Minor. Hails from York, Maine where he enjoys playing the bass and working on cars.

Jordan Powers is in his 4th year at the University of Maine in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program with an Electrical Engineering Technology Minor. Originally from Caribou, Maine, he enjoys Nordic skiing and is currently on the club team at UMaine.

Jeff Soreide is in his final year of the MET program. He is originally from the Bath area and had the pleasure of working at Bath Iron works in the Electrical Design Department. When not in school he swims competitively and has been doing so for the past 13 years.

Bradford Webb is in his final year of the MET program at the University of Maine. He is a native of New Jersey who enjoys playing guitar and floor hockey.

◊ ◊ ◊


 We researched many popular artists and were most impressed by Bruce Gray, George Rhoads, and Jeffery Zachman examples can be shown in the link below:

Benchmarking Picture Examples

 Our group organized each sculpture into different categories so that we could get brainstorm and get ideas on which direction we may want to head in within the next few months.

Benchmarking Specifications

 ◊ ◊ ◊

Customer Interview/Initial Project Specifications

We met with Niles Parker of the Maine Discovery Museum to discuss where the project would go inside of the museum and what specifications he had, in order for both parties to have a clear understanding 0f what was expected.

Customer Specifications

We met with Niles again to discuss how he liked our brainstorming ideas and how they fit into the museum. The water idea would have been disastrous and would require too much maintenance and the sculpture would have to be moved to a separate location. We narrowed all of our ideas into the picture above, to incorporate a Maine theme and a creative way to lift the ball, more information can be found below and on the Mockup page! A very important factor is interactivity and we will find a way to incorporate this into our design, we are thinking of motion sensors to catch the eyes of those passing by the window or walking to the front desk.

◊ ◊ ◊

Brainstorming/Design Solutions

We had 3 team meetings of only brainstorming to develop some general ideas and determine which direction we wanted this project to go. Each member was assigned to create some sort of visual representation of which way they thought we should go with.  Below are links to visual representations of the ideas that we have come up with in recent weeks.

  • Ski Lift with Lighthouse: This concept involved having two large structures on both sides of the sculpture, calling for possible a mountain such as Sugarloaf USA or Mount Katahdin to keep within the Maine theme. The lighthouse on the right is now integrated into our new design, after we ruled out the two large structures. The marbles would somehow reach the top of the mountain via ski lift in order to descend back down to the bottom through various tracks.
  • Pine Tree Lift with Rain: This idea used a pump to drive the water up through the large Pine tree and would then sprinkle down water through the rain cloud. This was a direction we had spoken about as a group, in trying to avoid using marbles and using water instead.
  • Magnet Driven Snowmobile Track: This design included a magnetic track that would continuously spin with model snowmobiles, or possibly a race track where 2 children could face off in racing 2 snowmobiles powered by external hand cranks.
  • Water Wheel Concept: Included the expansion of an idea we had originally talked about and which direction we would go in, in order to make the mechanism work and be reliable for an extended period of time.
  • Interactive Gear and Hockey Stick: Once the ball had ascended to the top, it would then roll down various tracks, in which one track would include a drop off that bounces off of a trampoline, much like George Rhoads sculpture, onto a UMaine hockey stick and back to the beginning.

◊ ◊ ◊

Standard Parts/Possible Components

We had a final brainstorming meeting before creating the mock-up to determine which parts would definitely be included within the project so that initial research could be done on which sizes of certain parts would be the most feasible within our scope and budget. Links and descriptions to the associated parts are provided below.

  • Marbles: It was decided that marbles/ball bearings would be the best way to go about this project, because there are endless possibilities with them and they are a much more reliable and maintenance-free, as opposed to continuously running water features.
  • Track: We researched prices online, but also took a trip to the Home Depot as we decided on using a copper for our rails, because it is durable, easy to bend, comes at a reasonable price, and is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Motor: Just to give us an estimate of what kind of money we will be spending on a small motor, we don’t actually know the size required for this small operation.
  • PLC: Will be required for the controls and sensors in the sculpture, but again, just an estimate on what we will be spending on an item like this.

 ◊ ◊ ◊


 ◊ ◊ ◊


Since the last logbook the gold team has been working hard to complete detailed drawings of our ideas that were initially presented in the mockup and the hand sketch, which is located above. We have also created a bill of materials to get an idea of how much product we need and what the cost will end up being.

  • Lighthouse with Plexiglass Case (updated): We recreated the mockup, making our main component of the project our lighthouse with a helical lift in the center. The lift will bring the marbles to the top via 4 guide rails that lead into 4 separate paths that they will follow down to the bottom with the seven components we have designed. The case is made of plywood and 2 by 4′s, with plexiglass stabilized by angle iron. The motor and power components will be hidden inside the bottom of the case.
  • Funnel Assembly: This is one of the features we created that would use the velocity of the ball to jump into a metal strainer with a hole cut out through a helix as designed in the mockup drawing. The copper helix is housed inside of a clear thin-walled pvc and will go on to another path down to the bottom.
  • Zig-Zag: A component that demonstrates a change from linear velocity to angular velocity, the ball will travel faster on the tighter tracks and slow down and fall through the gaps. The ball will seem as it is moving slower than it should.
  • Newton’s Cradle: An assembly that will be revised further on, but the concept of Newton’s cradle, which is a popular desk toy and physics concept that will be utilized in our track design.
  • Ladder Drop: A drop that delays the time it takes for the ball to drop via counterweights, where the ball falls on each segment and slows the ball down, and it automatically returns back to it’s normal position.
  • Bill of Materials (updated): We have gotten the total cost of the project down through talking to other vendors and meetings/presentations with organizations.
◊ ◊ ◊
Project Plan (Google Docs)
The team has been working on a Gantt chart to help organize the rest of the semester and provide a timeline of events to ensure project completion before the Maine Day deadline. The tasks were distributed evenly between the members of the group and were chosen according to prior work completed on the project and experience in certain building aspects. Basically, if you designed a component of the kinetic sculpture you will be building it this semester.  We created an account on Google Docs so that every member can access our bill of materials and project plan at any given time to edit parts received and orders, as well as, update the progress on the Gantt chart.
◊ ◊ ◊
Thank You To Our Sponsors!
  • On Thursday January 12th, 2012 we met with the  Old Town Rotary Club at the Black Bear Inn, where they entertained us and provided a delicious dinner with dessert. They allowed us to speak in front of the members and present our project, we would like to thank them for their time, consideration and $100 donation.
  • We also met with Home Depot of Bangor, who assisted us with our project in donating a $75 gift card and also pointed us towards alternatives for parts, such as, the angle iron. We will be in contact with them in the future to help purchase some of the hardware and smaller parts, we would like to thank them for their support and assistance.
  • We talked to Vernon Darling of the Advanced Engineered Wood Composites Center who donated 16 foot lengths of Douglas Fir 3/4″ thick , which helped us save money on the base assembly. The wood is very aesthetic and makes our project stand out even more than it would have with the Pine board we were originally going to order. Vernon has been very cooperative and has also let us use some of his tools, not supplied to us in the Machine Tool Lab.
  • Two members of the group set up a meeting with the Dean of Students, Robert Dana, who agreed to help fund the project with a donation of $300. He also let us provide a link to our website on the front page of the UMaine Student Affairs website. We would like to thank him for his generosity and support as we work to make the Maine Day deadline.
  • Two members of the group ventured to Rose Bike to check out sprockets and chain for the project when we found out that the v-belt wasn’t going to work as planned. The manager was very helpful and gave us a box full of different size sprockets and enough chain for the drive. They also gave us a discount on the bike chain breaker that we purchased. We would like to thank them for their donation and help.
  • The Gold team called up Bangor Paint & Wallpaper who agreed to help us out and donated spray paint for the rails, finish lacquer for the Douglas Fir, and a pint of marine blue paint for the angle iron. We would like to thank them for their donation and help also.

 ◊ ◊ ◊

Building Process Log

  • February 12-19: The Gold team worked hard with every member in the lab this week working in 2 person teams on separate parts of the project. They are off to a very good start in the build process, as the base is near completion and a few track components are built. Next week they will finish the motor mount and the lighthouse frame in order to start testing the project when we come back from spring break.
  • February 20-21: The Gold team went back to the AEWC to get another piece of Douglas Fir and finished the base, with a hinged and lockable door. The lighthouse frame is near completion and only one more top piece needs to fabricated to finish the skeleton. The ladder drop is almost finished and is in the drying process and track has just started being built. Each member of the team is putting in a lot of hours to try and get ahead!
  • March 11-April 11: The team has made significant process since the last logbook and are now testing the product to make sure it is fit for the museum. The helix lift has been converted from a belt drive to a chain drive to eliminate slip and the majority of the project is painted. Within the next two weeks before Maine Day, the Gold Team will be welding more guard rails, touching up the paint, installing the plexiglass, and finishing up the extra electrical components we purchased.
  • April 12-April 23: The team has done a fair amount of testing hours and has fixed a lot of the problem areas where marbles were falling off the track. They have touched up all of the paint (including the sand layer), stained and finished all of the dowels, re-wired the LED light at the top, added a miniature flagpole in front of each halogen light (American Flag and Maine state flag), and will have the project running all day Tuesday before Maine Day with the plexiglass installed!

  ◊ ◊ ◊

More to come soon!

Keep checking for updates on our project!


Back to 2012 – Kinetic Sculptures for Maine Discovery Museum

Mechanical Engineering Technology
5711 Boardman Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5711
Phone: (207) 581-2340
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469