2015 Team 1

About the Project • Weekly Updates • Team BiosSponsors

Nia holding flute for the first time.

About the Project: For the 2015 MET Senior Capstone project we are focusing all of our engineering minds to help a child with a disability. Her name is Nia Nicola and she was born with only one fully functioning hand. Nia’s music teacher, Melissa Barton, came to us with an idea for a senior project. Engineer a device that would allow Nia to play the recorder which involves using two hands and covering all of the 8 holes. Nia’s name for her undeveloped hand is called her “wiggle,” therefore we will be referring to her undeveloped hand as her wiggle.

Weekly Updates:

Week 26 (4/27 – 5/1)

The project is finally over! It has been a great experience working with everyone on Team 1 and helping Nia be able to play the recorder. A few long nights before the competition and we finally got our project complete. Although we placed 4th in the competition, Nia’s Choice was our recorder. She loved playing it by pressing the buttons and of course, having the whole thing purple helped as well! It was an awesome time seeing her smile and play our recorder that we’ve been working on for the past two semesters. Check out the WABI News link I will post at the end of this final update (our recorder is the one she’s playing). Our team would like to thank all of our sponsors for helping us achieve our goal along with everyone else who contributed, no matter the amount. I would also personally like to thank everyone on Team 1. It wasn’t easy, but we came through! I hope everyone has a great summer and a great job! Team 1, over and out! http://wabi.tv/2015/04/29/one-handed-8-year-old-plays-instrument-thanks-to-engineering-students/

Week 25 (4/20 – 4/24)

Next week brings Maine Day and the design competition. Updates and revisions to the solenoid holder are continuing and sealing the holes is also a major concern at this point. Our whole team is working diligently to get our project done in time for Maine day. Next week I will post results from Maine day!

Week 24 (4/13 – 4/17)

This week the team is really trying to crack down as there is only two and a half weeks until Maine day and the competition. Zach is starting on the design of the team’s project poster that will be presented during Maine day to judges, friends, and family. Ryan redesigned his recorder support and 3-D printed another model. He is trying to iron out all of the kinks and make the best one he can. Nevin made an outline for the poster. Will helped A.J. Rutherford (another MET student) wire up and solder our breadboard. A.J. had previous experience with solderable breadboards so therefore his help was greatly appreciated with the short amount of time left to complete our project. Sean is continuing to work on the solenoid holder as it is the biggest part and most important part of our project at this point. He keeps printing out his updated designs on the 3-D printer and continuously improving them. For example he just added a trap door to hide the wiring/breadboard, but it will still be accessible. Also, he rounded off the overall solenoid holder for more of an appeal and a smoother look. Our team is working hard to finish our product for Nia! Next week brings more stress as Maine day approaches.

Week 23 (4/6 – 4/10)

This week Ryan used the Faro Arm at the Advanced Manufacturing Center to 3-D scan a model of the recorder with exact dimensions. He did this so he could make a better 3-D model of the mic stand Nia will be using to help support the recorder while playing. Ryan also drew up a 3-D model of a support that snaps onto the recorder in two locations. Sean has been working hard on updating and remodeling our solenoid holder. There were a few clearance issues as well as holes not in the right locations. He fixed some issues and 3-D printed a new model. He will take that model and further troubleshoot more issues. Will finally figured out how to silence the solenoids. He ended up taking them apart and adding two homemade rubber o-rings on the top and bottom of the solenoid. This actually made the solenoids almost completely silent. Mark met with an E.E.T. and changed his design from using an arduino and wrote a program on a pic-chip instead. It works with LEDs, but more work will be needed before it works correctly due to the amount of voltage flowing through the circuit. He is worried it will end up burning up. Clark designed a spherical mold for the pads to form to on the bottom of our solenoids. This will help seal the holes as the sphere on the bottom of our solenoids (rubber) will fit perfectly into the spheres on the recorder. Nevin found a 13″ long flexible “gooseneck” attachment that could be helpful in supporting the recorder. Sean also picked up all of the materials from ICC North that Zach ordered last week to complete our idea of a solderable breadboard to greatly reduce the amount of wiring and confusion and ultimately provide a much cleaner and finished product at the end.

Week 22 (3/30 – 4/3)

This week Clark has been working on the hole sealing materials and methods. He also went to ICC North in Brewer with Zach to locate and write down part numbers that we will need for our purchase order. Zach put in a purchase order for a solderable breadboard, solder, shrink tube, wiring, and diodes from ICC. Hopefully all of these materials will be in by next week so we can try and untangle the rat’s nest of wires we have going on right now. Will revised the clamps again that hold the solenoid holder onto the recorder. Ryan 3-D modeled a mic stand support that will hook the recorder to a mic stand and help Nia support the recorder while she’s playing. Nevin researched other ways of supporting the recorder. One of his ideas is to use Gorilla Pods or something similar. They are essentially a bendy tripod that you can pretty much make into any position you want. Sean went and talked to Karen Horton, one of our other MET professors who teaches a class about industrial vibration (noise). She gave Sean some noise testing equipment for him to test the solenoids with along with some other constructive criticism. Mark is continuing working on his MOSFET controller design.

Week 21 (3/23 – 3/27)

This week has been extremely busy. Two group members will be meeting with Nia on Thursday the 26th to see what her thoughts are on our project. This week Sean updated our Gantt chart and also researched different ways to make our solenoids less noisy. He will be meeting with Karen Horton, one of our MET professors, who specializes in Industrial Vibrations and Noise. Sean also 3-D printed some parts that can attach to our thumb nuts to cover and seal the holes on the recorder. Ryan updated the bill of materials. Nevin worked on the CAD models of our battery case. Mark ordered an ARDUINO and got some wiring schematics set up to run either different solenoids or servos. Clark has been researching different options for batteries. He found a lithium polymer battery that is 1/3rd the weight of the one we have right now and is smaller as well. Will has been updating drawings and has been helping Zach wire up our project. Zach has been trying to figure out the wiring for our project since the team figured out one of our notes we had already wired up was wrong. The wiring is very tricky and will hopefully be done by Thursday so Nia will be able to press the buttons and see how the solenoids react with the recorder in her hands.

Week 20 (3/16 – 3/20)

Welcome back from Spring Break! Wish it felt a little more like Spring though! This week ICC North contacted Zach letting him know they got in the fourth button for our project that we ordered. One of us will go pick that up this week along with some diodes we need to finish wiring up the project. Sean has been working on an alternate design over break. The alternate design improves the electrical function, size, and weight of the overall solenoid and button holder. Mark worked on his MOSFET wiring design over break. He had an online meeting with Mark Gummin trying to resolve some issues currently with the MOSFET design. More deciphering is needed. The team is hoping to have the project completely hard wired up by our next team meeting next week so therefore we can meet with Nia to see what she thinks and maybe receive some constructive criticism.

Week 19 (2/23 – 2/27)

Zach and Sean went to ICC North and chose the best button. It’s a simple OFF (ON) switch that will allow enough amperage to flow through to our solenoids. Zach took the buttons and tried to wire up our project. We ran into the problem of the voltage back-feeding to all of the solenoids as they are all wired together in the same circuit. Right now Zach has the assembly wired so each button is connected to one solenoid so that we can show the buttons will work for our prototype. Will mentioned fixing this problem using diodes which only allow voltage to travel one way. Diodes are going to be ordered and as soon as we get them the prototype will be wired up again. Will modified our solenoid holder to incorporate our new buttons as well as putting the solenoids in an encasement. Will also researched cases we can use that will house the entirety of our project while Nia is traveling to and from school. Will found a couple different options using aluminum suitcase type designs that have perforated foam on the inside that you can “pick and pluck” to the correct sizes. Will is ordering the best case as well as looking into ordering diodes. Ryan researched supports for Nia to use for support of the recorder. These include neck straps, body straps, and microphone stand attachments. Our team will need more time to figure out the best option when our prototype is complete. Clark researched different batteries we might be able to replace the one we have now with. He is looking into lighter and smaller options. Clark also updated our assembly drawing. Nevin worked on different battery holders as well as researched 9 volt battery options. Sean got in touch with Mark Gummin from Miga Motors about his miniature solenoids. He is going to send us some free sample solenoids that will work with our current set up, but be a lot smaller and quieter. Mark got in contact with Charles McKee from Cota Technologies about microcontrollers for our project. Mark described that Charles is the go to guy when it comes to microcontrollers and processors so he’s hoping Charles can help us figure out a solution to our wiring mess in the form of a microchip.

Week 18 (2/16 – 2/20)

Sean and Zach went to ICC North in Brewer this week in search of the perfect buttons to use. These buttons are going to take place of our keypad. Buttons allow more current through than the keypad. They will also give Nia a physical touch response while she is playing. Sean and Zach found a couple different options at ICC North, and they are continuing with their options and will decide on the best one. They plan on having the whole assembly wired up by next week. Will redesigned the two piece clamp, as well as fixed and finished all of the drawings. If it seems like I repeat “finishing the drawings” on these weekly updates it’s because our design and different pieces of our project continue to change, therefore we have to redesign via SolidEdge and revise the drawings. Ryan looked into mic stands as an option to help support the recorder. Nevin is working on a battery holder/case. He is designing it and thinking about different ways to mount it on Nia. More research and design is needed. Mark has been continuously working with the MOSFET. He has it all wired up and is trying to get it working. This is yet another option for our wiring on the recorder. Clark has been looking into materials to seal the recorder holes. We have to order these materials online and it usually takes a little while to get them so we can test them and see how they actually seal.

Week 17 (2/9 – 2/13)

This week we got our log book back and we were happy with our grade and achievements thus far. Sean and Zach have been researching buttons to use instead of our current keypad design which doesn’t allow enough amperage to flow. We are looking into momentary push-buttons, almost like you would find on an arcade machine, that we could mount on an improved solenoid holder. These buttons would be bigger and simpler to wire and use. With a bigger surface area, Nia would have a much easier time pushing these rather than small hard buttons on our original keypad. Will is continuing the drawing package as drawings are constantly changing. Will is also 3-D printing our most recent design of the clamps to hold the solenoid holder onto the recorder. Clark is continuing his research on a “button” to seal the recorder holes. He is planning on ordering new ones and testing those. Ryan is working on a support for Nia to hold the recorder. We were thinking of using a modified harmonica neck-holder or some sort of microphone type stand. This design aspect is still being thought out as we are focusing more on getting our recorder working.

Week 16 (2/2 – 2/6)

This week our team was working hard as the log book was due on Wednesday. Will, Clark, Mark, and Ryan finished up a completed drawing package of 3-D prints. Nevin focused on different aspects that could make our modified recorder safer that he will continue to look into. Clark received the rubber “buttons” that we were going to use on the bottom of the solenoids to properly seal the recorder holes, but they were not what we expected. More research on properly sealing the recorder holes is needed. Sean is continuing his work on our project management plan, the gantt chart, and key stages. Ryan updated the bill of materials and put it in the front of the log book. Ryan placed an order for thumb nuts that will thread into the bottom of the solenoids so there will be a bigger surface area where we can attach our rubber “buttons” to seal the recorder holes. Will tested some other “buttons” to seal the recorder holes made out of ninjaflex that is printed via 3-D printer. This material ended up being too hard so once again more research is needed in order to properly seal holes. Nevin made more adjustments to his new solenoid holder that should improve alignment issues.

Week 15 (1/26 – 1/30)

This week Sean updated the CAD drawing of our solenoid holder and 3-D printed it again to fix the hole alignment problem we were having. Clark found a new way for us to seal the recorder holes. He found a nut that is just about the size of the recorder holes that he can thread onto the bottom of our solenoids. We will then adhere our rubber “stomp” pads onto the nuts to therefore seal the holes. Ryan wrote up a description of the solenoid casing assembly and clamps as a part of our project that could be patent-able. He also found some similar patents related to our clamps that Will designed. Will finished all of the CAD drafts (revising them) and he also spoke with Troy Cushing about helping us with any electrical components we need. Mark continued talking with Jude Pearse about wiring our project and using a MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semi-Conductor Field Effect Transistor) incorporated into our wiring to reduce some of the bulk of the wiring. He is going to continue to research and work on that. Zach finished the wiring schematic with the help of his E.E.T. friend, Brandon Jordan. He is going to take the wiring schematic and try to wire our solenoids, keypad, and battery together to see if it will work. The keypad can only withstand a certain amount of amperage so therefore we might have to find a different keypad/button solution if it comes down to it. He will look into different buttons if the keypad fries during testing. Brandon is also going to help Zach wire up the project and choose different buttons if need be. Nevin had the idea to remove the metal casing off our existing solenoids and drew up a new, plastic casing on Solid Edge. The thought being it would be significantly lighter. If this casing works, he is going to draw up a solenoid casing to hold all four solenoids without their metal casings.

Week 14 (1/19 – 1/23)

This week Zach got in touch with his Electrical Engineering buddies who agreed to help him with the wiring diagram/schematic for our project. They use a CAD program specifically suited for drawing circuits and wiring schematics. Zach started designing the wiring schematic with his buddy, but ran out of time. They are meeting again as soon as possible when their schedules allow them to finish. Zach also sent an email to Central Maine Orthopedics about the ergonomics of the project. He is still waiting to hear back from them. Will is still working on finishing up fixing all of the drafts. Clark is still working on the assembly draft as it is a huge draft with every different part of our project. He is also making a new part design to mate the keypad to our solenoid holder just in case the keypad does not have an adhesive backing. Mark met with Jude Pearse last week and went over some suggestions she had for our wiring diagram and microcontroller. He is going to meet with her again this week and continue work on that aspect of our project. Once Zach finishes his wiring schematic and Mark finishes his wiring schematic we will get together and discuss our different schematics so that the best schematic possible is used. Ryan is going to find a feature of our project that we could possibly patent. This is required for our next log book entry. Sean is going to fix our solenoid holder design. The solenoid casing needs to be extended and fixed as some of the holes do not line up. Nevin is making a prototype solenoid case for a new idea our team came up with. He took off the actual metal casing around our exsisting solenoids we bought offline. This not only saves weight, but we can now address the issue of the noise coming from the solenoids. With some rubber gaskets, the noise is now completely diminished. Therefore, he is going to make a prototype casing for a singular solenoid without it’s original casing to see how well it will actually work.

Week 13 (1/12 – 1/16)

Welcome back from break! I hope everyone reading this had a phenomenal holiday season! Mark met with a Professional Electrical Engineer and discussed different ways we can wire our project. This included wiring the battery to the keypad to the solenoids. Mark is now planning to talk to Jude Pearse, an Electrical Engineering Technology Professor to try and continue his research on the wiring issues. Will finally got some information back from Tyler Jolicoeur who is a P.E. at Compotech Technologies in Brewer. Tyler explained to Will a couple issues he saw with our design from a loading diagram he drafted from how a recorder is normally used. Although his suggestions were great points, due to the project design criteria we were not able to change our design the way he intended us to. Will is also working on the project design drafts making sure they are all completely correct. Sean has been continuously working on a Project Management Plan for this next semester as well as a Gantt Chart. He is also drafting a new team contract due to a lack of grading procedures in the last one. This is incredibly time consuming, but should be done, or close to done, by next week. Sean will also be working on trying to silence the noise from the solenoids opening and closing. Zach has been trying to track down a hand specialist at Central Maine Orthopedics to talk to her about safety, ergonomics, and overall physical concerns with Nia playing our modified recorder. Zach is also trying to contact a couple of his buddies who are E.E.’s here at the University to help him with the wiring as well. Clark is working on a neck strap assembly that Nia can wear to support the recorder while playing, as well as updating our final assembly draft. He is also going to order some materials that we can test to close the holes. Some of these materials include cork, neoprene, foam, and rubber. These materials will be adhesive so we can stick them on the end of the rod of the solenoid so when they close it will be as close to human skin closing the hole as possible.

Week 12 (12/8 – 12/12)

This week Zach researched different keypad options as well as different materials to use in order to close the holes of the recorder using the solenoids. Some materials found that could be used were cork, neoprene, rubber, and silicone. Ordering these parts and testing will be needed to figure out which material will work best. Will spoke with Tyler Jolicoeur, a professional engineer from Compotechnologies in Brewer, Maine about our drawings. Will sent him all of our drawings and he is expecting feedback from him and advice next week at some point. Will also went through his drawings to make sure everything was corrected before we passed in our logbook. Ryan looked into different solenoid options in case we cannot find a suitable keypad to work with our battery and solenoid configuration (amperage and voltage). Ryan also looked into a arduino board to be used as a microcontroller sort of speak. More testing will be needed with the solenoids, battery, and keypad before we start really getting into the microcontroller research. Ryan also updated his drawings to be handed in with the logbook. Clark made an exploded view of our 3-D assembly as well as drafted our assembly to be handed in with our drawings. Nevin contacted Ledex, a company which produces solenoids, about different solenoids that might be faster or smaller. He also has been looking into modifying our current solenoids to make them lighter as well. Mark revised the clamp drawings. Sean did some research on how to make our solenoids silent so they won’t “click” while our device is in use. This is a concern because it could distract Nia or others around her while they are playing music. Sean also contacted Huber Associates in Auburn, ME to try and learn about some considerations we might want to take into account to insure our device doesn’t cause any ergonomically related injuries. Check out our video on Picasa at the bottom of the page of our solenoids in the 3-D printed solenoid brackets working for the first time! Next week brings finals week and then winter break. Enjoy the holidays!

Week 11 (12/1 – 12/5)

This week Sean met with other team representatives and put together a list of competition guidelines we will have to meet by the end of the project. Once these guidelines are finalized by the professors I will post a picture of them to our Picasa album for everyone to view. The four main competetion guidelines categories are safety, musical, ergonomics, and practicality. Will tried to come up with a wiring diagram for the keypad/solenoids/battery and realized we have yet run into another design problem. Our keypad is rated to work at 30 mA, but our battery supplies 1 A, and our solenoids need .3 A. Therefore if we try to connect them right now the keypad will fry. A few ideas are to include resistor(s) or relay(s) in the wiring diagram as to not harm the keypad, but still supply the solenoids with enough power. A different keypad could also be another solution. Will is going to try and work on a solution with the help of some electrical engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Center on campus where he works.

Week 10 (11/24 – 11/28)

As the project rolls on, more and more needs to be done. This week Ryan produced a 3-D CAD model of a harmonica neck holder that he changed so Nia would be able to use it to hold up the recorder. He also completed some design calculations which included solenoid acceleration, time for the solenoid tip to cover the hole, battery specifications, and the total weight of our design. He also completed draft drawings with dimensions of the solenoid, keypad, and saddle. He also completed a bill of materials used so far for our project. Sean completed the 3-D CAD model of our solenoid holder as well as researched human factors for our client regarding strength and growth over the next year. He found that at ages 2-10 children grow at a steady pace which is completely individual therefore trying to predict Nia’s growth is nearly impossible. We designed our device to be used by anyone no matter what size or strength so this is not a major concern. Will found a design flaw with the clamps he originally designed, so he changed the clamps to a two-piece design that can be opened and closed for easy installation and break down. Clark completed a 3-D CAD assembly of our entire design. We produced our most current mock-up to hand in along with the log book. If you go to our Picasa web album at the bottom of the page you can see our most recent mock-up!

Week 9 (11/17 – 11/21)

This week our team has been working diligently to finish 3-D models on Solid Edge. With these 3-D models finished, we can now start 3-D printing different parts for mock-up purposes. With the next log book due next week, we have to have a complete 3-D model package done, as well as a new and improved mock-up. 3-D printing is going well, and we are creating new parts. Only time will tell how these parts with adapt with the recorder. Sean’s gant chart he made last week is still a work in progress as it needs to be updated weekly. Sean also has been researching recorder ergonomics to insure that the way we design the recorder will be comfortable for Nia to use. Mark researched requirements that the keys we are using to mechanically close the holes of the recorder will indeed completely shut the hole so there is no air escaping, opening and closing of the keys must be quick, etc. Clark found a patent that is very similar to our design, but looks as though it is for instruments with keys already built in. Therefore, the patent would not apply to our recorder project seeming as we have no keys. Zach has been researching different coating materials that will prolong the life of our 3-D printed plastic parts as they seem pretty brittle. Zach found one that seems to be too good to be true and testing will be needed in the future if he can find where to buy it. At this point in time it looks like the company is still under development with their new coating. Design calculations are also required in our next log book, so we have been working on those this week as well. Our parts we ordered should be coming in soon, and a mock-up should be together hopefully by next week.

Week 8 (11/10 – 11/14)

This week our team submitted a purchase order with a rather large amount of parts all bought offline. These parts include two purple baroque recorders, one 12-volt 1.2 A-hr battery, a 12 V automatic battery charger, four 12 V push-type open-frame solenoids, and one harmonica holder that we plan to use in the design of our recorder holder. The purchase order has to go through our capstone project professor; Keith Berube, then it has to go through the head of MET; David Dvorak, before it can finally get approved. Therefore, we probably will not be seeing our ordered parts until well after Thanksgiving break. Sean started on a Gant Chart which should be finished by next week. Sean also got an email back from Nia’s music teacher, Melissa Barton, explaining that while students with disabilities do qualify for an IET, she cannot tell us whether or not Nia has an IET due to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Sean will now try to contact Nia’s mother for more information about Nia’s IET. We are all working on the finalized CAD designs that are due on the 24th.

Week 7 (11/3 – 11/7)

This week our team focused on putting together a mock-up design. Using the recorder, a couple clamps, a solenoid, and an electrical keypad we produced a pleasing mock-up of what our final design will resemble. Check out our Picasa web album at the bottom of the page to see our first mock-up! Our team also produced a rough draft CAD model of our project. This will be continued until the CAD model is 100% complete which we would like it to be by the end of next week. Sean contacted Nia’s school about her IET and they responded with the fact that they had to clear it with Nia’s mother first before Sean could get the information. He is still waiting to hear back from Nia’s school. Next week brings working on the CAD model and experimenting more with our mock-up design.

Week 6 (10/27 – 10/31)

This week our team ordered the electrical components for the mock-up that is due next week along with our logbooks. Will found a new way for us to be able to fit almost an external shell around the recorder to hold the rest of our design. The electrical components ordered were the solenoid and keypad membrane discussed last week. The new outer shell design and mock-up are all coming along well as far as the design aspect is concerned. Will came up with the idea to put the solenoids on top of the recorder thus eliminating the use of keys as well as coming up with a way to mount all of this on the recorder. He is going to 3-D print some clamps that will be removable so Nia can remove our device when cleaning time. Sean got a call back from the ADA, giving him another number to call. He called that number, and got referred to another number. He called that number and got some great information. It was the Boston Office of the Department of Education that handles a specific department of the ADA that deals with childhood disabilities. They explained that there is an individual education team (IET) for anybody with a disability that interferes with their education. They told Sean to contact Nia’s school to find out if she has an IET. They explained that Nia would already have one if she needed one. Sean is going to contact the school and get more information about this.

Week 5 (10/20 – 10/24)

This week our team finalized our idea and now we are running with it. Everyone in our team got an action item last week during our team meeting to research and the results were pleasing. Our team will be submitting a purchase order for a few electrical components that we will need in order to make a mock-up version of our design. Electrical components we want to order include a four key keypad and a single solenoid. We will order just one solenoid so we can examine how it works and if it will be a good fit for our design. After our team meeting this week, each member took away an action item to come in with next week. Sean Seeley contacted the ADA for more information about assistance that may be available for Nia through the ADA, the local, or the state governments or if her school is required to provide assistance. The ADA referred Sean to the U.S. Department of Education because she attends a public school. Sean was instructed to leave a message and that he would receive a call within 3 days.

Week 4 (10/13 – 10/17)

This week our team did not have our logbook due to grading. Although we did not have our logbook we still continued to work on brainstorming. During our team meeting members brought preliminary finalized sketches of their ideas. After discussing each members ideas, we consolidated thoughts and came up with a brand new idea. This brand new idea used previous ideas from members of our group slightly modified. Next week will bring a final design/sketch of our final idea to the group where we can discuss in greater detail and further our research/design. Our basic design involves solenoids, a keypad, and a battery. When Nia presses a key on the keypad, the corresponding solenoids for that note will shut the holes on the recorder. This idea is still in our heads at this point, but we will continue to brainstorm and possibly start ordering parts soon.

Week 3 (10/6 – 10/10)

This week our team has been doing a lot of brainstorming. Will Cloran researched and documented some devices that could be used to hold the recorder up for Nia allowing her limited hand to be free. The capstone competition guidelines were made and documented in our logbook as well as the client’s interview notes (see below). Our team meeting held on 10/6 brought preliminary sketches and design ideas that the group tried to consolidate. Each team member agreed to have a finalized preliminary sketch for Week 4’s team meeting. This website was officially published at the end of this week with a print out of this website put in the logbook. Also discussed were type of materials; specifically plastics, that could be used for our project designs. Two thoughts were that we wanted it to be safe for Nia as well as dishwasher safe (which isn’t a requirement, but would  be nice to do). The type of plastic Zach found is High Density Polyethylene or HDPE sheet stock. This is a food grade plastic and could be used in the dishwasher. He also found a product called ReRACK by Plasti Dip that is used to repair dishwasher racks that have lost their rubber coating. this could be used to coat any metal surfaces we use so Nia’s wiggle won’t touch the metal (her wiggle is sensitive to cold objects). These materials’ material safety data sheets (MSDS) were put into our log book.

Design Guidelines 1    Design Guidelines 2    Project Design Criteria

Week 2 (9/29 – 10/3)

This week our team has started to think about places that would sponsor our project if need be. Each member of our team will come up with a design sketch of what we want to do for the project by our next team meeting on Monday the 6th. Will Cloran is making copies of the recorder book he has so that each member of the team can have some information regarding the recorder to aid in the design of the recorder modification. We also started researching some different type of materials we could use for the project. A design aspect that we would like to incorporate is that the recorder be dishwasher safe, although not required in the design requirements. Our team found some different options for materials like plastic and metal. Next week brings more design aspects into our project.

Week 1 (9/22 – 9/26)

This week we met with our client, Nia, for the first time. During this meeting, we were able to talk with Nia and gather information from her. Some of the information was statistics, like measurements, how tall she is, how long her wiggle is, etc. Some of the other information were things like her favorite color, if she wanted the recorder to be discrete, if she could use her feet to aid in playing, etc. It was a good time to get to know her. Our team also got to meet with Nia’s music teacher, Melissa Barton, and Nia’s mother, Trista Nicola. Nia’s music teacher was incredibly helpful with aiding in design requirements like which notes Nia would be playing first and how Nia would be holding the recorder. During our team meeting Will brought in a recorder so we could all start discussing and gathering ideas on how we are going to go about designing an aid for Nia’s wiggle.

CAM00498 resizedNia’s mother, Trista and her sister during our first class meeting

Competition Guidelines: TBA

Team Bios:

William Cloran – William is a senior at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Over the past 2 years he has worked the Advanced Structures and Composites Center working with defense composites. ~He is a very technical minded engineering student, with a passion for motors, and all things mechanical. William is from Lincoln, Maine and in his free time he enjoys working on project vehicles, snowmobiling, and riding motorcycles.

Nevin Christnacht – Nevin is a senior at the University of Maine at Orono pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He has some previous experience from the past two summers being a manufacturing engineering intern at Burndy in Littleton, NH. He worked on manufacturing processes for hydraulics and hand and battery powered crimping tools. He is from a small town in New Hampshire called Bethlehem. He lives right next to three big ski mountains, Cannon, Loon, and Bretton woods. Interests: skiing, working on his car and boat, outdoors, sports, and technology.

Clark McDermith – Clark is graduating in May with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a minor in Renewable Energy Science and Technology. He is pursuing a career in the renewable energy and energy efficiency field. His previous work experience involves HVAC, heat pump systems and solar PV systems. He enjoys working on cars and spending time with his family. He also spends a lot of time in the winter snowboarding and skiing with friends.

Mark Carvell – Mark is in his 4th year as a Mechanical Engineering Technology major and is also working towards a minor in Electrical Engineering Technology.  He grew up in Presque Isle, Maine and when he gets the opportunity he likes to return home to hunt, fish and canoe in the north woods.  He also enjoys playing guitar; his favorite possession is a 12-string Ovation that he plays every chance he gets.  When he graduates from the University of Maine he hopes to find a job that allows him to travel and to one day return back to Maine.

Sean Seeley – Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Sean moved to Maine in 2001 after spending five semesters at Alfred University’s Mechanical Engineering program. He has always been interested in all things engineering and intended to only take a short break from school.  However, after finding a job as a truck driver that paid well, he remained in the truck driving industry for about ten years.  While truck driving he earned an Associate of Arts degree in Business from the University of Phoenix in 2007.  In 2012 he resumed classes towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering by enrolling at The University of Maine’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program.  Upon graduating in December 2015, he is considering pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Explosive Engineering at New Mexico Tech.

Ryan Cloutier – Ryan is a senior Mechanical Engineering Technology student from Lewiston, Maine. He currently works at the Advanced Manufacturing Center on the University of Maine campus. There he has been able to enhance his skills in CAD, CAM, CNC, machining, and overall design and manufacturing. He appreciates hands on experience along with the theoretical aspects. Outside of school and work he enjoys snowboarding, video games, movies, and comics. He hopes to get an engineering job in the New England area.

Zach Parker – Zach is a senior in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at the University of Maine at Orono. He grew up in Lewiston, ME where he went to Lewiston High School and Lewiston Regional Technical College where he focused on engineering and enrolled in LRTC’s engineering program and graduated 2011. He has always been extremely interested in engineering and design. He is proficient in CAD/CAM work and loves to design anything. His main passion is cars; working on them, driving them, and going fast. He’s an avid hunter and fisherman, and he absolutely loves the great outdoors. Upon graduation and receiving his B.S. in MET he hopes to find an engineering job in the New England area.


Our Sponsors: Thank you for helping us with our Senior Capstone Project!

Tyler Jolicoeur; Compotech Technology

Jude Pearse; Electrical Engineeering Technology Professor at the University of Maine

Dr. Mark Gummin; Miga Motor Company; http://www.migamotors.com/

Dr. Gummin has been helping us troubleshoot solenoid issues as well as sending free samples of a new type of miniature solenoid that he specifically developed for our use.

Brandon Jordan; Electrical Engineering Technology student at the University of Maine

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