User:MAE 277 2012 - Group 21
As part of MAE 277: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Practice at the University of Buffalo, we are required to participate in the course project. This project helps to provide context for the material taught in the class. We are given groups. Each group chooses a product that they will be working with and applying what they learned. Each gate deals with a different aspect of the engineering design process. We are to finish the tasks given in each gate, using proper technical communication, providing pictures, videos, tables, anything that will make it easier for the reader to follow our thought process.
For reference to the group, our project timeline as well as meeting minutes can be found in the Project Management page. This page also contains group assignment information, tasks to be finished, and due dates.
Product BackgroundThe product we have decided on for dissection is the bicycle.
There has been some discrepancy on exactly when the first bicycle was first invented. In the early 1800’s, there was a commercially used bicycle known as the “running machine”. This originated in Germany, had a seat, and two wheels, but was not powered by petals and the mechanical mechanisms the bicycle is known for today. The consumer would run on the ground straddling the bike. Pedals and hand cranks would come out a few decades later. These early designs and innovations have helped create the product that the people of today use not only for travel, but for exercise as well. In American during the 1970’s, bike sales doubled when people of that time became more conscious of staying healthy and exercise. Since then, designers have been looking for ways to make the bike lighter, as well as more potable. Consumers are always interested in their products going faster and having more power. Bike companies have also been working on that as well. This product can be found in most toy stores and major “one stop shops” such as Wal-Mart. We feel this product’s significance in American society is becoming more prominent because of the continual heightened health awareness. Also, because of heightened gas prices, there is a decrease in a need for cheaper transportation. For these reasons, we believe this would be a good product to dissect and learn more about.
Throughout the course of this class, we came to know and familiarize ourselves with the ‘Spaulding Blade 10-Speed Bicycle.’ Through deconstruction, analysis, and then reassembly of the product, we educated ourselves on the parts of a bicycle, and learned how they work together in subsystems and then as a whole. Using our own knowledge and online research, we detailed each and every part of the bicycle, giving each part a name, determining its function, material, manufacturing process, and any other important information necessary to better understand our product.
For the most important components, we analyzed them even further in terms of their function, form, manufacturing, and complexity. We asked and then answered important questions about these components to better understand the engineering decisions that would be involved in the design of the product. We then took it one step further and applied the engineering analysis process to a key component. By completing each of these steps, we were able to better understand the bicycle and each of its parts, which then allowed us to be able to see that certain parts of the bicycle could be revised to improve the design and address certain GSEE factors.
Our major findings were with our design revisions. We were able to come up with five design revisions that would improve our product in one way or another. These revisions include making the bicycle collapsible for storage, adding a master link to the chain, changing the frame material, use of coaster brakes, and making changes to the gear shifter. Each of these changes are to improve performance and serviceability, while also keeping in mind the target audience and cost. Without having taken apart the bicycle and analyzing it further, we would not have been able to see how these revisions in fact improve the design. This project helped us by introducing us to certain aspects of engineering design and how to apply it, which in turn greatly improved our knowledge and understanding of our product.