The purpose of gate 5 is to finalize all the deliverables. We went back and fixed as much as we could from the old gates. Also, an executive summary was written, as well short summaries of the prior gates. An oral presentation was given of our products revisions. Finally, the group assessments will be completed when given out.
The product our group worked on all semester was the “Buzz Bee Punisher.” This was a toy gun that shot small, foam darts. The gun was chosen because it had a number of components and mechanisms in it, but it was not overly complicated to work with. The group was also interested in seeing how the toy gun works. The gun itself had a number of factors that went into the design of it. From choosing plastic for economic reasons, to making sure the gun was safe for children use, many important design considerations went into creating the product.
After researching and learning about the product, the next phase of the project was to dissemble the product and look at how the components worked together. The disassembly of the gun was not that difficult, but it did require a lot of steps, as there were a lot of internal parts in the gun. The only tools required were different size screw drivers. After successfully dissembling the product, the major systems of the gun were looked at. It seemed that there were three motors, one major electrical system, and the trigger mechanism. One motor spun the front barrel, one continually pushed darts through the spinning wheels that the other motor spun. All three motors spun using electricity from the batteries. The trigger mechanism allowed for the darts to continually get pushed through the wheels when pressed down.
After completing the major process of disassembly, the group started the analysis process. The gun was dissembled and so many of the components were looked. The major components of the product such as the shell and motors were given extra consideration. Also during this time, one of the motors of the product was creating in a solid modeling program. It was interesting to see how the small gears of the motor worked together. Some functions of the gun were also worked at analytically. Finally, design revisions were considered. These included making the darts bio-degradable, removing a small orange handle on the gun, and making use of rechargeable batteries. These revisions were made with the GSEE factors in mind.
After completing this gate, the group turned to gate four. The major part of this gate was reassembling the gun. This was difficult, as many parts had to be returned to their original place. Mechanisms were looked at, as were other possible redesigns. These included removing one of the motors, a trigger redesign, and adding a kickstand. These were again chosen while considering the GSEE factors.
Through the course of the project, the group learned a lot of useful information. First, and possibly most important, we all learned about working together in a group. It was interesting divvying up work and having everything come together on time. It was also a new experience to have to spend so much time together working on a collective project. Technically speaking, the group learned a lot about what goes into a product, and how many different factors and many different levels affect the product. We learned how to really analyze a disassembled product and how to make sense of components, systems, functions, and mechanisms.
During the project planning stage of our assignment we learned a lot of what was expected of us for the rest of the gates. We went through a steep learning curve with the wiki formatting, and depth of analysis. We were able to create an outlined plan for dissecting the project, but obviously it changed significantly once we actually opened the product. Each member was also able to bring their strengths and weaknesses to the table which helped us decided who should take specific roles on the team. We could've made a more detailed schedule, but realistically we had a lot of conflicts and rescheduling so our schedule likely wouldn't have been strictly followed. When we looked at the specifics of our product we learned a lot of small details that affected the rest of our analysis. Economically we found information regarding pricing, sales, and target market. We also looked at the potential market for such a product in this time period. For the energy analysis we decided that the main energy conversions would be chemical, electrical, mechanical, and potential energy in that order. From a complexity standpoint we broke down a lot of the components such as the gears, springs, motors, etc. Once we had everything in its simplest form we looked at how components interact to perform the desired task of shooting the dart. We also briefly analyzed the material, which was mostly different forms of plastic, and user interaction, which we looked at how the potential consumer would interact with the product. Finally we found two other similar products, the air-soft gun and paintball gun, and compared all three advantages and disadvantages. Really this stage was most helpful as a learning tool. We certainly made our share of mistakes, but this gate severed as a learning tool which lead to more success in the future.
In gate two we fully dissected our product giving a step by step description in how the dissection went. Documentation in how difficult or easiness involved in each step was included as well in each part removal. Our group may have underestimated the amount of parts that made up our product when the amount of subsystems and parts were discovered during disassembly. From this gate we were able to conclude that there were five main subsystems that make up our product; an electrical subsystem, an ammo loading subsystem, trigger subsystem, barrel rotating subsystem, and a firing subsystem. In total there were nineteen different sections of our product that were thoroughly dissected into single components. Having each subsystem and sections of the product broken down made it clearer which parts would effect the GSEE factors greatly. Having some of the more harmful subsystems like the electrical one hidden inside the shell of the gun, provides safety to the intend user which contributes to a global factor. Others like the rotating barrel subsystem creates a realistic look to the consumer which is an example of a societal factor. On an economical scale, having the majority of the product being made from plastic greatly decrease's the production cost then if it was made of another material. Also the subsystems of this product have a long life span so discarding of certain components in the subsystem or the whole subsystem itself would not likely happen, which positively effects the environmental factors.
In gate 3, a detailed analysis of the product can now be completed, as the product is fully disassembled. There are several main pieces of information in this technical report first being a component summary that lists all the components of our product. Listed for every part was the material it was made of, type of manufacturing process, and a description of its overall function. Another main part of this gate was the determination of the seven main components of our product which consisted of; the firing wheels, ammo belt feeder, firing barrel, push rod, the handle, outer shell, and the trigger spring. Each of these seven components effect the GSEE factors from its method of manufacturing process to increasing safety to the user. Further justification of each of these seven main components can be found on the Gate 3 page. Also the gear box inside of the ammo belt was chosen for the solid modeled assembly part of this gate. Another portion of gate 3 involved the engineering analysis of a section of our product. After finding relevant equations and coming up with different tests such as the efficiency of the motor, measuring the distance the darts traveled, and velocity of darts as they shoot, we came up with a basic way an engineer would go on about doing an analysis of the firing function of the gun. In designing this gun and performing an engineering analysis of the firing motors, balance of all the important factors should be the main focus. The gun should perform as well as possible, but at a relatively cheap cost. Most consumers want a gun that is fun to use and performs well, but they will not pay a steep price for something as trivial as a gun. It is important to keep cost low throughout the entire process. Also, considering how the parts are made is important to this cause as well, because a big motor might require more expensive manufacturing techniques. Lastly, design revision such as introduction to biodegradable darts, a rechargeable battery, and removal of the products orange handle would improve our product economically, environmentally, and on a societal level.
In gate four, the group worked together to reassemble the gun. This took several steps, but only required a screw driver again. With our notes from the dissection of the product, the reassembly was not that difficult. It did take a while though, as there were several screws that had to be replaced. The gun was put back together step by step by the team. Pictures were taken at every step, and the each step was cataloged. This was the main part of the gate. There were a couple other main components for the gate as well. The mechanisms were also analyzed as well. The two our group looked at were the drive train and the trigger mechanism. Each was looked at for how it worked, and what equations each used. Finally, three more design revisions were chosen. The ones chosen were the removal of the third motor, the addition of the kick stand, and a trigger redesign. The removal of the third motor and the redesign of the trigger were both economic based, as they saved money on the product. The kick stand added an extra feature and possibly made the gun more “fun” to use and so it was a social factor.