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Motion Control: 2.5 DOF System


The goal of this project is to:

  • Design and evaluate a 2.5 DOF with CAD and simulation software that can be applicable to our daily lives.

  • Familiarize with standardized bars and joints such as the 80/20 bars.

  • Make use of these standardized components to build the designed system.

  • Generate a simulation of how the system would work.

Thought Process

During our consultation process with the professor, we were introduced to his DIY 3D printer. Looking at the printer, I was reminded of a container crane that is generally used in seaport. At the same time, one of my teammates had also been fond of making art with beads. As a result, we came to an idea of making a crane-like structure that is able to pick and drop beads to create a picture.

Design Process

In the design process, there are several things that needed to be considered, specifically how the rods would be placed in order for our crane structure to move back and forth without issues. Since we knew that placing the motor on one side of the rod would produce torque, which could jam the structure, we initially thought to put one motor on each side of the structure. However, to make this system more efficient, we finally decided to have three other rods in the middle, one of which will be driven by a motor. From this, the structure would move in the x-axis, while the claw would move in two axis, which would be y and z axis.

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Simulation Processes


Since this project heavily relies on Solidworks, doing it on an online basis was proven to be extremely difficult. Firstly, having to learn the simulation tools from Solidworks within a limited time was challenging. In addition, because some parts that were used for our assembly were complicated, most of the time were allocated for us to make sure that the mates in each subassembly and the final assembly were properly created to ensure that the simulation could be generated without any issue. With these obstacles, it would be hard to determine whether this system would work in real life. One of the possible issues that would be encountered would be jammed structure. If this would happen, it might be because of the weight of the structure, which has two motors to carry. Regardless of these possibilities, the whole system would be driven by NEMA17 motors on the axes, and a servo motor for the claw.


Despite the challenges and obstacles of working from home, this project has allowed me to learn so many things from my experience with Solidworks in a short amount of time, not only with CAD but also its simulation tools. This project has also allowed me to learn more in terms of soft skills, such as communication skills. With the current pandemic that has been going on, it is important not only to keep up to date with each other, but also being able to communicate my ideas accurately and in detail as much as possible. Last but not least, this project would have not been accomplished without the help of Professor Gutierrez. Marking this project as the end of the class, he has taught me so many engineering principles that are applicable to design and manufacturing processes, in challenging but entertaining ways, through the four assignments that I have worked on in the ME360 class.

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