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I am Dylan Mercier, a mechanical engineering student at Michigan Technological University. I am currently an intern for Wes-Tech Automation Solutions in the Chicago area and am part of the Open Source Hardware Enterprise at MTU.
- I have built a printrbot simple metal, a DIY 3D printer that is low cost with a medium build plate that is fully upgradeable.
- Worked on multiple large assemblies in Solidworks, Inventor, Autocad and NX
- I have been an intern at an automation company called Wes-Tech Automation Solutions where we design and build automated assembly lines and machines for larger companies.
Semester 1 Fall 2019
Recyclebot Industrial v2:
Starting the fall of 2019, our team, consisting of Matt Lekity, Garrick Ensminger, Colton Nelson and Nicki Gallup started a new revision of the current Industrial Recyclebot. The scope of the project was aimed to make it more user friendly, easier to build, and cheaper to source parts. My task as the mechanical design lead was to redesign the machine to incorporate the new ideas and parts that were going to be implemented. The first revision to the machine that is expected to be completed by the start of spring 2020 is the extruder and hopper assembly. The previous iteration had many flaws in this design, where the PLA granules started melting inside the hopper which caused the machine to jam. This problem meant it had to be taken apart and be cleaned multiple times before it can be used again. This was fixed by lengthening the pipe between the extruder nozzle and the hopper by 4-6 inches, which prevents the heat from the heating elements from creeping to the hopper through the pipe. Because this assembly needed to be revised, the entire hopper sub-assembly needed to be changed as well. One of the goals of this project is to make it simple for anyone to build with simple hand tools or common electrical tools. This means that the hopper design needs to be changed as most DIY enthusiasts will not have access to the tools needed to recreate the original design. This meant that the hopper assembly needed to be changed to be made of mostly 3D printed parts, making this sub-assembly easily replaceable and cost effective. These parts were designed to be bolted together, making cleaning and installation easy. This task of redesigning the hot end of the machine is the most involving in the project, while the electrical team carried out the task of automating the process from start to finish, wile also combining each of the existing control boxes into a single arduino.
Semester 2 Spring 2020
Recyclebot Industrial v2:
Continuing with the Recyclebot Industrial v2 project for the fall of 2019, the team now consits of Matt Lekity, Colton Nelson, and Kyle DeRoche. This semester the goal was to finish the project fully including testing and fully 3D print the robot by the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was not possible so the goals have been altered to work around this problem. The first half of the semester was spent redesigning the hot end of the assembly, which included redesigning the hopper as it was difficult to reproduce without specialty equipment. Because of this, the hopper was designed to be 3D printed as the previous hopper design costed half of our total estimated cost of the robot. This hot end was also redesigned to accept a stepper motor in place of the large DC motor that was driving the robot before as the DC motor was unable to be controlled or slowed down. This caused me to create new parts that will allow the stepper motor to be used, all of which can be 3D printed using PETG filament. After the hot end was designed, the parts were printed and assembled onto the base board using hardware that was bought or supplied in the lab. This hot end is completely ready for testing for when instruction resumes in the Fall. The second half of the semester was spent finishing the CAD assembly of the rest of the robot. Due to the pandemic currently happening, we were unable to physically finish printing and building the robot, so my focus was shifted to completing the entire robot so that it can be printed right away in the Fall of 2020, and be ready for testing immediately. The rest of the redesign consisted of the completion of the cold end, where the vertical tensioners were redesigned to allow more advisability for the user, allowing them to be raised, lowered, and shifted around on the board. Safety covers were also made to prevent injuries due to the hot and moving parts in this robot. These covers were placed over parts that can pinch, burn or cut the user, as safety is the priority in this project due to the amount of heat that is being outputted by the heaters. Each part was also prepped for printing, so that the team next semester can print the parts right away and start building the robot and testing it. The final part of my semester was spent creating a final bill of materials (BOM) that contains ever part needed to recreate the assembly, including screws, bearings, nuts, etc. Documentation was also created to direct the team next semester to where different parts are located and where everything can be found.