Class brings prototypes to life using 3D printers
Engineering Drafting & Design students recently redesigned and reengineered a string trimmer during their Product Design Lab.
Students began the project by looking at a cordless string weed trimmer found at any hardware or home improvement store.
“The idea was to benchmark the current design and then look for where we could make improvements for design change and functionality,” said Engineering Drafting & Design student Rio Duran.
The students worked in groups using Computer-Aided Design to manufacture and design a new housing for the motor, circuit board, and other interior parts to make sure the new trimmer would be operational. This included utilizing injection molding to make certain pieces would fasten together.
“We had to manufacture and machine this to make a prototype,” Duran explained. “We used 3D printers for the plastic.”
Students also had to work within a budget to keep costs under control.
“We had to think about the cost of the fasteners, the cost of 3D printed plastic, and the other parts such as straps,” Duran said.
The students presented their portfolio-ready designs to their peers in class then put them to the test outdoors on the campus lawn.
With the buzzing sounds of multiple trimmers going, Duran added, “It’s really cool to see something that we put together with our minds operate in real life.”