DD-2 magnetic gearbox assembly
The first part of the design phase is where the preliminary design is produced as an assembly in SolidWorks. This design is then assessed and revised as necessary. From this step onward, simulations are ran to give insight on the design's capabilities. A final design is eventually decided on, followed by a final design review. Detailed technical drawings are produced and inspected to make sure that the design will be capable of achieving the desired performance goals.
Using a bill of materials, each part of the design is ordered from various vendors or produced in-house. For ordered parts, quotes from vendors are compared to find the best deal, including cost, quality of materials used, accuracy of parts, and turnaround time. For parts to be made in-house, the manufacturing steps are identified depending on the geometry and material of the part. For example, a part requiring the use of CNC would need tool paths with all of the proper speeds and feeds to be generated and fixtures prepared (sometimes custom fixtures are needed).
The assembly process frequently provides additional challenges to the overall design. The most common and difficult aspect that I am very familiar with is the interaction of high-strength magnets and conductive materials. Assembling these parts that come within less than 1 mm of each other can be hazardous if the appropriate fixtures are not designed and utilized correctly.
Testing the final prototype is one of the most exciting parts of the whole project. It is when you finally get to measure the experimental performance and compare it to the theoretical performance. The first step of testing involves more design, because you need a testing setup that will stabilize the prototype and allow you to obtain data accurately and consistently. It is often required to take precise measurements to ensure that all of the equipment is aligned well enough that it will not affect the test results. Once this is accomplished, data is acquired from various sensors (temperature, torque, vibration, etc.) and recorded on a computer to be analyzed. Sometimes these sensors need to be calibrated for each specific test and the software program needs to be designed/modified to record values effectively.
FEA results for a deflection analysis on inner components of magnetic gearbox
One section of a bill of materials for the DD-2 magnetic gearbox design
Drawing for a part that was made in-house (UNCC machine shop)
Oscilloscope reading from a frequency analysis experiment