The Design Process

by Quentin Lea, 9th grade (at the time)
      Engineering class is still going strong with a large suite of things to do, and a lot of fun projects to work on with different applications. This period in EG Design we have done many things from converting metric units into Americanized ones and even learning several different guidelines for placing and creation dimensions. But that’s not all! We used all of the material we learned in the past few months to work on an exhilarating and interesting project. The project is based around constructing a 3 unit cube with 27 smaller blocks. We slowly crept our way up the design process mountain with a few bumps and cracks in the mountain of success. We were using software we had never seen before, Autodesk Inventor, a cool way to make 3D models of a prototype or item you would like to make. The cube, consisting of 5 different parts with 4-6 blocks, was harder to make in the software than it may sound. In AI, you have to constrain each piece to one central piece using all 3 dimensions (the X, Y, and Z axes). It is a bit tedious at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is really fun to use. At the very end, the most challenging part of the project came to fruition, putting others’ cubes back together. And finally after that, we collected data and analyzed data in Excel. Just note that although it may seem like you can easily do what we did in a few days, you haven’t become a real engineer until you have forced your gait onto the long and tedious process of making a prototype, testing it, making new prototypes, and then testing again until you get the results that you wanted.
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