Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Week 2 - What's Now, What's Next

The current goals laid out for us on the Small Scale Track Fabrication team are:
1) to create a method or means by which aluminum bar stock can be reliably bent to shape, and
2) to develop a means to measure track length,
with the goal to ensuring that everything has been or will be fabricated to the required dimensions.

A more immediate goal that could be pursued would be to return the track to the usable state it was in at the end of the spring semester, to aid the bogie team and track improvement in understanding the previous issues that had occurred. 

Another immediate item that could be pursued is to determine the usability of available fabrication tools. In the shop where the project is currently being housed, several tools do not appear to be in working order, so work with Eric Hagstrom and the professors must be done to determine fixes or workarounds for what or how we may need to fabricate.

Communication with past or current individuals or organizations that are or were involved in the project may be key in increasing visibility to the community or sponsorship for the team. No details about this point yet.

Investigation of the previous work that has led to the current track design is important to understanding how decisions were made. Calling upon the general archive or individuals that have worked on the project will be helpful towards this end.

Communication with all other teams will be crucial to ensuring that a cohesive final product is achieved. One issue that plagued the previous year's team was the inability to integrate all systems well.

Common build materials for the track, such as aluminum bar stock and machined metal, appear to be in good supply. No action appears to be needed on this front at this time.

Research shall be done to look into past or current designs of similar real-world systems for inspiration and insight, which will also highlight benefits and detractors of using such a system. This is currently beyond the scope of our model design, but will aid in decision-making in the future, especially if there is intent to directly scale the model to full-size.

We will look to add pictures within the coming days to highlight several outstanding issues mentioned here.

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