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Design Experiences of Automated Feeder for Soda Can Crusher
The goal of our project was to design and manufacture an automated feeding device for an existing can crusher. The device will contain the cans of different sizes and send them in the correct orientation to the crusher. Prior to our design being implemented our client loaded the cans into the crusher one by one; by automating this process we will save our client time and energy, and create a safer environment for crushing cans. We went through the design process to solve this problem: first we identified constraints and evaluation metrics, then we researched possible technologies to fulfil the constraints. We then evaluated these alternatives based on our evaluation metrics and choose our final design. This design consists of a chain driven elevator style mechanism to lift the cans out of hopper, which is connected to a vending machine style feeder via a ramp. The vending machine feeder drops the cans one at a time into the can crusher, by using alternating steps. Different manufacturing methods were considered to build the prototype, our decision for how to manufacture was based primarily on what materials we were using as some of our materials were donated from our client as a cost saving measure. Different team organizational methods were used to monitor and distribute workload. Low fidelity prototyping was a focus with our group, because we felt it was best to prove design concepts in the real world. We will present a poster outlining the steps in our design process, and the implementation of our design. Overall the group learned how to work on a long term project while working through the design process for a real client.