Mechanical Engineering is considered as the mother of engineering not only because it is the oldest engineering discipline. Also, It contributes to every other engineering field.
“Everything is Mechanical”
-The above phrase shows the importance of mechanical engineers. If there are no mechanical engineers, the world will become motionless.
Also, the students who pursue mechanical engineering can able to perform any kind of job from designing an aircraft to repairing a bicycle, since they are exposed to various technologies during their academics by building numerous mini-projects.
In this article, we will discuss how to get innovative project ideas, how to make a mini-project, and finally some cool mechanical design mini-projects.
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It is the process of designing a component which can be later used to obtain useful output by converting resources or energy. The designed component may be used as a part in a mechanical device or as a component itself to get the desired output.
For example - If you are designing a gearbox for a bike. Gears are subjected not only to produce motion but also to take the load of the vehicle. So while designing the gear various calculations are done - analysing the speed and load to be carried and ultimately the gear of specific material and particular dimensions that can able to bear all the loads and that can be produced with minimal cost without compromising the performance.
I hope now you have an understanding of mechanical design. Before all the above process there is one important task i.e machine drawing. Here you will use certain design software to draw the component that to be manufactured. Using software to make the design will make your job easy and fast.
Below software are used to make the mechanical design:
CATIA - Computer Aided Three dimensional Interactive Application is one of the leading CAD software used by many companies to design various components from a simple bottle to an aircraft. With this software, you can also create photo-realistic images of the designed component.
Autodesk Inventor - It is a simulation and mechanical design software developed by Autodesk. With the help of Inventor using few data inputs, you can create product design quickly. Using this mechanical design software you can perform Finite Element Analysis (FEA), part design, product data management, etc.
Solidworks - Another CAD software developed by Dassault Systems (guys who developed CATIA). A little more advanced than CATIA. Using this software you can perform sheet metal design, part design, mechanism design, etc.
Don’t get scared that you need to learn all these software.
“Jack of all trades, master of none”
As per the above saying no need to master all the software. Learn any one software properly and apply all those learning concepts in the other software. Worry not, most of the tools will be similar for all the mechanical CAD software.
Now the big question “how to select or choose a project idea?”
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Following are some tips which give you a heads up to select a project topic:
While selecting a mini project topic, keep these things in mind and start searching. Here comes the main part of this article mechanical design mini projects for engineering students.
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To reduce your burden on selecting and building a mini project below are some mechanical design projects which you can learn and build. After acquiring some knowledge out of it, you can develop a mini project on your own.
1. Gear train design mechanical project
Gears play an important role in transferring the motion from one part to another. In this mechanical design project, you will learn the concepts such as gear ratio, types of gear, gear train assembly, etc. You will work with Autodesk Inventor software to develop this project.
2. Differential gear design
Differential helps automobiles to make the turns properly without slipping. In this mini-project, you will be introduced to the concepts of automobile CAD and to perform dynamic simulation of the designed component. Autodesk Inventor is used for developing this mechanical project.
3. MATLAB for engineers
MATLAB is used by firms like NASA, ISRO, DJI, SpaceX to perform numerical computing on their different components. Using Matlab you can develop various projects such as dynamic simulation of suspension, hybrid vehicle design and thermal system. As part of this project, you will work with MATLAB functions like Simscape, Simulink, M script, etc.
4. CFD using ANSYS
ANSYS is an analysis software to perform product testing, design and operation. From Automobiles to Aircrafts everything had gone through CFD analysis before coming out as an actual product. In this mini-project, you will solve various problems of the combustion chamber, exhaust system and fluid flow. You will also be introduced to concepts of FEA, FEM, meshing and boundary conditions.
5. Automobile prototyping mini-project
Automobiles made a revolution in the transportation industry. In this mechanical design project, you will develop a prototype of a scaled-down Gokart. While building this mini-project you will learn about the concepts of automobile systems like steering mechanism, transmission, powertrain, chassis, etc.
6. CNC machine using Arduino
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are used to perform milling, lathe, cutting, etc. using coded instructions with minimal human intervention. In this mini-project, you will develop a 3 axis CNC machine using Arduino, stepper motor, grbl shield, etc. While working on this mechanical project, you will learn how to control the machine with the help of G codes and M codes.
7. 3D printer
3D printers revolutionised the way of manufacturing a component. Nowadays everyone can develop products without much difficulty using 3D printers. In this mechanical project, you will develop a 3D printer from scratch using Arduino, stepper motors, SMPS, RAMPS board etc.
Here are a few more suggestions for mechanical design mini-projects that you can take up and build:
Hope you got some best suggestions for your mechanical design projects which serves as an application for the latest technologies.
Do let us know your thoughts about these mini projects in the comment section.
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