William Pfouts

Engineering Analysis, Fabrication, and Programming
Initial Design Finished Product Glamour Shot

This project, again through University of Colorado Boulder's Component Design Class, tasked us with creating a drill powered vehicle and taking it through an obstacle course.

The team had originally created several designs for the chasis, and I used my previous experience and analysis abilities to argue for a much smaller, lighter, and less robust frame than was previously desired that still fit within our requirements Rather than most teams use of mechanical linkages to actuate the drill trigger, I removed the entire trigger component from the drill and made an enclosure for it. That allowed high and low, forward and reverse while others were only able to go forward, and some only in an on-off manner. There were several components that were designed that did not make it into the final design, such as a battery box that used two batteries to power the drill rather than the single battery, a braking system that was not needed due to low speeds. Except for the frame, this design used several off the shelf components that required modification and reverse engineering...something that I excel at given my background previous to becoming an engineering student.

The primary skill that I learned on this project was analysis through testing, rather than creating the analysis and then making components to match. With most of these parts being off the shelf, and not coming with any documentation, much of what I had to do was test subcomponents and then use that analysis as part of a larger design. Most of the mechanical and electrical elements of the actual build were variations on previously learned skills.