Project Examples

Redesign the Broken Plastic Waterwheel from an Exhibit at the Tsongas Industrial History Center

Course: 26.418 Plastics Product and Process Design
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: Fang “Francis” Lai
Partner:Tsongas Industrial History Center

One team chose to redesign the broken plastic waterwheel from an exhibit at the Tsongas Industrial History Center. Technical specifications were provided by Rick Smith and Peter O’Connell. Peter also attended the students’ final presentation.

This course examined theoretical principles and sound engineering practice involved in the design of new end products made from polymers, applying the total systems approach to the balance between product design, choice of materials, tool design, and process techniques, as they affect competitive choices for commercial success. The service learning was implemented into three semester projects, which involved eight of the seventeen students in the class. As usual, these semester projects required a complete design of the product, including material selection, dimensioned drawings, and suggestion(s) for processing the product. Final design presentations were conducted by each group involved in S-L projects in this course.