EWU seniors recently showcased the expertise they’ve acquired during the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Technology Capstone Expo.
The ME/MET Capstone Expo, held on Dec. 1 in the CEB lobby, featured an auto-articulating RV solar panel, a conveyor belt 3D printer, a homemade go-kart and a lake-floating trash collector. These innovative projects were started by previous mechanical engineering students, because one quarter is simply not enough time to finish these major machines.
Graduating seniors put their all into these capstone projects, as it was a chance to commemorate their years at EWU while also gaining substantial hands-on experience for their resumes. Instructors say it also shows future employers what Eastern students are capable of contributing in the field of engineering.
One group of five students chose to work on the Lake Floating Trash Collector project because it aligned with their values of taking care of the environment and creating a brighter future for the planet.
The watercraft is designed to automatically – or while being controlled remotely – pick up trash on a lake’s surface and to return to a designated home to dispose of the payload. It uses GPS to navigate, and can pick up to 15 pounds of floating garbage before it knows to return home.
The Conveyor Belt 3D Printer project is intended to speed up the process of 3D printing and cut costs. Current methods are slow and costly because they rely on specialists who are not always available.
The “Auto-Articulating Recreational Vehicle Solar Tracker” (AARVS) combines modern controls and solar detection equipment for use with RV’s and trailers for an efficiency improvement of up to 60 percent with solar panel-energy generation. When deployed it promises to revolutionize where and how long campers can stay in their desired locations while meeting their energy needs.
One team designed, fabricated, and are in the process of building a “safe drivable” go-kart.
The go-kart will have a top speed of 25 mph and the capability to be enjoyed by drivers of various sizes.