ME203: Design and Manufacturing
ME203 is the machine shop class, where we get to MAKE STUFF. It was by far one of my favorite classes I've taken, as well as the most time-consuming. We learn about the design process, and many different manufacturing methods.
We have structured lab, where we learn how to use the machines and processes in the shop, namely the mill, lathe, sandcasting, and oxyacetylene welding. Sandcasting is the porcess of making a pattern, ramming sand around it, and pouring in molten metal. We sandcast a plaque of the Stanford seal in bronze. We also make a magnifying glass: it starts in the lathe lab, where we make the handle out of Delrin (a type of plastic), the brass ring that will hold the lens, and the lens (from acrylic). In the mill lab, we make the lug that connects the handle to the ring. In the welding lab, we braze the lug to the ring with silver brazing.
My finished magnifying glass!
The main focus of the quarter is our personal project. We come up with something that we want to make using one of the processes we learn, and make it! I have a toolbox at home that I rather dislike, partially because it tips over when too much stuff in the compartments in the lid, and because it's ugly. I love welding, and I decided to make a toolbox specifically for my tools and how I wanted it. I learned about sheet metal, how to bend and weld it, and the challenges that come with working with sheet metal -it's a much less precise art than milling, for example. I also learned how to use the laser cutter to make plastic compartment boxes that nicely fit inside my toolbox. My favorite inovative feature is the built-in whiteboards in the lids - however, they are Velcroed in, so they are just as easily removable!
Completed toolbox with plastic compartment boxes
We take this class in conjunction with our writing-in-major class and the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) class, where we learn Solidworks. Everything ties together nicely, because we model our project in CAD class, write about it in the writing class, and build it in machine shop class.