Avery Gorter, Brian Haan, and Evan Pheneger
An automated baseball launcher was designed in order to make better use of fielding practice time. As designed, the Diamond Trainer can be programmed to rapidly deliver balls to predetermined locations on the field or manually controlled by the coach using a remote. The unit should increase the number of balls fielded by each player during a given practice and could also free-up the coach to work with individual players on their fielding skills. Portability, reliability, and ease-of-use were criteria that guided the group during their design work.
Jason Ahrenholz, Josh Sandbulte, and Tim Wasland
The Dordt College Engineering Department required an affordable means of moving and lifting pallets of materials in the mechanical prototyping laboratory. This engineering team designed a shop crane which utilizes a battery powered winch and is capable of lifting a one ton load to the height of a standard work bench. The group did extensive structural analysis on their design before constructing and testing the final product. The crane was designed to be conveniently collapsed and bracketed to the wall when not in use.
Andrew Friend, Robert Kangas, Matthew Laverman, Duy Nguyen, Joseph Slegers, and Katiegrace Youngsma
Dr. Douglas De Boer of the Dordt College Engineering Department financially sponsored and mentored this team of engineers as they dealt with various design decisions during the conversion of a 1998 Plymouth Neon from gasoline to electric power. One of the goals of the group was to maintain the operator interface of the original vehicle which led the team to use the 'ignition key and gas pedal to control the new electric motor. With so many of the car's original systems directly dependent on the gasoline engine for power or energy, the group had to focus their attention on redesigning only the most essential systems: the drive train, the braking system, and the low voltage electrical system, including headlights and signals. The final design utilized a set of twelve 12-volt deep cycle batteries to power a 144 volt electric motor connected to the original manual transmission of the vehicle. At the conclusion of the project the car successfully achieved 55 mph but further testing is required to verify the projected range of 40 miles per charge. The Re-Volt is an ongoing project. Updates on its performance and any additional vehicle modifications can be found at this website.
David Lammers, James Slegers, Sean Schiebout and Phil Stam
The goal of this project was to design, construct, and test a tensile testing machine to be used by Dordt College engineering students in the future. By pulling the test specimen apart a tensile test can be used to determine several physical properties of materials such as its strength and ductility. The test stand designed by the group incorporates a computer control and data acquisition system to ensure precision testing. The computer system pulls the test material at a constant rate while monitoring the applied force and resulting elongation of the sample. As part of the project the team also created a CNC program for the lathe to generate precise test specimens. The finished unit also features several components machined using the engineering department's recently acquired CNC prototyping equipment.