#1 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

I have to create something for my engineering class, but i don't know what to build. It can be anything from a simple chair to something complicated. Any ideas? I'd prefer it to be something i'd actually want to use in the long run.

#2 Posted by zombie2011 (4973 posts) -

I had to do this for my Senior year project. I made a motorized ramp for a minivan, for a lady who was in a wheel chair.

#3 Posted by Farmer (328 posts) -

Whatever you choose to make, for years afterwards you'll be saying "Oh, damn, I should've made that, instead!"

#4 Posted by MrSlapHappy (182 posts) -

I worked with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) on a conference table that had pedals under it to improve blood flow to theoretically stimulate brain activity. It sounds like yours is quite a bit more open ended, I would assume this isnt an engineering undergraduate senor year project...

What kind of hobbies do you have that you want to investigate further? In high school when I was given research projects and the like I picked subjects that I was actively curious and wanted to learn about anyways. It makes everything much more interesting when you are invested in your topic. Gathering from your presence on this message board you like video games, so maybe build a desk if you want to go small or learn a programming language and create some basic programs that moves some servos on a little robot thing for a more complicated thing.

#5 Posted by psylah (2177 posts) -

Make a makerbot.

So that you make something that makes things.

#6 Edited by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@psylah said:

Make a makerbot.

So that you make something that makes things.

Make a makerbot-bot. A robot that makes makerbots. Self-replication FTW!

#7 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@psylah said:

Make a makerbot.

So that you make something that makes things.

Make a makerbot-bot. A robot that makes makerbots. Self-replication FTW!


#8 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

Model bridges are pretty cool if you actually put the time and effort into it.

#9 Posted by Sbaitso (534 posts) -

What kind of engineering are we talking about here? My brother(mechanical engineering) built a one man buggy with a few other people.

#10 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1439 posts) -

Build a gorgeous chair made of acrylic that increases blood circulation in the thighs.

#11 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

@Sbaitso: No specific type. I just need to think of something to build, create it on autocad, and then build the actual product. Think in terms of solving a problem.

#12 Posted by A_Talking_Donkey (262 posts) -

Build a perpetual motion machine.

#13 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

I'm looking for something i'd actually use guys lol not something pointless. Otherwise i'll bludgeon myself with whatever i make out of bordem making it.

#14 Posted by 49th (2757 posts) -

Invent a new kind of bridge which spins horizontally rather than opening vertically. This would allow 2 paths for boats to use, which is sort of redundant since a drawbridge clears the whole river - but it would be way more awesome. Also, you could put a helipad on top of it.

#15 Posted by Extreme_Popcorn (842 posts) -

Build a Boundary Layer or Tesla wind turbine

#16 Posted by gkhan (439 posts) -

Build one of these puppies.

You don't need to make it as big, obviously, just make it like 50-100 cm so in length. The way I see it, the components are a cistern to store the water, a pump to pump the water back up to the cistern (or not, you could just waste a bunch of water and hook it up to a hose), a pipe with a bunch of holes in it, some arduino magic, and a whole mess of solenoid valves. The tricky part is probably making sure everything is isolated properly. Programming the microcontrollers to making sure everything is synched properly probably isn't trivial, but should be... you know... doable. You could even make it hook up to a computer and make nice little UI where you can draw pictures for the water screen. It's probably challenging to build, but shouldn't be totally out of reach. And it looks stupid cool!

#17 Posted by MrSlapHappy (182 posts) -

@j0lter said:

I'm looking for something i'd actually use guys lol not something pointless. Otherwise i'll bludgeon myself with whatever i make out of bordem making it.

You sure aren't giving us alot to work off of here. If you want serious input from this, some constraints or some information on your day to day life would make "Something I would actually use" actually descriptive.

Heres a list of some other things off the top of my head because I am bored while waiting for my laundry:

An electric car

A gas powered Segway

Motion sensing lawn gnomes with heads that turn to face motion.

A beer cannon

An efficient way to cook 10 lbs of bacon.

The list could go on... :)

#18 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

@gkhan: If i had this, i would never leave my house again. I'll look into it.

@MrSlapHappy: Sorry, i myself am not really sure what exactly i'm looking to make. Think of this as a brainstorming thread, just throw ideas out there. And if there were ever an efficient way to cook 10 lbs of bacon, i would know of it by now and probably have died years ago from obesity.

#19 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

Make a spice rack.

#20 Posted by TooWalrus (13197 posts) -
@j0lter: The last thing I built was a shoulder mounted mortar launcher designed to look like an RPG-7. (Big fireworks just became legal in Michigan this year, so we've been having a ton of fun with them.) It's not exactly an engineering challenge, but it's practical. I got pulled over for making an abrupt U-turn across 3 lanes of traffic, and it was sitting in my back seat, the cop was like "What's this gun back here, it looks like an RPG", I explained it to him and his only response was "oh, that's cool". He let me go, too. Good guy.
#21 Posted by TooWalrus (13197 posts) -
@j0lter: But if you need something more complicated than just a fancied-up PVP pipe- the funnest answer is always the same- Spud gun.
#22 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

an EMP....

#23 Posted by Fuzzypanther (12 posts) -

A standing desk. Good for your health, and something you could potentially use often.

#24 Posted by MrSlapHappy (182 posts) -

@j0lter: You don't have to apologize, I was mostly just being a dick. I kind of am curious about this project now however. I got my degree about two years ago and have been working as a drafter+ for the last year and 1/2 or so, which basically means that I don't get to do much engineering. You mentioned building a chair as an example, are you interested in creating furniture, that would definitely be something useful in the future.

#25 Posted by Sbaitso (534 posts) -

Design an effective smart phone case. Or a more effective corkscrew, or bottle stopper(like the ones used for champagne). Or maybe an automatic dog feeder(like the ones set on a timer), you could probably use something like ardiino

#26 Posted by Sbaitso (534 posts) -
@Sbaitso Arduino.
#27 Posted by j0lter (235 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy: I was just an example of something to get the ball rolling. I've been thinking about making an ice cream scoop that heats up to make it easier to get the ice cream maybe?