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MAE 1351 Introduction to Engineering Design
Dr. Raul Fernandez – Summer 2023

Final Design Project

UT Arlington Honor Code

By submitting this homework, I represent that I understand and am in full compliance with the
academic integrity policy as explained in the course syllabus. This declaration applies to all team

This is a team project; all team members receive the same grade, and fair contribution and collaboration
from all members is expected. Teams are not allowed, however, to work in collusion with other teams or
copy their solutions.

This assignment permits the use and adaptation of information and reference designs available online,
but you must properly credit your references, and there must be a non-trivial contribution by the team
towards the solution offered.

Further explanation regarding Honor Code statement: here’s what’s NOT OK—

1. Copying: this means essential content in your submission has been taken from someone else in this
course, whether in this semester or in prior ones.

2. Collusion: this arises when two or more teams collaborate towards a single design, and then turn in
essentially the same solution—with or without “whitewashing” (isolated changes to give the appearance
of original work).

3. Failing to credit your sources: this means you are representing work as your own that isn’t—whether
explicitly or by failing to acknowledge its provenance. For example, if you downloaded a gear design “X,”
or if your solution is largely based on “Y,” you must state what X and Y are, where they come from, and
what non-trivial modifications you have contributed.

4. Outsourcing fabrication: this means you had third parties do substantial amounts of fabrication work
(machining, assembly, etc.—beyond reasonable equipment guidance and support) for components that
you then turn in and represent as having built yourselves.



MAE 1351 Summer 2023

1. Design objective

You will design, document and build a mechanism to reposition a coke can within the confines of an
800×300 mm area demarcated by tape on a desktop surface. The mechanism must be grounded on a
stationary base. Can and mechanism base must be initially placed as indicated in the accompanying
diagram; mechanism parts may subsequently project outside said area. The can initially rests in a normal
upright pose, and must come to a complete stop in the same pose within a maximum of 10 seconds. The
mechanism may be driven by means of electric motors (rotational or linear), or manually by hand-
turning a single crank (unlimited turns, but without reversing direction). Mechanisms will earn points
and a potential grade bonus according to the can final distance away from the initial position.

Can initially centered
on 300 mm side,

touching tape

Final can position
(shown in maximum
achievable CL-CL
distance of 740 mm)

All mechanism parts
must initially clear a
150 mm wide zone

Mechanism parts initially within taped
area; base must remain stationary

Possible paths; can must
always remain within area

2. Design constraints

• “Coke can” refers to any unopened (full), standard aluminum (66 mm dia) 12-oz soft drink.
• No visible markings may be left on the can, and adhesive contact with the can surface is disallowed.
• COTS allowed: any electric/electronic items such as motors, servos, linear actuators, remote

controls, R/C gear and microprocessors (Arduino preferred and encouraged), as well as any
standard, general-purpose mechanical component (not part of a kit). Your design and prototype
must feature at least one such standard mechanical COTS part—e.g., gear, bearing, coupling,
fastener, or similar.

• COTS disallowed: autonomous vehicles, structural components from robotics/construction kits (the
term “kit” here refers to custom-designed mechanical components intended to interface primarily
among themselves). Single parts that mate directly with a motor output shaft may be excepted;
check with Dr. F.

• Materials allowed: metal, plastic and carbon fiber stock shapes; wood is only allowed if laser-cut.
• Materials disallowed: cardboard, foam, cork, rubber, and other non-conventional engineering

materials. Small quantities / non-essential functions may be allowed; check with Dr. F.
• Hydraulics, pneumatics, pressure vessels, and any kind of chemical reaction or stored-energy

devices (beyond COTS batteries) may be considered, but require prior disclosure and approval.

Beyond the above, as well as common-sense safety and plagiarism matters, there are no design
restrictions on the height, volume, weight or components your design may use. The stationary base on
which your mechanism must rest may be held in place during operation by pushing down on it with a
finger (no need to make it heavy or provide ballast). The following section on prototype fabrication
outlines additional manufacturing constraints.

3. Prototype fabrication

3.1. Digital design+fabrication: components must be cut from common metal/plastic/composite stock,
or otherwise 3D-printed, laser cut, or machined using CNC techniques driven from a SolidWorks digital
model. Fully “artisanal” work carried out with hand tools, however expertly produced, does not satisfy
this requirement. Some exceptions may be made for weldments—check with Dr. F.

3.2. Limited COTS: generic, general-purpose COTS components such as couplings, spacers, etc. are
allowed, whereas custom, kit-oriented fittings to quickly erect entire structures (e.g., carbon fiber tubing
connectors) are not. For such purposes, you are free to reverse engineer and 3D print your own
connecting elements. Similarly, while the use of PVC extrusions is permitted, PVC structures erected
with elbows, reducers, tees and similar components is not.

3.3. Proper fastening / real parts: use of such items as straws, toothpicks, paper clips, rubber bands,
rope, string, wire, glue, velcro, duct tape, wood screws, nails, staples, and similar temporary/non-
standard ways of “holding things together somehow” is disallowed. Similarly, parts must be designed for
the intended purpose, based on allowed materials and COTS. Household items or other components
clearly not being used for their original design function, or otherwise repurposed as pseudo-parts, are

3.4. Suggested sources for stock materials and COTS include Home Depot, Lowes, Michael’s (to a lesser
extent—more of a crafts supply store), Amazon, McMaster-Carr, Grainger, and many DIY robotics
internet sites. Electronics sources include Amazon, Mouser, Allied Electronics, Newark, SparkFun and
Adafruit. You may of course work at home with tools you already have available; otherwise, consider
using the FabLab at the UTA library, other College of Engineering innovation labs, the Dallas Makerspace
or equivalent sites around the Metroplex—or even your place of employment if authorized. Recall that
the fabrication activity must be substantially your own (ref. honor code statement). Also, please
remember that fabrication always takes longer than one thinks—and UTA labs get crowded as the
semester ends. You are earnestly advised to not procrastinate; complaints about long lines will be
evidence of poor planning.

While the above cover the majority of the circumstances you are likely to run into, there may be
justified exceptions (in addition to the ones already noted, for example, string and similar materials are
acceptable in place of cables if using pulleys or drawing a linear shuttle). If in doubt, see Dr. F during
office hours; you may find that limited use of some items might be permitted for some marginal or non-
essential feature. However, do expect heavy penalties if you are taking shortcuts in place of proper and
accepted components, fastening and fabrication techniques as per above.

4. Report deliverables

You must submit through Canvas an engineering data package documenting your product per the items
below. This consists of a single-document PDF with text, images and a few links; a template is included
at the end of this document. Your submissions are expected to be professional in appearance and
content. If you don’t comply with the submission and formatting requirements, you risk losing credit
for the work you may have done. Don’t get caught in this situation—verify your upload is complete
and correct.

The major sections and some supporting information are found below; see submission template for
further details:

• Title page
• Overview
• Engineering analysis / simulation
• Engineering working drawings

5. General Disclaimers

5.1. The above rules may be modified if necessary for clarification or if unforeseen circumstances arise.
In such an event, students will be promptly notified through Canvas.

5.2. Safety, reasonableness and intended use: Dr. F reserves the right to reject designs whose content
can be perceived as untoward or offensive. Therefore, I both commit to answer any questions and
reserve the right to disqualify submissions that, as professor of this course, feel do not serve its
educational objectives.

5.3. If in doubt about any of the rules or what is or isn’t permissible, don’t guess: simply bring the matter
to the TA’s or Dr. F’s attention—he loves to talk about this stuff—but please! come prepared with
pictures, sketches, photographs, concepts, web pages, a partial prototype, some initial mock-up made
out of cardboard, whatever… specific and visual so that we can have an effective conversation.

6. Team structure & scoring

6.1. Students may work alone or in teams of two, three or four individuals. All team members are
expected to contribute fairly in a spirit of cooperation and professionalism, and all students in the team
receive the same grade. Team members can be from different sections of the course. The team will
choose a single individual responsible for submitting the proposal and final report in Canvas on behalf of
all members (even across multiple sections); we will credit every team member identified in the
submission. NOTE: it has happened in the past that a designated team member fails to submit the
assignment on time—affecting all team members as it would in real life. Take precautions so that this
does not occur.

6.2. All project submissions must include a physical prototype and participate in a competition event at
the end of the semester. Some prototypes may not function as expected, and we can generally be quite
understanding about that provided there’s clear evidence of effort; on the other hand, people failing to
enter a prototype that shows due diligence will receive a sizeable point penalty from the grade
otherwise obtained in the report.

6.3. Video bonus. You may obtain up to 5 additional bonus points if you produce and present a good-
quality video of your work, provided that your prototype meets all basic requirements and represents a
good-faith effort. See submission template for details.

6.4. Performance bonus. The four main report sections amount to 90 points out of a nominal 100. The
remaining 10 points are based on performance, earned at a rate of 1 point for every 25 mm of distance.
Past 250 mm, you earn bonus points (If you achieve the maximum theoretical 740 mm displacement,
you’d earn 30 performance points, meaning 20 bonus points).

7. Advice and common questions

7.1. I found a design for a robotic arm online. Can I use that? There are a number of designs and
SolidWorks models of mechanical and robotic arms available online. We encourage you to check those
out as part of your research and brainstorming process. You are allowed to use existing designs for
reference or inspiration, provided that (a) you fully credit the source, and (b) you identify and elaborate
on the non-trivial modifications you made—at least enough to justify two entirely new parts (the ones
you document per Section 4.5). What is considered trivial? Anything that a student with average 1351
knowledge could have modeled in SolidWorks in less than 30 minutes. To reiterate, any uncredited use
of existing designs will receive point penalties and may constitute an honor code violation, which is a
serious academic offense.

7.2. What if my design fails to move the can exactly as required? We know not every design is
successful. We will assess the degree of diligence shown in your design; we expect an honest effort, and

if so demonstrated, we will be as generous as possible with any motion of the can. Expect, on the other
hand, penalties for patent displays of negligence; it’s not hard to tell whether someone just tried to wing
it vs. make a real effort.

7.3. What if some part breaks and I need to do a quick field repair with tape or similar? We know
problems occur, and the answer is that we will evaluate the use of non-standard / temporary fastening
techniques in their intended light. Something that works out of the box shows a top level of diligence;
this is different from something that broke and needed a field repair, which may be a matter of
insufficient testing or perhaps just bad luck; this is different from someone simply not putting in the
effort to use proper fasteners or holding features, which shows negligence. Expect point deductions

7.4. On overdesign. For people doing this for the first time, know that the tendency is to overdesign.
You usually need less material than you think. Lighter prints are not only less wasteful and more
efficient, but faster to print—which is a real benefit for testing/design decisions beforehand. Look for
material that is not contributing structurally to your design and take it out.

7.5. On proper planning. Remember the design mantra: nothing works the first time. Your worst course
of action will be to try your design out for the first time during the competition; this is a formula for
failure. Plan on going through at least two design versions (anyone that’s been truly successful in these
competitions has gone through several more iterations to work out all of the major bugs). And yes, this
means procrastination is your enemy; the labs are going to be busy towards the end of the semester and
saying that you “did not have time” or “the lines were too long” does not excuse ineffective designs.

7.6. Single-part prints vs. assemblies: you may be tempted to create a single part and load it up with all
the features you think you need. Even if in some cases the 3D printer may provide this choice, avoid it; it
results in complex and unrealistic parts (particularly if you had to produce them with virtually any other
manufacturing process). Think in terms of assemblies; with 3D printing, you can easily add features
(such as hole/pin combinations) to bring components together and make incremental modifications
more easily. You should also use proper fastening techniques—namely, avoid threading directly into
plastic; use bolt-nut combinations, or threaded inserts (internet search what this means and what
options you have available). Designing your own fastening/connecting components also helps with your
choice of drawings/simulation included in the engineering data package. Also… some parts are better
suited as COTS materials or components rather than being 3D printed (for example, a metal rod acting
as an axle).

7.7 Lofts and complex features… must we include every single part and detail out every single feature
in our drawing package? Look—despite of the preferable minimalistic approach stated in section 2, we
are not out to penalize high performers or catch people on technicalities; we want to reward good,
honest effort relevant to the course teachings. If you’ve created a multitude of complex, sophisticated
geometries, simply include a few, well-chosen representative parts, and dimension them well to
demonstrate diligence. Complex organic features may be left undimensioned, but do not simply punt on
all dimensioning effort on the account of having spent lots of time playing around with lofts (something
that may resemble more artwork, or industrial design, than engineering). Bottom line: if you are
reasonable, we will be too—and if in doubt about what’s appropriate, simply ask Dr. F during office


Your submission should only include the pages following this one.

Be sure to save it as a PDF and upload it to the corresponding Canvas assignment.

Note the color coding below:

Black: do not change
Red: directions (read and delete)
Blue: substitute with your info

MAE 1351 Introduction to Engineering Design
Dr. Raul Fernandez – Summer 2023

Final Design Project – Can Mover

Team number: 58 – The CanMovator enter your assigned team number and your own device nickname

Team roster/section: enter below ID and First+Last name as in MyMav, no abbreviations or nicknames

1000123456 John Zaleta 001

1000123457 Jane Viscount 001

1000123458 Adolfo Rolodex 001

1000123459 Mague Dristee 002

By submitting this assignment, I (we) represent being in full compliance with the academic integrity
policy as explained in the course syllabus and assignment requirements.


1. OVERVIEW (10 points) new page

1.1 Introduction

brief introductory paragraph describing the overall design and its main features

1.2. Credits / reference designs

credit to any reference designs you may have used, and how you have made them uniquely your own
through non-trivial modifications

1.3. Renderings

two or more high-quality CAD rendering(s) of the assembly, using PhotoView 360 or similar

1.4. Prototype pictures

three minimum, in this order: (a) overall prototype, (b) one part being fabricated, (c) device in operation

1.5. COTS component

datasheet / supplier for one COTS component you have utilized; insert images as appropriate

2. SIMULATION (40 points) new page

2.1. Brief description

at least one brief paragraph describing a simulation and how it informed a design decision; this would
involve the use of SolidWorks Motion, or SolidWorks Simulation (e.g., structural, thermal)

2.2. Screenshots

at least two screen captures of the above; examples: (a) for SolidWorks Motion, two frames showing
how the device moves, (b) for SolidWorks Simulation, displacement and FOS plots. Screen captures must
be of the entire, maximized SolidWorks window, with the product geometry well centered in the screen
and minimal dead space around it.

3. ENGINEERING WORKING DRAWINGS (40 points) new page

3.1. Assembly drawing

at least one assembly drawing and BOM of your product; ref. Figures 18.20-22 in the textbook

3.2. Detail part drawing package #1

2D drawing or MBD set for one of the fabricated parts in your device, which must have been uniquely
designed and have non-trivial complexity.


• “packet” to be interpreted as one or more screen captures depicting the sheet(s) associated with
a 2D part drawing, or the view(s) associated with an MBD representation of said part

• adherence to Y14.5 dimensioning standards; high complexity features (e.g., intersecting fillets
and other organic or intricate shapes) may be left undimensioned

• use of sectional / auxiliary / detailed views where appropriate
• tolerancing: at least two GD&T callouts (control frames) per part; judicious use of decimal places

in directly tolerance dimensions, or those defaulting to block tolerancing
• You must upload your original SolidWorks part and assembly files as a single ZIP file using the

“pack-and-go” feature.

Link for single ZIP file of complete assembly using “pack-and-go”: detail_part_1

3.3. Detail part drawing package #2

same as above for second part

Link for single ZIP file of complete assembly using “pack-and-go”: detail_part_2

4. EXTRA CREDIT VIDEO (5 points) new page, optional

For extra credit, you may produce three short videos of the fabrication and final configuration your
product as follows:

1. fabrication: at least one of the main parts, actually used in the prototype, as it is being fabricated
(physically built in a computer-controlled machine)

2. fly-over: view of your completed product in its final, resting pose, panning/zooming onto features of

3. operation: mechanism acting from complete rest to acquiring the can, moving it to its final location,
and the can coming to a full stop within 10 seconds

The above scenes must be merged into a single, final video no longer than about a minute.

Video can but need not be studio quality (no introduction, narration, subtitles, special effects,
soundtrack, etc.), but it should be of enough quality to appreciate and judge your work.

Footage that is shaky, out-of-focus, too light or too dark, off-center, idle, repetitive, needlessly long,
irrelevant… in other words, difficult to watch and/or wasting the viewer’s time, will not receive credit.

You must upload your final video to Canvas Studio, where you can also edit it. Helpful tutorials:
uploading media to Studio:; and
submitting Studio media:

Link for Studio video: studio video

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