April 10, 2014
Mechanical Engineering Students Design Land Yacht
Students in the MECH 165 Mechanical Engineering Design class were recently charged with designing a land yacht.
Karl Ide-Pech, Jim Chandler, James O’Leary, Ted Durfee, and Tariq Curet, all first-year students, were among those asked by Associate Professor Gloria Ma to create the design using various materials including foam core, post board, a wooden dowel, paper clips, string, and tape.
The aforementioned team’s design involved a pulley with a filled water balloon used as a weight on one end, with the other end attached to the front axle. As the balloon falls, it pulls on the pulley, which in turn rotates the front axle. The fan starts the process by blowing over a piece of foam board attached to a wedge, which is placed under the wheel.
Once the design was in place and the yacht constructed, teams tested their models to see who could go the distance. While the average yacht traveled a distance between 30 and 40 feet, the team of Ide-Pech, Chandler, O’Leary, Durfee, and Curet achieved 140 feet. The video below demonstrates their design in action.
- Dennis Nealon