ME 171B Design of Elements Project 1: Description of Mechanisms
Mechanical engineering relies on the engineer’s ability to determine the needs of a user or client and translate those to
engineering requirements so that a device or mechanism can be successful. Your intuition of this process has been part
of your life, with each interaction you have had with a physical system, natural or engineered. The overall goal of this
assignment is to allow you to exercise your written ability to describe a mechanism physically, mechanically and as a
Report on one of your favorite machines or mechanisms. It could be part of a bicycle, ski, long‐board, drone,
automobile, stereo turntable, kitchen appliance, shop tool, … anything that is mechanical and has caught your interest.
It might be good if you could disassemble it as you investigate it.
Step 1: Formulate a need statement for the mechanism. Identify the goals of the mechanism. What is it supposed to do,
where, for how long and who is going to use it?
Step 2: Describe the mechanism. What are the individual elements of the mechanism? What is it made of? How is it
assembled? Use words, images, numbers…
Step 3: Describe how it does what it is supposed to do. What are the motions and loads on the overall device and
individual components? Comment on where stresses and deformations might be the highest within the
Step 4: Describe what is innovative about the mechanism. Cite what you think are interesting or clever elements of the
design including shapes, linkages, etc. What could be done differently or better? Is it a safe design? How could you
make it better? What other things are important about its design beyond just the functional aspects?
Friday February 12 – Due in class.
Evaluation criteria: Equal weight will be given to the categories of technical competence and sophistication, and style
and clarity of write up.
References: Keep in mind, proper citation of books, journals, websites, etc… avoid possible plagiarism. See: Why
Citations Matter: http://library.uvm.edu/guides/citation/why.php
|Academic Level||College (1-2 years: Freshmen, Sophomore)|
|Number of Pages||2 Page(s)/550 words|