Our mechanical engineering students are tasked with designing and making their own vending machine, here’s how they got on.
First year Mechanical Engineering students on the Design & Manufacture One Unit undertake a Design and Make Project known as DMP. Students have eight weeks, working in teams to conceive, design and build a cup vending machine. They spend three weeks brainstorming, conceiving, evaluating and selecting system and sub-system solutions to satisfy a detailed Product Design Specification.
There’s four weeks on the embodiment, detail design and build planning, and one week on the manufacture and assembly of the prototype machine itself. There is a high degree of electrical system integration with electrical actuators and sensors which must be used within a programmable microcontroller environment.
Students work closely in their teams, managing the project themselves, with technical assistance from staff and demonstration of actuators and sensors from technicians. Students present their final design portfolios and vending machine prototypes to external judges who award prizes for the winning group and runner-up. The week of the final build is always an intense culmination of weeks of hard work – this video give you a flavour of it!