As the final project of ES51, our team of three developed a mechanized tray that could move on the floor and lift up and down.
The design originated as an idea to increase desk space for students while encouraging healthy snacking. With a survey, we identified that students found it inconvenient to break their focus to get snacks, even if it was walking to their in-room refrigerators. Since we couldn’t get the student to move to the snacks, we decided to move the snacks to the students’ location, whether it was next to their desk, or their bed.
To adapt to differing desk, chair, and student heights, we targeted a design that could fit most desk and bed heights, large enough to carry a large plate, and still nimble enough to navigate in a cramped dormitory.
Based on these design parameters, we implemented a scissor-fold and rack and pinion system to drive the tray up and down. We went through several design iterations to achieve a design that could not topple and weigh too much, while leveraging sufficient mechanical advantage to carry half a kilogram of food.
We also designed a cam-shaft mechanism to shake a heat-pack for heated tray functionality, and a snack preference feedback system. These optional features left behind due to a lack of motors or electronics (the course was focused on mechanical systems). to power them.
We designed 3-D printed, laser-cut, and machined components. While my team members in the U.S. fabricated and assembled the components, I (in Turkey) created the complete assembly in SolidWorks, consisting of over 100 parts. More than 20 of these components were designed and fabricated by our team.
Project documentation can be found below.