As we end this stressful and chaotic fall semester, we look back to reflect on what skills we have gained in engineering. The most important one would be being able to navigate through the complex Autodesk Inventor program, gifted to MarinSEL by Autodesk. This complicated yet sophisticated program allows people to create 3D models that help with design, visuals, and stimulations before the actual project is built.
We are using Inventor to create a 3D model of a wind turbine to be printed by Autodesk’s 3D printer. In order to complete this project accurately, we are partnering with the engineers at Energy Recovery. The original plan was for the engineers to come once a week in November and December, so would have a completed 3D model of a wind turbine to be printed this week. However, with our busy MSEL schedule and the engineers busy schedule, it has been difficult to find a time where the engineers can come and assist us with creating the wind turbine on Inventor. Therefore, we were unable to create an official completed digital 3D model to be printed. But since we are MSELers, we never give up.
Last week, Ms. Oropallo created an assignment. Each student were to make the blades of the turbine following the instructions listed on her handout. However, Ms. Oropallo was attending a workshop for part of the week and was unable to help us with the blade design. Unable to receive help from Ms. Oropallo, many of us were overwhelmed with the assignment and the complicated software. But we did not give up; we persevered through with the help from our peers. A good handful of us were able to help our struggling peers to have the assignment completed for when Ms. Oropallo returns and ready to present to the engineers on Tuesday, the 17th.
On Tuesday, December 17th, our MSEL Engineering final period, we were ready to present to the engineers, collaborate an official wind turbine design with them, and begin creating the official design on Inventor; but sadly, Ms. Oropallo had to break the news to us that the engineers were unable to attend. Thus, Ms.Oropallo constructed a new assignment for us in a flash. She gave us an instruction sheet listing the steps to successfully create and assemble a rotor for our wind turbines on Inventor. The rotor of the wind turbine is connected to the blades. This movable part within the motor spins due to the wind turning the blades, which powers the generator that generates electricity. After we completed the rotor, we were able to install the blades into the rotor, all within Inventor.
We are hoping to be able to meet with the engineers next semester to collaborate an official wind turbine design, assemble it on Inventor, and have a completed printed 3D model to present. Although we faced many obstacles when trying to learn to navigate through Inventor and meeting with the engineers, we were able to persevere through. Not only did we gain perseverance, but acquired better knowledge of the meaning of patience. Inventor is extremely tedious at first, but once we mastered the basics, we were able to navigate through the software more effectively.