Initial Brainstorm & Design
When both sections of our team (α & Ω) met together to brainstorm, we initially had different ideas about what kinds of designs would be the most efficient at distributing the force evenly among the arm without allowing for too much displacement.Section α's design ideas were mainly centered around the distribution of multiple circular cuts through the arm to reduce the volume of the arm, while the designs from section Ω focused on hollowing out the arm to reduce volume and adding a lattice structure to support critical stress points in the arm. After running a few simulations of both individual designs, we came to the conclusion that both design types had their merits and we decided to consolidate both into a single overlapping design.
The next few images show the progression of our model leading up to our finalized design.
This is an example of one of our earliest designs. We tried to cut out as much material as possible while retaining the structural integrity of the arm, but we quickly realized we needed more material to support the remainder of the arm.
We filleted nearly all the flat faces and corners on our model in order to shave off as much material as possible.
In this design, we tried to optimize hole placement in order to reduce the most material without creating stress zones that increased the displacement of our model.
Later on in the design process, we discovered that our design benefited most by having a point or segment of the arm that stayed rigid and we eliminated some of the fillets on the supports closest to the fixture of the arm.
After many, many trial and error sessions defined by the excel spreadsheet below, we finally arrived at this design, which is a culmination of all of our design steps.