The Phoenix

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This is the final report page for the work done by team Phoenix Chavez (Gustavo Garibay & Ascanio Guarini). Our project was to design a phoenix reminiscent of Phineas the Phoenix (Swarthmore's Mascot) and 3D print the final design. The main issues we encountered were related to improperly connected design elements or printer-related issues. Overall, the final results were satisfactory, although we hope for one final print to come out.

Introduction & Final Design Changes

For this project we designed and printed a phoenix modeled after Swarthmore's mascot, Phineas the Phoenix. Our main design and production medium was Solidworks, which allowed for us to easily 3D print our design and iron out any issues with each step in the design process. Originally we aimed to design a phoenix modeled after the Cesar Chavez flag as noted in our project proposal (Project Proposal for the Phoenix), and the goal was to create something tangible that we would enjoy designing. In addition, this project allowed us to further our understanding of Solidworks, which will prove useful in further engineering courses.

Overall, the final design was very different from what we had originally planned. First of all, we decided not to use the machine shop, as we did not have the necessary expertise to build what we wanted and the time frame was slightly strained. In addition, we decided to create a more rounded design to create a more aesthetically pleasing final result. The curves created a slightly more realistic model and also required more manipulation in Solidworks.

Solidworks Design

The main Solidworks design relied on a few key elements. The main design elements used were mirroring, filleting, and extrusions. Mirroring allowed us to create multiple, symmetrical parts throughout the model.

Figure 1: Top view of the first design iteration showing mirroring of the wings
Figure 2: Frontal view of initial design

The main areas which were mirrored were the eyes, feet, wings, and beak, shown partially in Figure 1. Most edged surfaces were filleted, including the wings, beak, and feet. The textured effect in the "feathers" was achieved by filleting twice. This effect is shown in Figure 2. Almost every surface on the model was extruded somehow, with some surfaces being rotated and extruded (such as the head and torso) and some simply being extruded along a plane. Many new planes were created in order to extrude sufficiently. Another minor design element comes with the text on the torso which reads "Go Garnet!", which was achieved through first creating a text sketch, then wrapping the sketch on the torso, and finally extruding into the torso.

Although the first design appeared sufficient, there were some issues, mainly with how the elements were connected. Unfortunately, rather than create an assembly with multiple parts, we created the entire model as one 3D part. This meant that each object could not be perfectly connected with each other (the end result of this will be shown in the Printing section). These problems can be seen in Figure 3 where the feet are not connected well, and in Figure 1 where the tail appears to go to a point, not adequately connected to the torso. The wings were also not adequately supported and appeared precarious.

Figure 3: View of the feet

In order to fix this issue, we created supports for the wings, tail, and connected the feet, the results of which can be seen in the Printing section.

Printing (Results)

The first design was printed in a much smaller scale, so we would be able to see how the first attempt worked out without having to wait too long for the 3D printer. The results of the first print are shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Image of the first print
Figure 5: Frontal view of second design showing supports on wings
Figure 6: Side view of initial design showing supports on feet and tail

As you can see, the tail and feet did not adequately connect to the torso and so were were disconnected following printing. Interestingly, the wings were connected even though they appeared precarious. In order to counteract these issues, supports were added to the second design, as shown in Figures 5 and 6.

The results of the second printing were much more satisfactory, although there were some issues with the printing itself rather than the design. The second print was larger than the first, although unfortunately despite the supports the tail still fell off. Results of the final print are shown in Figures 7 and 8. As you can see, most of the design went very well, with some strange results in the feet. The "spaghetti string" effect was the result of the model being printed face down, resulting in the feet themselves being printed incorrectly. Although this was an unfortunate effect, it did not mar the final result too much.

Figure 7: Image of the final print
Figure 8: Image of the "spaghetti feet"

Discussion & Conclusions

Solidworks is very well suited to design models of various types, from simple phoenix designs to complex machinery. In the case of our project, we were able to create a fun model while learning a lot about designing in Solidworks. Some of the things that worked well were the ease with which Solidworks allowed for new planes and faces to be created. This proved vital for us because we were able to test many different orientations of any sketch and see how it would look. Overall we wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing piece and Solidworks allowed us to do so. The main things that didn't work well were some of the printer issues and the fact that we did not use the assembly feature which resulted in our first design being disjointed. For subsequent projects we will make use of the assembly feature more readily, as it would have allowed for more adequate connection of our parts and would have also allowed for some measure of testing each feature. Although not necessary for this project, measuring stresses and strains could prove instrumental for designing a bridge (which is important for E6). Overall, this was a successful project and we are proud of the work we have done.