April 30, 2017

Hey Everyone!
The Poolesville High School InvenTeam has been working full time to get our prototype working for Eurekafest which is less than two months away! We are excited to tell you that lots of progress has been made and we have begun collaborating with people with blindness.

As we finish up our prototype, we have ordered all our 3D printed parts from Shapeways to get them professionally printed for the best quality possible. Shapeways uses a 3D printing technique called powder bed printing that leaves a unique texture on the surface. However, this texture is hindering the movement of the bills, so we plan to coat all the parts in varnish to smoothen them out. 

 

Motorized 3D printed part intake that neatens the bills

 

Now that we have a prototype, we have been working to make it more sustainable. We have been using our Solidworks Sustainability software to slim down our prototype components and reduce material use. For example, trimming down one of the walls resulted in the cost, water usage, carbon footprint, and air acidification being cut by half for that particular component. In addition, we have been researching ideal materials to make the final product out of (i.e. ABS/acrylic) as well as manufacturing procedures and locations.

We have also been working out how to make our device’s footprint smaller so it doesn’t take up as much space in a bag. Currently, we have had success in creating a foldable sorting mechanism, similar to a wallet. We also plan to make the identification portion foldable, further reducing the footprint. 

Size comparison to wallet and folding wallet component

Mouth of the sorter

 

Additionally, we have contacted the Wilmer Eye Institute at John Hopkins University so we can work with volunteers, physicians, and patients with blindness to get valuable feedback from them about the usability of our device. This will help us identify which parts of our sorter we need to change so it's easier to use from a person with blindness’ point of view.

It's full steam ahead to Eurekafest! Remember to follow us on Twitter, and check out our website!

-The Poolesville High School InvenTeam