December 2, 2015

Two weeks ago the team visited the AutoDesk building in Lake Oswego, and we recieved a lot of help in designing and materials research. AutoDesk is an international corporation that produces 3D modeling and simulation software. We discussed a lot about simplifying our design and utilizing local/naturally occuring materials. We also looked at different shapes for our platform, and right now we're thinking of using a hexagon as our platform frame shape, although all designs are subject to change. As sustainability lead, I worked with one of the AutoDesk engineers to run stress simulations on our original design, which proved very helpful. We observed a general safety rating within the given parameters, but an unusually low modal strength, which the engineer attributted to faulty modeling. Now we're working on an updated design, which we will prototype in a few different materials, as well as simulate in CAD. Yesterday we worked with a local retired engineer, who gave us a lot of insight into materials and shapes we hadn't even considered yet, including a trampoline-like mesh for the portion of the structure on which refugees will rest. So far throughout this process we've learned that simpler is better, and we've got to accomodate for anything that can go wrong.