The EIHS InvenTeam's Progress, January Edition

Energy Institute High School InvenTeam
The EIHS InvenTeam's Progress, January Edition

Hello there!
As we mentioned in our last post, our project revolves around a type of additive manufacturing called fused deposition modeling 3D printing. If you’re unfamiliar with 3D printing, never fear, we’ve created a slide set with a bunch of relevant information about the manufacturing technique that can be found here. Now, on to the blog!

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Shorter post this time, sadly. We know these are quite thrilling to read, and we do apologize for our lacking loquaciousness and verbosity in this one.

Last month, we had a total of 3 full team meetings (one meeting weekly, except for the weeks of winter break). Below is a description of what each subteam accomplished during the month of December.
For further info about each subteam’s responsibilities, check out our first blog!

The Administration Team (Ben Barnes, Oscar Davenport, Diya Patel)

This month, the admin team continued doing our best to schedule our project to ensure that we finish and have time to troubleshoot well before Eurekafest in June. Before each team meeting, the team creates a google slide set set that attempts to consolidate all successes over the past week and assign tasks to team members for the upcoming week. Our unofficial digital notebook, if you will. It’s working decently well thus far.

[Google drive snapshot of the weekly debrief presentations for our team]

The Financial Team (Noah Hight, Diya Patel)

The financial team finally ordered our first items from the team budget! Up until this point, we’d been (rather frantically) trying to finalize all the various components associated with our product, so we hadn’t done too much in terms of purchases. With our item request form, team members began to submit parts and materials that they needed for prototyping, and they were subsequently ordered by Noah.

The Communication Team (Oscar Davenport, Diya Patel)

This month, the communication team sent emails to several local news organizations and 3D printing-centered businesses in an attempt to publicize our project. We’re still awaiting responses, but we’re hopeful that they’ll get back to us after the holidays have officially ended.

The Sustainability + Technical Teams (Orian Caldwell, Risto Djishev, Bella Johnston, Allie Kirchen, Ian McDaniel, Kendall Tauser)

As you might have suspected, the S&T team created more CAD models for various aspects of our project. Kendall continued his design for a 2-stage shredding system that could be used to shred waste PLA plastic down to a manageable size for pellet extrusion. We intend to use quarter- and eighth-inch aluminum (but perhaps smaller) teeth widths for shredding, so as to mince the PLA to an acceptable size for pellet extrusion. Though the model shown in the image below has an open top, we’ll incorporate as many safety features as necessary to ensure that our product won’t be a hazard to anyone during its operation.

[Stage 1 of shredder; concept CAD]

Orian continued his work on our extrusion system by creating an updated CAD model of our pellet extruder; it’s now our official prototype. In the image below, the pellet extruder models and some of the specifics can be seen on the left, while the design as it would be integrated into an Ender 3 printer can be seen on the right. Only one part of the model will be 3D printed (the greyish-white component), and Orian will run a test print on his own printer to confirm that there are no print issues caused by odd overhangs in the model. The rest of the parts in the model (stand-offs, screws, nozzle, etc) will be ordered.

[Official pellet extruder CAD prototype (Ender 3 printer model source: https://grabcad.com/library/creality-ender-3-pro-1)]

The Research Team (Ben Barnes, Bella Johnston, Allie Kirchen, Diya Patel)

Last month, the research team focused on updating our team notebook. Since the majority of our work is online, for now, we opted to simply record what was discussed at each of our meetings. The research team also wrote and edited our second blog post, which you’re reading right now. Hope you enjoyed!

[Page 2 and 3 of our notebook]

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Effectively and accurately documenting our engineering process takes a lot of time, and we’re so grateful for the support we’ve received so far from people like you.

Feel free to follow our Instagram page @eihs.inventeam, or shoot us an email at eihs.ivt@gmail.com if you have questions or are a business/company who’d like to sponsor our project!

Happy new year!

-allie, oscar, bella, orian, kendall, ian, noah, cole, diya, risto, ben