Recently, the Industrial Maintenance Program finished building their bridges out of cardboard and hot glue and tested their weight capacity up against cinder blocks and bricks. Now, the first year students are working on building scissor lifts, which builds upon the skills learned from the bridge building. The scissor lifts adds a moving component to the structure, using bamboo skewers as the pivot points, syringes as actuators, and aquarium tubing as the pneumatic hoses.
“Students see it as a simple task at first, but then they encounter challenges trying to figure out how to make the articulation mechanisms work,” says instructor Mr. Scott Wallen. “This prepares them for the next project, Cardboard Robotic Arms.”
Students’ scissor lifts are modeled from actual scissor lifts used in Industrial Maintenance and Construction, where they allow workers to access overhead areas where many electrical conduits, air ducts, lights, sprinkler systems, conveyors, and more. Other similar lifting devices use a small scissor lift to assist mechanics.
Students have to draw and read blueprints, use hand tools, and work together to produce a working model. Mr. Wallen hopes to use some of the dimensioned blueprints to create a Computer Numerical Control program, and begin a type of mass production of the kits using our CNC Laser Cutter. Once prototypes are working, students can then potentially have the welding class use their new CNC Plasma Table, to cut the parts out of steel.
“One of the purposes of these projects is to help students understand the design of equipment and how things work together. If students understand how something works, it is easier for them to troubleshoot and work on the equipment, once they enter the workforce,” adds Mr. Wallen.