Engineering Projects

Remember that all Projects must include: Research on the theory of the science and/or engineering, a literature review, and original science research and/or engineering design.  You can use the tool shop and our 3D printers to make your creations
In addition to the below, check out instructables website

 IDEA Explanation Do this if you like… Resources
Menlo Radio Station Design and build a radio Station for Menlo.  You can broadcast music or talk shows over the radio! Electronics, radio waves and Ham radio stuff. AARL

SF Radio Club

Drone Boats Unmanned boats that can navigate the ocean using GPS or direct control.  These boats would serve a purpose of saving lives.  Useful areas are beaches (people caught in riptides),  refugees escaping war torn regions, Cuban crossings and military rescue. A mix of mechanical design, electronics, and some arduino programming.  Make sure you enjoy tinkering, prototyping and dealing with water tightness. EMILY

Naval Research site

Induction Charger Charge your cell phone or anything else by putting it on a pad. It doesn’t even have to be touching! You build it yourself! Electronics and mechanical design. Creating a product. WikiPedia article on Induction chargers
Toy Design Create, prototype, test, redesign and build a toy. Started at MIT, this is a great way to see your product through from start to finish. Design, engineering, sketchup, tinkering, using the 3D printer… MIT Toy Design CoursePhysics of Toys Contest
Humane Animal Traps Build a trap pure mechanical or mechanical and electronic to humanely capture animals. Animals. Design engineering, tinkering, a final project that can be used, tested, improved. Here is one article:
Humane Mouse Trap
Wind and Earthquake Proof skyscraper Build a sky scraper model with a tuned mass dampener (ie. a liquid or humungous mass on wheels) on the top floor to damp out resonance frequencies Building something.  Testing.  Mechanical project.  Real world stuff. Citicorp bldg

Tuned Dampers
Design Airplane Wings Study the lift of different types of airplane wings. You design them yourself in CAD (Inventor or SolidWorks), then print them out using 3D printer and test in our wind tunnel. Design, aerodynamics, real world project. You will get data and then can optimise/improve your designs.
Smart House Design a smart house (can build or use 3D printer) that senses when people are in a room and turns lights on and off for you, responds to voice command, annihilates burglers, … Doing your own thing. Learning many different things (tools, electronics, microcontroller …). Being creative and thinking of the future. Smart Homes Videos
A Article on Smart Rooms
Car Design Design different types of cars, focusing on things like reducing the drag due to air resistance. Draw your ideas on the computer and use our 3D printer to make them. Then put them in the wind tunnel to test and optimise. Cars. Thinking creatively about mechanical designs. Working with drawing programs on the computer and the 3D printer. Testing your designs and then redesigning to optimise based on the tests in the wind tunnel.
Mag Lev Trains Build your own Magnetic levitation train and track system (see video). We have a large superconductor or can put a few skinny Bismuth ones together from CSI. Magnetism. Superconductors. High speed rail travel. Possible excuse to play with liquid nitrogen. Supratrans Mag Levitation

Mag Levitation Train 2

Peltier Cells Keep your coffee warm and your soda cold all with the same cup holder. Create electricity from heat differences. Your idea here______. Peltier cells are too much fun. To be creative. A little electronics. To learn a little thermodynamics and a little about crystals Where to BuyPeltier Cells
Project Earth Build something to help people improve their lives in places with limited or no electricity. Designing and building from scratch. Building something with a clear purpose. A willingness to improvise and take cost into account. Helping others. Project Earth
Portable Electric Stove Build a portable electric stove (induction or resistive) that runs on capacitors (like the Maxwell capateries) charged by solar cells. To do something unique and cool that has a little electronics a little green energy and a littel design, construction. This could really be useful as backpacking stove and/or 3rd world.
Car Safety Build a model car and smash it. Analyze crash data, redesign it, crash it again … Smashing things and getting academic credit for it. You’ll do some building and designing. Using sensors to take data during crash. Analyzing of crash results and redesigning.
Noise Canceling Headphones Build your own noise cancelling headphones. It’s not that hard! You can even cancel off your parents frequency range to truly have some peace and quiet. Electronics. Building and designing. Experimenting and tinkering. See Dr. Dann on how to build a simple LC resonant circuit.
Wind Tunnel Build a wind tunnel using a powerful motor and a big fan blade. Aerodynamics and some building. You can test many different types of wing designs.
Make Your Own IR Camera Hack a regular digital camera and insert an infrared filter. You can then see what’s crawling around in the dead of night. Optics, Hacking, Photography.
Trebeuchet You can build your own trebeuchet and conquer castles in your neighborhood. Start with a prototype and then optimise redesign for your final project. Conquering Castles. Think Big (Start with this kit and then design a real one You can conquer a castle!)
Toughness and Hardness Testing Build a giant swinging sledge hammer with different height settings. Calibrate it and then use for toughness and hardness testing. Smashing things. There’s a NOVA show on it, we’ll have to look for it.
Electronic Kits and Projects Carl’s Electronics kits are great for lots of needs and/or projects. Electronics and building cool shit.
Radio Build your own Radio from transistors, caps, etc. Do a search on the web, there are many. Electronics and discovery. I have a great book for you called ‘Electronics for Inventors’.
Quadcoptors Design, build and perfect a quadcoptor. Could be a drone controlled from ground or autonomous. Could be one to take videos of all around you from above. Being cool. Learning electronics, microcontrollers, and some serious tinkering. Video
Rocket Contest Rocket contest registration and rules. Mechanical things and some rocket science.