Friday, March 30, 2012

moving forward

Today the 3D printing group continued with our plastic holding device. Last class we were able to cut out two circles to attach to a lazy suzanne, but we then encountered the problem of how to keep the spools of plastic contained in the spool form. We decided to put a peg in the middle to keep the circular shape. This involved drilling a hole through the middle and using the scroll saw to cut out a circle with a diameter of 3.5 inches. We were successful in our attempts and hope to have the plastic holding device mounted and working in the very near future. Pictured above is Kelley cutting out the circle on the scroll saw.

Self-Contained Submersion Cooling now has data!!

We now have solid data to look at and somethings that to base our future decisions on. On the X axis is our different prototypes. Aaron is a Aaron's personal water block he has purchased and the standard we can base or designs on. WP stands for wheatpenny which is our original complex design that we had sent out to be 3d printed. Filed WP is our complex design after we filed down the bottom to create less of an eddie over top of the processor. Simple is our simple design that we have milled out of aluminum on our CNC mill. Load average and maximum temperature are the values that really matter. As you can see our simple design reaches the same maximum temperature(58 degrees) and actually runs 1 degree cooler (idling at 53.58 degrees) then the current comercial solution. This is very good news considering that the commercial solution is made out of solid copper, which is quite expensive, while our aluminum block is very inexpensive. Overall we are very pleased with the results so far.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Modifications for Computer Cooling

As part of our continuing efforts to reduce the performance of the 3D-printed base, today we added a small aluminum wedge to the inside of the base. Hopefully this downward-angled wedge will direct water onto the processor and mitigate the problem caused by the space between the area where water flows and the processor itself. We will run the first set of tests for this modified part tomorrow.

Plastic Container Design Modification

The original inspiration for the design of our plastic container was a bobbin used on a sewing machine, which is pictured to the right. As we moved forward with this design, we realized that this design would not be effective in containing the plastic. Now we are moving towards designing a "cage" to enclose the plastic as it sits on the lazy susan we cut and constructed last class.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Self Contained Cooling

Today we tested our simple part while overclocking the processor. Several members of the group also began analysis of our test results in Excel as well, aggregating temperature and time data and graphing. This week we plan to make some modifications to our simple part in order to increase its effectiveness.

Spool Prototype Progress

Today we worked on creating a prototype spool that will essentially hover and rotate over the Makerbot. The spool will feed plastic to the extruder from above the 3D Printer. The circular metal piece shown in the picture on the left acts as a lazy susan that is made to bear weight. So as pressure is added, it becomes easier to rotate. This factor played a huge role in the type of wood we needed to use for the prototype. We were able to find a heavy enough piece in a nearby Woodshop class to work with. As of now, we have cut out two round discs from the wood that will be used to sandwich the lazy susan and ultimately create a rotating base for the plastic to go on. That is all we have on the prototype for now but we are moving forward!

Today the Fire Fighter group continued to work on their coding for the website and
application. Liam and Casey are working on making a calender for the group to get upcoming objectives organised and ready for completion. On the website Side Jeff and Shane are trying to impliment links into the website that directs people the home screen,blog,and the member's bio pages. Meanwhile Brad and Kierian are working on the Presentation for MIT, The Group elected Brad to present for the FFA group on April 6th.
-Kierian Heagle

Cooling Group Update

Testing continued with the first test of the simple computer cooling system. The simple cooling system is a cheaper and simpler water block that is easier to manufacture. It is even quite simple compared to competing devices. The test results of the simple part exceeded expectations, keeping the temperature of the CPU comparable to that of the test results using competing devices under the same processor load. This means the more cost effective prototype of out two designs works better than our more expensive design, making the simpler design a clear choice for actual manufacturing and sales.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3D Printer problems

We are still having trouble with our printers software recognizing the computer in school. So, Sam took it home to see if it still works on his home computer. We've looked at different forums where people have addressed the same problems we are having; so hopefully we'll have the printer up ad running in school soon!

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Testing For Conductive Cooling

Today we did a non-overclocked test on the filed down complex part. It performed better than it had previously before filing but it's still lacking compared to the store bought water block. We also milled a bump to put inside the complex design to hopefully optimize it further. Over the weekend the mounting system for the simple part was finished and the part itself had a gasket added today. The plan to move ahead from now is to remove the complex part for modification, while doing testing on the simple part, then test the complex part while doing modifications on the simple part. This method will allow us to always be testing a part while making design optimizations and will hopefully allow us to avoid a testing bottleneck where we have nothing to do other than watch prime95 run.

Posted by Josh Nixon

Plastic Carraige Progress

Our group has recently decided to design a carraige to hold the plastic used for the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic. Today, three group members began sketching possible solutions using Autodesk Inventor. Most designs included four wooden arms connected to a round lazy susan that would attach to the top of the printer. Ideally, the plastic spool would rest on the lazy susan and the extruder motor on the printer would pull down any amount of plastic needed. In theory this should make the printing process more efficient and less cluttered.

Website on it's Way

Today the CSA group did good work on the website.
We are getting close to our website looking like a professional and soon it will be fully operational.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Maple Avenue Engineering Competition

This evening was the second annual Maple Avenue Engineering Competition, a wonderful event to show the accomplishments and creativity of young students. The task this year was to create a device that could putt a golf ball into a hole. While this task may sound simple, each team had to incorporate at least three simple machines, be creative, as well as perform and work well as a group. Paige, Will and I were there to help out the teams as mentors if they needed an extra hand. Every group had a fantastic and unique approach to the problem and were so driven they needed very little help from us or any of the other adults. I was amazed with the level of work these students were able to turn out in such a short time period of two hours. Groups used motors, inclined planes, screws, wedges, pulleys, wheel and axles, and gears to create their project. They used techniques that I couldn't have even dreamed of when I was in middle school. I was very proud to say that I got to witness the making of these devices and I greatly applaud all the technology teachers at Maple for their hard work. Even though tonight was a competition, the real winners are all the students who attacked this challenge with enthusiasm and made their ideas a reality. Keep working hard, be creative, and think big.

Above are pictures of Team 1 working hard on their project, as well as Paige and Will ready to give a helping hand.

Friday, March 23, 2012

SCC milling update

The Self Contained cooling group has been doing a lot of work on the mill this past week. We started by finishing up our simple design part. This was exciting, however the simple design block was as good as a paperweight until we created its own mount. The mount design had to be slightly modified from our previous one because the tubes go straight into the top of the block rather then from the sides. That being said it was a quick fix and we managed to mill the part before the week had ended.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Promising Results for Computer Cooling

Today the computer cooling group tested an updated version of the 3D-printed part. Because the 3D printing service we used required a minimum part thickness of 3mm, there was a sharp drop in the part right over the processor where liquid would shoot over the processor and not make as much contact as we would like. After doing initial tests, we ground that ridge down to 1mm and CPU temperatures dropped by 5-7 degrees Celsius in our next round of tests. This sharp increase in performance is very encouraging, and future modifications will include altering the geometry of the chamber over the processor in order to increase contact even further.

Makerbot Modification

Today in class the makerbot group moved forward with making modifications to the printer. We have decided the first thing we will add is a container to hold the plastic while printing. We have come up with a design and hope to have the model completed by next class and ready to test.

Outside of class, a few of the team members are planning on going to the middle school tomorrow evening to assist with their engineering competition and to get students interested in pursuing engineering at the high school.

Improvements Found

Today Kerian and I presented our research on what we learned about other system in place and we have to work and improve and what we are up against, but we now have confidence that there is a market for our app.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wood, Lasers, Ribbons, and Shoe Polish

We are not going to silkscreen the Head of the Fish ribbons, we are going to engrave them in the laser cutter. Mr. Gallagher and I stayed after school until 4:30 working with Inkscape trying to line up the ribbons. We cut one of the sample plaques and although it was a little bit off, it still came out great. Once we make our final 'tweaks', complete our templates, and cut out our plaques, we will really get our money's worth out of the laser cutter. It could take up to ten minutes to complete one plaque. Multiply that by 150 and it will take 1500 minutes just in cutting time. (That's not factoring in everyone else that needs to use the laser cutter or the time in between each plaque.) Not every plaque is going to be the same, so changing our print files and keeping track of every plaque will really use up time as well. After we cut our the ribbons and label on the face of the plaque we have to fill in the crevasses with shoe polish, or paint. Maximum efficiency is our goal, while still providing flawless quality.
Posted by Will Fortin

More Cooling Test Updates

Today while continuing to mill the aluminum part, we began a new type of test: we are now putting a commercial water block in our test system to compare the performance of our 3D printed base directly to that of commercial water blocks. The first tests did not look as promising as last time, with the commercial block beating ours by roughly 5-7 degrees Celsius, but after we modify the 3D printed part and run another round of tests, hopefully the results will improve.

Posted by Aaron Batker-Pritzker

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Deal Maker

The final step in proving we can handle the "Head of the Fish" plaque project is applying the 'Head of the Fish' and 'Regatta' ribbons on the face of the plaque. It will be a classic silkscreening process, but first we need to either find a template, or create one. Today after school I started working on recreating the logo in Adobe Illustrator. It is coming alone, but I will need to spend a good amount of time to make it nice. This could be the deal maker or deal breaker of this project.

Posted by Will Fortin

Cooling Group gets its First Test Results

The first results from tests done on the 3D printed base for the Self-Contained Submersion Cooling group have started to come in. We haven't started to analyze the results yet, but on a stock Intel i7 920 processor running Prime95 at full speed on all eight threads, temperatures stayed in the 60 to 65 degree Celsius range. There are still modifications we can make to improve this part, but these preliminary results look very promising! Please look forward to more updates on test results as we continue testing throughout the coming weeks.

Posted by Aaron Batker Pritzker

Monday, March 12, 2012

Change of Plans for 3D Printing

Today the 3D printer group decided to establish our direction for the next three months. We decided on doing three things. First, we are going to finish the arduino project we started. Second, we are going to come up with a couple of fixes to the maker bot, which we are each independently brain storming as homework. Third we are going to video tape and post our progress of our additions to the maker bot.

Posted by Kelley Florence

RPI Aeronautical Engineering

Along with the civil engineering demonstration, we also received a presentation on aeronautical engineering during our trip to RPI. Two professors showed us their wind tunnel and explained its inner workings. The machine blows bubbles which shows the airflow through the case. They showed us what turbulence would occur at difference angles. Also, they explained the characteristics of objects with the largest and smallest drag. What was amazing about this demonstration was that it was not a straight forward lecture. These professors understood that we aspired to be engineers and that to do that we had to think. They did not tell us the facts, they asked us which object we thought had the least drag and what our reasoning was behind our decision. The professors pushed us to come to conclusions which made us remember what we had learned in the presentation. I greatly appreciated the interest these professors took in us, and I will definitely remember them for the valuable information they have taught me.
Posted by Emma Rocco

Thursday, March 8, 2012

RPI Civil Engineering

Yesterday on our excursion to R.P.I. we received a demonstration and presentation about the civil engineering program. We were able to see a full scale centrifuge up close, as well as a one tenth scale model. The centrifuge can apply up to ten times the earth's gravitational force on a soil sample to see the stresses and effects of natural disasters such as floods, land slides and earth quakes. We also learned about the connections between R.P.I. and many other universities that share data and experimental tests about earth quakes, tsunamis, and earthquake effects on residential structures. It was great to get to see such amazing technology and learn about the research being done with it.
Posted by Emma Rocco

Interview Process - Volunteer FF App

Today, members of the Aegis Campus Security and Volunteer Firefighter App group interviewed a volunteer firefighter. The information that they learned was very helpful and valuable, and will contribute greatly toward the further development of this app. This group has been in contact with several people who claim that this is certainly a real issue, and that this application would be of great assistance!

Posted by Renee Martin

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Today our InvenTeam traveled to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to meet with professors, PhD candidates, college students and members from other InvenTeams and FIRST Robotics teams from all over New York State. We started out with a tour of R.P.I. facilities including their centrifuge which can simulate forces up to one hundred times the earths' gravitational force, and a scaled wind tunnel where we learned about airflow and the effects of surface area on an object in motion. After the tour we made our way to the state of the biotechnology building for a discussion with current R.P.I. students about their experiences at the college and co-op programs. Then Aaron, Liam, and Sam presented to the other InvenTeams and FIRST teams about our progress thus far this year. We were followed by the Berlin team who had a wonderful video describing their project and progress. Their device to help the blind and hearing impaired while being active in sports such as skiing is very impressive! Next we were taken to the auditorium to see the presentation of the Lemelson-MIT awards. Before the ceremony we were able to learn about each finalists work, as well as meet them and ask questions. This was very inspiring for an aspiring engineer to see the work that many would think impossible come to fruition. During the ceremony we engaged in telecommunications with M.I.T. as well as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the recognition of finalists and award winners.

The winner of the Lemelson-MIT award at R.P.I for 2012 was Fazel Yavari! His work included the engineering of a small sensor to detect NH3 and NO2 emissions that could be harmful. The sensor uses graphene foam which is essentially a sheet specifically arranged carbon atoms that is thin and ultra sensitive. When in the presence of NH3 the graphene foam changes resistivity alerting observers to the presence of the dangerous gas. The sensor is so sensitive that it can detect .5 parts per million of NH3 and NO2 which is far less than any existing sensor. It is also very cost effective as each 17 X 22 cm sheet of graphene foam can make 400 sensors. This sensor will help protect the environment as well as assist national security forces to detect the deadly substance quickly.
I was stunned by the work of these amazing engineers. They are the next leaders of our world, it was awe inspiring to be in their company and converse with them if just for a few minutes. Hopefully one of our InvenTeam members will be able to change the world as much as these men have, and we will get to see them receive a Lemelson-MIT award.

Posted by Emma Rocco

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Makerbot Innovation

For the past few days I have been working on an Inventor model of a larger scale 3D printer. We have been trying to conjure up an innovative idea on how to re-purpose a 2D plotter into a 3D printer. So far that idea has not taken flight, so I decided to come up with a design. It's very similar to the Makerbot's architecture. Here is what I have so far:
Posted by Will Fortin

Torrential Downpour

Drip... Drip... Drip...

That is how class began today.

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

It was then we realized that the same apparatus that caused the flood originally was leaking again. We grabbed a few garbage cans from adjacent rooms to stop the floor from getting too wet.


Water started pouring out like a fountain all of the sudden. We all rushed to save computers, electronics, the mill, etc. Hysteria is the only apt word that would describe the mood of the room. Video cameras were taping the monumental event while custodians tried there best to stop the epic leakage. Eventually we were all evacuated to the library.

Everything is fine now.

Posted by Sam Hyatt

Monday, March 5, 2012

3-D Printer in Action

Our MakerBot has finally printed a part! Check out this link to see it in action:

Post by Sam Hyatt

Technical Troubles with the Mill Technical Troubles with the Mill Technical Troubles with the Mill

While the cooling group was milling parts today, we noticed a slight wobble in the mill bit as it spun. This problem could lead to less accurate parts and broken cutting tools, but can be mitigated by milling in very shallow layers. This should not affect the quality of the milled base, but it will slow down progress.

Post by Aaron Batker-Pritzker

Saturday, March 3, 2012

InvenTeam Alumni

Former student, Isaac Banner stopped by to check in with the InvenTeams progress this year, as well as to visit with Mr. Gallagher. It was great to see him and hear about his experiences at R.I.T. He spoke with us on the value of the Project Lead The Way classes he took in high school, his courses at R.I.T., and his recent innovations. It was inspiring to see another Saratoga student making their dreams come true through hard work. As as class, we hope to inspire all the students that will follow us. We are certainly all proud to be following in the foot steps of our E.D.D. alums. Some alumni are shown below.

Posted by Emma Rocco

Cooling Group Begins Production of new Base

The Self-Contained Submersion Cooling group has updated their base design and started milling today! We plan to finish this new milled base in time to bring it to a presentation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday. In other cooling-related news, we will start performance testing for the printed base next week, so look forward to results being posted here!

Posted by Aaron Batker-Pritzker

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Towards the Finish Line

The Firefighter App group has been making some real progress in the development in their app. While the Java programmers have been speaking with Tom Hayes to further understand the nature of the script, the html programmers have started writing the app's website using pure html. We are sure to see some fast developments in the upcoming weeks.

Posted by Jeff Hrebenach

Working Through the Snow Day

Today the InvenTeam had our first, well deserved snow day. Although we were not physically in school the work did not stop. The 3D printing group is working on sketches of possible mechanic schematic designs if we do not decide to use the 2D plotter as a frame.

The 3D printing group also received notice that the new emergency shut off chip has arrived! We will be able to solder the chip in class on Friday and hopefully have the printer fully functioning and printing parts by the time we go to RPI on Wednesday.

Post by Emma Rocco