“Dip Paint & Blow Dry”
The goal of this ME 471 project is to design, build, and test a (system of) mechanism(s) for
transferring an approximately 5-6 lb cylindrical object sitting at rest in position (A) to a dip
painting station (B), followed by a 10-second stop at the blow drying station (C), before placing
the cylinder on a Bullseye, and finally returning the mechanism (not the cylinder) back to the
starting position (A). The mechanism should perform this task in less than 5 minutes, while
meeting multiple constraints and competing goals, so an optimization study is needed.
The final design project will be evaluated based on its ability to perform the following tasks:
1. Grab and lift the cylindrical object from its vertical position at the Rest Position (A),
2. Move the cylinder a distance through a rectangular box (W=14” x L=29” x H=18”),
3. Dip the cylinder into the paint bucket at the Dip Painting Station (B),
4. Rotate the cylinder by 90 degrees, and move it into the Blow Drying Station (C),
5. Turn on the blow dryer unit by making contact with a mechanical switch,
6. Stop for 10 seconds at the Blow Drying Station (C) for the paint to dry,
7. Place the painted cylinder in the vertical position on the Bullseye,
8. Return the mechanism (not the cylinder) back to the original Rest Position (A).
Student teams may use a device comprised of one or several mechanisms in their design.
However, the device is limited to using a total of 4 or less discrete (rotation, translation, or their
combination) inputs to achieve the required tasks. The linear actuation of the device must be
accomplished through rotation by means of mechanical hand cranking, electric motors, or their
combination. Use of pulleys and winches with mechanical locks is permitted. The operation of
the device must be performed by only one member of the team standing at the base of the device.
Other team members can only provide verbal instructions on how to maneuver the device. More
specifically, multiple team members are not allowed to operate the device at the same time, and
once the cylinder enters inside the box, it cannot be interfered with (i.e., touched) by any member
of the team. The device should be designed with optimized combination of stiffness and agility
to smoothly navigate the cylinder throughout the box without colliding with the paint can or the
drying station, and with minimal deflection of the links to avoid mechanical failure.

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