Senior Design Project

The Senior Design Project Lab is the major part of the Mechanical Engineering capstone course (ME 4440). All Mechanical Engineering Students are required to take this course. As part of this course and lab, students are provided with experience in the use of mechanical engineering design for the solution of engineering problems. Students work in a team format on selected mechanical engineering projects emphasizing both mechanical systems and thermal science design aspects. Important parts of these semester-long design projects are a formal project proposal, design analysis report, engineering drawings, project construction, and project testing. Formal written and oral presentations of results are made at the completion of the project. Time scheduling and project costs are also important considerations.


Upon completion of this class, the student will be able to:

  1. Engage in the various elements of the engineering design process
  2. Complete a group-based, hands-on, capstone design project
  3. Employ basic computer-based data acquisition
  4. Use programmable logic controllers and ladder-based programming
  5. Work in a team environment on an engineering design project
  6. Determine the potential impact of ethical and societal concerns on the engineer and engineering design process
  7. Prepare and delivery/submission of a written report(s) and an oral presentation
  8. Communicate with a variety of "nonacademic" contacts (e.g. technicians, vendors, and other professionals for the purpose of gaining factual information and making component purchases)



 Senior Design Projects:

Coming this semester!

Groups 1 & 2:  Tricycle for Special Needs  Sponsored by Tammy Smith, Dental Hygienist, Gainsboro

Group 3:  Camera Mounting System   Sponsored by Solar Turbine, San Diego, CA

Group 4:  OSB Drilling Machine  Sponsored by Westcrete, Nashville

Group 5:  Hand-Cranked Quadricycle Sponsored by Rhoades Car, Hendersonville

Group 6:  Wheel Chair for Two People Sponsored by T4T, Madison

Group 7:  Off-line Gaging System Sponsored by MAHLE, Morristown

Group 8:  Hand-cranked Quadricycle Sponsored by Rhoades Car, Hendersonville

Group 9: Egg Washing Machine Sponsored by College of Agriculture, Tennessee Tech University

Group 10: Dual Bin Delivery System Sponsored by Acument Global Technologies, Spencer

Previous Projects 

Fall 2013

3D Printing

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Team Members

 Amber Butcher, Daniel Hamblen, Albert Painter, and Hannah Ross

Project Overview

 One of the fastest growing technologies of the 21st century is 3D printing. 3D printing is a method of depositing material in successive layers to create complex structures. Fused Deposition Material (FDM) printing is the most common type of 3D printing. In the FDM method a spool of thermoplastic is fed through a heated nozzle, and the heated plastic is deposited onto the build plate in a thin layer. This layer quickly cools, allowing the next layer to build on top of it. This method is often used in rapid prototyping applications. However, rapid prototyping is not the only common application of 3D printing; the use of 3D printing in areas outside of manufacturing has become increasingly widespread over the past decade. Biomedical applications are a particularly promising frontier for 3D printing.


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Hand-Powered Tricycle

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Team Members

 Nick DiAngelo, Chris Kirk, Isaiyas Marroquin, Marquis Merritt, Justin White, Chris Wright

Project Overview

 Handicapped individuals have difficulty developing strength and motor skills to the level of able-bodied people. That is why this hand-powered tricycle was proposed. By designing and building this simple machine, individuals with special needs will be able to ride a bike in a way similar to able-bodied people. It will also help them develop strength, balance, and gross motor skills while having fun in the process. Reaching out to the community provides a way for the group to improve the lives of many children over several years to come.


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Hot Ball Machine

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Team Members

 Spencer Artz, Harold Balthrop, Justin Lewis, Michael Mason, Joshua Moser, Garrett Perry

Project Overview

 Westcrete Building Systems is a startup company that has developed panels for building more efficient, weatherproof homes (commercial and residential). One of their current processes for constructing these panels is less than desirable and a new process needs to be developed. The process under review is making the holes in the foam that is used in the fabrication of the panels. Currently the use of ball bearings is utilized by heating them in a turkey fryer and placing them on the foam. Even though this method does produce satisfactory holes through thin portions of foam, it is still not ideal for large scale production. Induction heating and resistance heating are just two examples of safer, more efficient ways of heating. Also, there are additional methods that could be used to make the holes such as drilling or even heated rods. These processes are examined and tested for the purposes for this project.




WastAway Combustible Materials Separator

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Team Members

 Joshua Blair, Mark Straussberger, Robby Brown, Andrew Redmon, Lance Bailey, Ethan Livingston

Project Overview

 The task assigned to this team is to design and construct a small-scale prototype process that will effectively separate combustible and noncombustible materials. The combustible materials will then be sent back through a previous process for further refinement while the noncombustible materials will be recycled separately.




OSB Drilling

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Team Members

 Tim Avello, Alex Bagoli, Chance Holt, Zach Medina, Jie Tang, John Till

Project Overview

 WestCrete is a young company with a new and innovative idea for residential construction. They currently are developing a method to build houses out of concrete. The average house is 2,500 square foot and will cost approximately $250,000 to $375,000. Oriented strand board (OSB) is used in the siding of the house. The typical OSB used in constructing a house is .5” or .042’ thick. This means that a house uses 378 cubic feet of OSB. The object of this project is to efficiently drill holes in the OSB boards. The design and construction of an automated machine to drill precise dimensioned holes would cut down on man power and time spent on each OSB board, which is currently being drilled by hand. The design will utilize drills that will automatically drop and rise to cut the desired holes simultaneously with the correct spacing between holes. Once the drills are raised a worker will move the OSB a desired amount to achieve the required offset between holes, and drill a new set. This process will significantly cut down time spent per board which will save WestCrete a considerable amount of money.




Hot-Wire Machine for WestCrete

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Team Members

 Thomas Burks, Steven Childers,Nick East, William McMillen, Andrew C Nix and Jo Thompson

Project Overview

 WestCrete, an innovative construction company, specializing in building tornado proof structures, is currently using two separate processes to cut the foam they use in fabricating wall and roof panels. They desire this cut to be made in one process. The proposed method for modifying the foam is a hot-wire cutting assembly, which will precisely cut and cauterize the foam. In order to obtain the desired mitered and gable angles in the foam, an adjustable hot-wire attached to a rigid table must be designed. With this design WestCrete will have an assembly that precisely cuts the two angles simultaneously, therefore more efficiently. The amount of labor WestCrete currently uses to make these cuts will be reduced in half by this design. The design proposed will accomplish all goals and restraints given by WestCrete.


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