Week of February 2
For the first week of second semester, the team worked on finalizing the boat design. The team is using solidworks for this design, and plans to perform FEA analysis of the unit once the design is completed. The team is also looking for a trailer to purchase. This trailer will be modified to fit the boat design and to make it suitable for rough terrain. This past week, the team met with an industrial consultant to go over project goals and objectives. Budget was also discussed with the industrial consultant. An extensive spreadsheet is being created of all components and their costs. Finally, an initial timeline was laid out for the semester, and it will be updated next week.
Week of February 9
- -Modifying the bracings along the bottom inside of the camper to have a C-shape instead of being straight across the bottom
- -Rounding the back corners of the camper and having the bottom of the back angled instead of flat
- -Changing the hull from being flat to having a V-bottom with a 7 degree angle
This week further changes to the design were made. A few of these changes were:
The final drawings of individual parts are currently being worked on, and will be sent to Premier Metal Products for quoting either this weekend or on Monday. A parts list was created for the hitch of the trailer, and the list was given to Bob DeKraker for the parts to be ordered. Nate has been in contact with a person selling their boat trailer, and the team plans to go check out the trailer next week.
Week of February 16
This past week the boat design was sent out to Premier Metal Products. The next step in design is to nail down a final design for the front wall, windshield, and door portion. This was discussed and worked on throughout this week, and the team hopes to have a design in Solidworks by the end of next week. The hitch parts that were ordered last week arrived and are now ready for assembly.
A jeep windshield was also purchased from Ross of Holland, MI through Craigslist. This windshield will be used to help design and prototype the front wall, windshield, and door portion of the camper.
A big change in the design that was discussed this week is to get rid of a majority of the roll bar in order to free up space when the soft-top is down, especially for when the camper is used as a boat driving on water. The soft-top is supported by its own framework, so the roll bar is not necessary for that, however the pivot point for the soft top framework is located on part of the roll bar. Therefore, an alternative solution is being pursued for mounting this framework.
Week of February 23
This week several different tasks were taken on. The majority of the hitch assembly was completed, with some welding left to do still. Shown below is Jordan V. milling one of the hitch parts.
A prototype for the soft top mounting system was built and tested. No issues were seen with the design so it will now be implemented into the Solidworks drawing and a list of materials can be made for it.
Several emails were sent out to different metal suppliers to get a quote on the aluminum sheet metal for the boat. The team received quotes from three different suppliers and are hoping to purchase the sheet metal early next week. Further work involved researching the possibility of using an air bag suspension system. Nathan has been in contact with a potential supplier for this. The front wall design of the camper still remains to be completed. This week the jeep windshield was modeled in Solidworks and then modified to fit as the top portion of the wall. The door and the bottom portion of the wall remain to be designed. The goal for this design is to have it completed by the end of next week.
Week of March 2
This week was heavily focused on finishing the hitch and starting work on the trailer. It was decided that it would be easier to build a trailer from scratch instead of purchasing and modifying a trailer. Pictures of the trailer design in Solidworks and the start of trailer construction are shown below.
The trailer frame is 75% complete, and the team plans to complete it this coming Saturday with hopes of also adding the fenders and axle pending the purchase of an axle. It is still being discussed whether the trailer will have leaf spring or air bag suspension. The hitch was also completed, and a couple images showing its range of motion are displayed below.
Week of March 9
This week more work was done on the trailer. The frame of the trailer is now 90% completed.
The decision was made to go with air bags for suspension. The air bag suspension arms were designed in Solidworks with the trailer assembly. This week the pieces for the arms were cut, but the team is still looking for an axle to use before further work on the arms.
A quote was received for the cutting of the aluminum sheet for the boat. The team hopes to purchase the aluminum sheet early next week and to have it cut by the end of the week.
Week of March 16
This week the team ordered the aluminum needed to build the camper from Schupan. The aluminum is being shipped to Preferred Machine where the sheets will be cut according to the team's design. Furthermore, the team worked on the suspension portion of the trailer. The first part involved cutting, aligning, and welding the pieces of the arms. Alignment is very important with the arms because this alignment determines how the trailer rides on the road when being towed. Much time was taken to line up all of the pieces before welding. All of the pieces of the arms were clamped down securely to make sure the alignment did not change during welding.
The bushings were also purchased this week, and cylinders were cut out of steel tubing to fit the bushings. As shown in the pictures above, the cylinders were welded to the top of the arms.
Another part of the suspension that was worked on this week was the cross member and brackets to which the suspension arms mount. The cross member is a 3"x2" steel tube and was welded to the frame. The brackets were laser cut by Premier Metal Products and are welded to the cross member. The arms are mounted to the brackets with the bushings in the arm cylinders and 9/16” bolts placed through the brackets and bushings. The brackets were spaced out and aligned using two cylinders that were a 1/16” wider than the bushings to provide clearance for the arms. A 9/16” rod was placed through the holes in the brackets in order to line them up with each other. This week the brackets were tacked to the cross member after properly spacing them out.
Week of March 23
This week the trailer was moved from Progressive Surface to Calvin. In addition, the laser cut aluminum pieces for the camper were moved from Preferred Machine to Premier Metal Products where forming and welding will take place.
The team has also been looking into the soft top portion of the camper and found a local contact that they plan to use to complete the necessary canvas alterations. Another jeep windshield was purchased and further modifications were made on the jeep windshields for the wall portion of the camper. The arms were also sand blasted and painted.
Later in the week more work was done on the suspension of the trailer. The cross beam was welded to the frame and the brackets were finish welded. The axle that was purchased the week before was tack welded to the arms and then the arms were mounted to the brackets to check how everything fit. The arms did not line up with the brackets as good as we had hoped, but they did enough to get the bolts through. We should have given a bit more than a 1/16” of tolerance for the arm spacing because the bushings bulged out a bit when they were squeezed into the cylinders, making their overall length right around 3 1/16”. The alignment of the axle with the frame involved some adjustment here and there, and next week the plan is to finish weld the axle to the arms while checking to make sure the alignment of the suspension system is maintained.
Week of March 30
The team started off the week by finish welding the axle to the arms. Furthermore, the tongue piece was aligned and welded. Before welding the tongue piece to the trailer, holes were drilled through it to be used for inserting the hitch.
The team also welded fish plates to the sides of the frame to improve the strength of the corner, as was done earlier on the cross members of the trailer. End caps were also welded at the back of the trailer to the outside frame pieces.
Nate had a set of 35 inch tires at his house, which he brought out to be used for the trailer. The rims were put on the tires with the generous help of Dave at Cascade 4WD.
The bags came in this week, and the team collected various fittings and found airline to be used for the system. A regulator was also found in the shop, which will be used to set the pressure level of the bags. An air tank was acquired to be used with the air bag system. Mounts were also designed for the air bags and are being laser cut by Premier Metal Products. Scrap pieces of UHMW were given to us from Mitch’s work, Progressive Surface, and holes were drilled and tapped in the cross members of the trailer to attach strips of UHMW.
Week of April 6
This week the airbag mounts were welded to the trailer. After this the air bags were placed between the mounts and tested.
The fenders were also made this week. They were cut and bent at Premier Metal Products and later in the week the team welded them together.
Steel sheet was bent according to the dimensions of the jeep windshield edges. The pieces will be welded to the jeep windshield to be used as the front wall for the camper.
A few more purchases were made this week as well. Bump stops, shocks, shock mounts that are welded to the frame of the trailer were purchased from Cascade 4WD. The other shock mounts, welded to the axle, were designed and then laser cut through Premier Metal Products. Another purchase of this week was an additional jeep soft-top.
Week of April 13
This week the team worked on a lot of small things for the trailer. One was building bump stop mounts. The bump stops are set up so that when the air bags are deflated, the trailer will rest on the bump stops instead of the deflated air bags. The shock mounts were also welded to the trailer frame and to the axle.
The camper saw some good progress this week as well. The design for the front wall was finalized this week. The hull of the camper was welded together and now the walls and channel supports are being welded in. Some of the pieces for the motor mount were formed this week as well. Further work will involve bending the tubes and then welding the pieces together.
Week of April 20
This week the team had a couple reports due and a presentation so quite a bit of time was put into those aspects. Further work involved cleaning up the trailer and getting it ready for painting. The aluminum tube for the soft-top mount was also ordered and came in late this week. Some of the pieces for the motor mount were formed as well. Further work with the motor mount will involve bending the tubes and then welding the pieces together.
Week of April 27
This week the Nate brought the trailer to his house to be painted. The team also went to his house on Tuesday and Wednesday to work on the camper. The soft-top was fitted with the front wall to check dimensions. Modifications of the soft-top were started and plans are made to finish the soft-top next week Tuesday.
The floor was also cut and installed in the camper this week. The floor is BC-grade plywood.
The tubes for the motor mount were bent and notched. This week the pieces of the motor mount were welded together.
A winch was purchased for the trailer. Steel plates were machined to be used for the winch mount.
Week of May 4
This week was the final week before project night and a lot of work needed to be done. The majority of the work was with the soft top and the front wall. Early in the week the soft top mounts were welded to the sides of the camper. Nel Osterwald helped with the canvas modifications several days this week. The changes made to the soft top were lengthening the side pieces and implementing snaps on the bottom of the sides instead of jeep soft top rail.
The front wall was fitted and welded to the boat. Furthermore, the door was cut and bent to specifications. A piano hinge was used to mount the door to the front wall. Windows were installed in the wall and the door as well. For the door window a gasket was used, and for the front wall windows double-sided tape was used.
Final touches involved placing carpet in the camper and painting the outside of the camper. The exterior of the camper was painted a light khaki metallic.
As for the trailer, the airline was fed through the frame of the trailer and the winch mount was constructed and assembled on the trailer.
After painting, the trailer and camper were completely assembled. The unit was then towed to Calvin on Saturday for design night.