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Project Development

The scope of this week is to answer critical questions regarding the final project, considering the requirements.

What task have been completed, and what tasks remain?

By this time, the entire design has been completed. I have already done the steering and started milling the seat. We are both working on the frame and had a discussion about how to mount the motors and the wheels on it. Hakan Zayin designed the beams, and the bottom part. Since the gears and the chain have a shipping delay, we cannot finish the bottom part yet. For this part we still have to make some measurements regarding the joints for the gears and the motors. I also started testing the motor and worked on the code for the steering. Moreover I also made some aluminium and pom parts for the steering, seat and wheels on the lathe. Unfortunately there is still some work to do, but we can only continue once the gears and the chain have arrived. As soon as everything is ready, we can coat the Go-Kart with jute and epoxy resin.

What has worked? What hasn't?

So far everything has worked as planned and we are still on schedule. The brushless motors together with the speed controllers that we bought from another company are compatible and work. While I was casting the steering wheel, I had some complications. Unfortunately, I couldn't save the mold, because it was impossible to remove the steering wheel without damaging it. I even brushed the mold before with black acrylic and sprayed it with silicone spray, but it didn't help that much.

What questions need to be resolved?

There are still some open questions about the framework. We are not able to create the joints and the base for the Go-Kart because we are still waiting for the gears and the chain to arrive. For the same reason we could not test the torque of the motors. Also the mechanism of the seat is not tested yet.

What will happen when?

Well, I've already designed and programmed two boards for the project. All I have to do is change the values for the potentiometer in relation to the steering motion. Then I have to work on the mechanics of the seat and make the connections for the wheels and motors. As well as some aluminium parts. But then I can finally test the Go-Kart!

What have you learned?

I learned a lot while working on the project. First of all I have to admit that I am so thankful to have Hakan Zayin as a project partner. Together we could achieve more and also realise everything that went through our heads. We also had hours of discussions about the framework until we finally found the perfect design for it. It was really easy to communicate and to work with him. In addition, our Instructor Ahmed Abdelatif has supported all of us very passionately and made sure that we received the funding for this project. He taught us a lot during the FabAcademy and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are really grateful for the support we have received.

During this project I learned a lot about teamwork. How important conflict management and time management are. Moreover I have worked with many different materials (POM, Foam, Plywood, Multiplex) on the milling machine. I've also learned how to use the lathe. Before we bought anything, we also did a lot of calculations regarding motors, speed controllers and battery. Same for the frame construction. We have conducted many tests to ensure that poplar plywood, jute and epoxy are the best combination to create a very strong and lightweight frame structure. To make sure we did everything right, we even visited a Go-Kart racetrack.

But all things considered I have learned a lot during these pass few months not only while working on the final project. I learned how to make my own flexible circuit board. I learned the difference between additive and subtractive manufacturing. I experienced the challenges of converting from positive to negative to positive forms during the molding and casting week. All in all, I learned that you can make (almost) anything, if you are willing to.