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15. Mechanical design

In this week, we worked as a group to design a machine, operate it manually and documented the process. Each of us was also to document the individual contribution to the group project.


Group assignment
- Design a machine that includes mechanism+actuation+automation.
- Build the mechanical parts and operate it manually.
- Document the group project.

Details of the group assignment are in the group page.

Individual assignment
- Document individual contribution to the group project.

Individual contribution

In this week, I was responsible for recording and documenting our group project. The process for creating the group site and pushing changes were mostly similar to those covered in Project management, except this time we could not push directly to the master branch (the FabLab Oulu site). I set up a branch in order to be able to edit our website and when documentation was complete, I made a Merge request for the page to be published. The instructions are here.

First, the repo is to be cloned:

git clone

Then, via the Terminal access the root of the repository using cd command and pull data from the remote repository to the local one.

git pull origin master

Ensure there isn’t an exit branch with the following command that lists the remote branches:

After this, a new branch can be created if there isn’t an existing one.

git checkout -b *mechanical_design_group1*

Check that you are in the right branch with git status.

Then the regular commits:

And pushing the changes to the new branch…

From the Gitlab project site, we access Merge Requests > Select where it states “You pushed to branch name” … > Press Create Merge > Enter title and description > Press the Submit merge request button.

I was also involved in the ideation phase when we were considering the properties of the machine we would design, build and manually operate.

In addition to the above, I also laser cut some of the parts needed for the machine we built.

The link for the 2D and 3D design files are in the group page.


As this was a difficult week health-wise, it was good that the tasks were divided. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to complete everything within the week. The idea for the group project switched a couple of times and it took a bit of time to come to a shared understanding, but we eventually agreed on the machine to build. Even though we built the main body with the placement of the pen, for the next phase we will have to design a holder for the servo motor (or come up with some other solution) and figure out the programming for it. It was a good change working in a group for the main assignment.

If there are any more changes to make after a Merge request has been accepted, a new branch needs to be created. I did this and when trying to push the changes of this new branch, this happened:

A simple mistake which took me a while to solve. The push failed because I was pushing to a branch that does not exist (I had written the name wrong!). After entering the correct name as below, all was fine.

git push origin mechanical_design_group1_part1