LSSU Engineering Day Machine Competition:
Tips for building a successful machine
successful competition machine combines a number of objective
and subjective qualitities that fulfills tasks, follows rules
and impresses judges.
machine works. When it starts, it runs all the
way through to completion with no human intervention and
completes the required task.
has a unifying theme. This year's theme is "Juice
an Orange." Use your imagination.
steps are more in the spirit.
No team is penalized for having electrically powered
steps, but a greater use of mechanical steps tends to impress
has clearly visible steps. On many machines,
it's hard to follow all the steps. Judges appreciate machines
that are laid out so that as many steps as possible are
clearly visible in sequence.
the oral description of your machine simple, clear and crisp.
Skits and other elaborate presentations tend to take too
much time and distract rather than entertain.
use flammable or other dangerous chemicals!
This violates the rules. When the judges sit down to determine
the winners, your machine will not be considered.
with how you are going to finish your project.
Perhaps a string is going to pull something. Work your way
backwards from there. How is the string going to be pulled?
Maybe a weight will pull it? Or a mousetrap. Yeah...a mousetrap!
How will the mousetrap be triggered? You see the pattern?
Come up with more than one way to "finish" the
machine. Pehaps a lever arm will be used in place of the
string to "finish" the machine. Now begin to think
backwards as to how the lever arm will be moved.
is very important that the machine be built on a stand.
A stand will make sure that everything is
in its proper place with the device is set up and will force
your machine to work within its boundaries.
sure it is transportable.
Not only will the device will need to fit into a vehicle
or trailer, but through the doors of the building and competiton
area. The entryways are double door access. Consider how
your machine will break down and reassemble. Will you need
to bring any tools or power cords? Wil the device get rattled
and jostled during the journey?
the most important step in the process: Test
everything together before it is brought to the competition.