Monthly Archives: November 2015

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
PSE Archery logoUniversity of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498After sponsoring a 2015 UA Engineering Design team that helped double its rate of compound bow production, without increasing the number of employees on the assembly line, Precision Shooting Equipment is back for a second year. This time to create an affordable American-made crossbow for beginning shooters.

Team 1402’s time studies during the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015 tracked assembly-line movement of the crossbow, employees and resources. Based on results of the study, which determined precisely how long each assembly operation took, the team recommended cutting batch size to promote single-piece flow, redesigning the assembly floor layout, and implementing a conveyor belt, system designs the company has built on to significantly decrease cost of production of its hand-assembled crossbows. Members of the team included systems engineering majors Bryan Krause and Michael Miramontez, mechanical engineering seniors Clark Pedersen and Robert McLean, industrial engineering senior Ryan Saunders, and electrical engineering major Chris Carr.

This year, UA Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Team 15022 has big shoes to fill.

Mechanical engineering seniors Joseph Lucero, Austin Masterson and Ahmed Mustafawi, systems engineering student Matthew Modean, and materials science and engineering major Kyle Vinh Nguyen are tasked with creating a crossbow constructed at least 80 percent from components already available at PSE’s Tucson, Arizona, facilities.

PSE, one of the world’s largest privately owned archery equipment manufacturers, intends to expand its manufacturing repertoire with its own version of the Taiwan-imported Fang 350.

“We want to build a crossbow valued at $299 to $399, something that is lightweight, fast and quiet,” said Bret Simon, PSE vice president of operations. “There is no reason we can’t make our own product right here in Tucson.”

lockheed martin_51A7266_00Members of Engineering Design Team 1425 presented their 2015 project in August at the largest international multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology gathering in North America, the SPIE Optics + Photonics Conference. Mechanical engineering graduates Richard Bates and Harrison Herzog and senior Jeremy Smith drew the attention of hundreds in San Diego as they demonstrated their 3-D printed mirror – strong enough to endure the polishing process and stiff enough to eliminate print-through.

“Our room was almost full, and there were people standing in the back of the room. They wanted to see what we had done,” said Bates. “We were lucky to be sponsored by Lockheed Martin, go to the conference and network with people in the industry.”

About 180 companies were represented at the 2015 conference, with an attendance of more than 4,500.

“Normally with metal optics you have stress on the optics from mounting it,” Smith explained. “This way the mounting is already done, and there is an optical mirror ready to go.”

Key challenges included reducing the mirror’s porosity and determining the best polishing methods.

“I think we are among the first to polish a material within a 3-D printer,” said Smith.

While the team was not able to perfect the process – the 3-D printer used to make the optical mirror created bubbles on the surface of the titanium during the manufacturing process – the project, “Optical Fabrication of Light-Weighted 3-D Printed Mirrors,” proved the feasibility of metal 3-D printing of optical mirrors.

“3-D printing has not made it yet with what we were doing, but I think 3-D will get to that point; we just need more time,” said Bates, who is now employed with Apple in California. Herzog is at NASA, and Smith is looking forward to graduating in December.