We have entered the final two weeks of the EDAAC program, and the third stage of the engineering design process—prototyping. Last Monday, we met with our sponsors from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and presented our top five designs. The museum preparators and conservators discussed the designs and how they addressed the most pressing concern—protection. In the end, they picked two designs for us to build. We had already formed a shopping list for each design, tweaking our design slightly to be viable with off-the-shelf materials. After deciding on the designs, we quickly placed our order for parts. We ran into some minor problems, such as certain companies not having our parts available at the time. Since we only had two weeks to finish our prototypes, we did not have the luxury of waiting for back orders. Fortunately, most of our parts arrived in a timely manner. We spent the last week building our designs. This has involved a lot of cutting and grinding, since many of the off-the-shelf parts were not exactly the measurements we needed or did not match up as we had hoped. Despite some setbacks, we are making progress and have been able to piece together one of the prototypes. Seeing the design completed, we can better understand the shortcomings and order new parts and return old parts to correct theses issues.
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