Electro-mechanical Can Crusher Project
Undertaken as part of the Product Design and Technology BSc course at Loughborough University, Crush Me if You Can was an exercise in design, design analysis, construction and programming.
Initial data gather lead to ideation and initial designs. These were the mechanically analysised, looking at such issues and deflection and shear under specified loads and scenarios, with this data used to inform material choices and component selection.
Concurrently to this, C Programming was studied, simple circuits and coding gave way a fully written code in C. A custom PCB was designed and printed, and the whole circuit transferred from bread to this, and embedded into the final device.
CNC manufacture was heavily utilised to streamline the construction process, freeing up more time to work on the electronics. All major components were either waterjet or laser cut, but despite this, a number of components were hand lathed, such as gear box axles and bearing housings.
Utilising a range of digital and analogue inputs, the can crusher, “Candice”, can count the cans, communicate with the user by an LCD screen, turn on the motor via relay switch, crush 5 cans and showcase the time taken and average force to crush the cans.