But I’m a Biomedical Student! By Claudia Vargas

I’m sure that if you caught up with our last post, made by Daisy Horr, you are aware that we have just completed our first Memorandum and we are now working towards designing our product. This week we have still been working on our second Deliverable, our Design Proposal, which Daisy did a really great job of explaining.  Comfort4U kicked off this new six weeks by working on doing extensive of research, particularly working on research on the physiological and biomedical aspects as well as on research for the materials.

Our team consists of three biomedical students: Gabriela, Daisy, and myself. Susette is the only engineering gal in our team. This was a problem because we needed to do research on both the biomedical and engineering aspects for our product, and it wouldn’t seem fair to have three of us work on the biomedical side and have only one of us work on the engineering side. After all we are a team, and as a team, we wanted to share the load of research equally. We came to an agreement and we decided to break into two groups. Gabriela and Daisy were to focus on the biomedical aspects specifically researching on the parameters of the body including height, weight, and other components. Susette and I will focus on th engineering aspect, researching on the materials for our device, as well as the standards and regulations or design will need to meet. Now this was going to be a challenge for me because I am a biomedical student, as in engineering is not my thing. However, I was really excited to work alongside Susette because this is definitely going to serve as a learning experience for me as I discover more of how engineering plays an important role in our design.

Original photo taken by Claudia Vargas. Here is Gabriela Ramos working diligently on researching the physiological and biomedical aspects of our design.
Original photo taken by Claudia Vargas. Here is Gabriela Ramos working diligently on researching the physiological and biomedical aspects of our design.

I began my research by digging further into the materials. I stumbled upon a very helpful resource, Engineering Design Projects, which I found really interesting because it made me think of things that I hadn’t thought of before. In a design, it is important to think about three components: the materials, the shape, and choosing a manufacturing process. There is so much that falls into all three components and it made me realize everything we need to take into consideration for our design. What I found really helpful about this resource is that it breaks it down for you and it makes it easier for our team to go step by step in the process of material, shape, and manufacture process. The question is how do we go about selecting a material for a given part? When choosing materials for a component, we need to take into account many different factors for example, the properties of the material, the material cost and availability, the processing, and the effect on the environment. Do we want to make our design environmentally friendly? There is so much that we need to take into consideration when it comes to selecting our materials for our design. This source was a huge help because it does an excellent job at breaking down step by step on how to best come about choosing materials for a design. Of course that is exactly what our team wants in order to design a successful comfort chair. 

This following procedure is taken from Material Selection in Mechanical Design by Michael Ashby. This is a basic procedure on how to best select a material.
This following procedure is taken from Material Selection in Mechanical Design by Michael Ashby. This is a basic procedure on how to best select a material.

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