The Designing Begins- Eliza Martin & SEAS Design Team

SEAS Design Team has officially entered everyone’s favorite design stage, the making of our product! In my last blog post, which you can find here, I discussed our first day in this making stage. Last class, the SEAS Team scheduled and divided the tasks required for us to complete. Today, we began to work on our tasks and actually begin the making stage! As you probably know if you’ve been reading this blog, half of our group members (Sofia and Stephanie) are in the engineering pathway and have taken three years of engineering specific courses, while the other half (Andrea and me) have taken biomedical specific courses for three years as well. Our first deliverable for this design stage is a 3-D model complete with annotations. If you’re like me, and have absolutely no engineering knowledge, I’ll try to explain a little bit about what Sofia and Stephanie are responsible for, and the tasks they’ve already completed. From watching my team-members and friends work and hearing their stories, it is quite clear that creating a model is quite difficult. Whether the designing is occurring on paper with a pencil, or AutoCad, the designs take hours of work and require meticulous attention. My only experience with AutoCad was nothing short of traumatizing in seventh grade PLTW, where it was absolutely impossible for me to design a birdhouse. Just in case you were wondering, I ended up giving up on the AutoCad design after two months of painful work, and just built the birdhouse, which may or may not have looked like a dilapidated shanty house. Needless to say, my AutoCad skills have probably gotten worse in the past years. Thankfully, the SEAS Design Team has two of the best engineers, and they have begun work on their models! After speaking with Sofia today, who is in charge of the Google SketchUp model of our insole, she discussed the pros and cons of working with Google SketchUp. Sofia discussed the difficulty of working with Google SketchUp. Sofia mentioned that she felt that Google SketchUp was much more difficult to work with if the item that needs designing is relatively small. While Sofia likes the accessibility of Google SketchUp as you can easily access your design from any device that has internet, she feels that AutoCad is easier to work with for the smaller items. Despite Sofia’s qualms towards designing on Google SketchUp, she will be designing a right foot insole on Google SketchUp. Both Stephanie and Sofia have been working on their designs, and we should be giving you a preview of them next week on the blog!

AutoCad features easy-to learn videos on their website
Original photo of AutoCad website featuring easy-to learn videos

Meanwhile, Andrea and I have been working on materials and biomedical research. Our ordering of our materials must be completed by next class, but Andrea and I have already researched and found the materials that our group needs in order to build! We will be ordering three pairs of gel insoles (including this one) currently on the market by Dr. Scholl’s. We will be taking apart the insoles and using components of the gel insoles to design ours. We have found that finding gel to work in our insoles is extremely difficult. We looked into finding a way to possibly make our own gel or buying gel, but we found it difficult to do so. In order to create our prototype under strict time-limits, we decided to continue to look for gel material that would work in our insole while working on creating our prototype with the gel-insole components of the Dr. Scholl’s insoles. From the materials that we have at home, we will be bringing in a yoga mat and rubber cement to use for prototype materials.

Original photo of Sofia working hard on her Google SketchUp model (computer with model not pictured)
Original photo of Sofia working hard on her Google SketchUp model (computer with model not pictured)

Andrea and I have also begun more extensive biomedical research into how plantar fasciitis affects the foot. While our entire group knows which areas of the foot and body is affected by plantar fasciitis, we need to know the more extensive information about the effects of plantar fasciitis. Andrea and I just began gathering our resources through the extensive scholarly information available on plantar fasciitis, so check back on more information about what we find once we are able to begin reading the information.

The next few weeks are going to be extremely exciting as we begin to build our prototype and we can’t wait!

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