OC Mechanical Engineering students making Halloween safer with 3D printing
With Halloween quickly approaching, three Okanagan College Mechanical Engineering students are manufacturing a safe way for people to still partake in trick-or-treating.
Enter Trick-or-Treat Bowls. An innovative solution, the tools are 3D printed with a small tray-like bowl and attach to any standard broom handle. The idea is that candy can be placed in the bowl and extended to the treat-seeker, providing a socially distanced way to trick-or-treat.
“With Halloween coming up, we wanted to provide something that could be fun for the kids while following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines,” says Randy McFarland, one of the three team members involved with the project.
The process to build the bowls started with measuring broom handles and ensuring measurements were correct for a prototype. With three designs to choose from, the team produced coding to the 3D printers specific to each design, fine tuning with prototypes and adjusting as needed. The bowl designs come in the shape of a pumpkin, witch’s hat or cauldron, all made from biodegradable bioplastic.
McFarland, along with classmates Myles Derksen and Chase Seale run 3D Okanagan, a company specializing in small-scale 3D projects. In addition to the Trick-or-Treat bowls, they’ve created a touchless keychain object, aiding users with turning lights on and off as well as opening doors. Both projects have been the result of finding creative solutions to COVID-related problems.
Quincy DeWitt, Mechanical Engineering instructor at the Kelowna campus says that the trio has, “done just what we encourage: innovate practical designs and make them a reality by putting them into production.”
“It’s great to see our students applying their skills to a project that’s for the public’s safety and that helps people to have some fun on Halloween. In the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, they’ve learned about 3D solid modelling, 3D printing, mechanical design, teamwork and many more skills.”
Future students looking to follow in the footsteps of McFarland, Derksen and Seale can get a sneak peek into life as a Mechanical Engineering student during an online info session at 11:30 a.m. – noon on Sunday, Nov. 8 as part of OC’s Virtual Open House. More information about the event, which will offer virtual sessions on a host of OC programs from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. that day, is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/openhouse.
Tags: Mechanical Engineering, Technologies, Kelowna
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