Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Currently in the Cal Poly Machine shops, students are struggling to find ways to fulfill the 10 hours of shop experience required to gain their Yellow Tag certification. Red Tag is the first level of certification students generally achieve their freshman year. It allows them to use basic machine tools such as drills, shears, benders, etc. Then after completing 10 hours of shop experience they can take the Yellow Tag test, which gains them access to use a welder, mill, and lathe. The heads of the machine shop, the shop technicians, and the mechanical engineering students will all have different but mutually beneficial advantages from these kits.
Currently, the students ask shop technicians for ideas, and the employees of the shop then give them a stack of project folders on file. These folders contain photos of various wood and metal projects with limited instructions, and can be confusing for a student with no previous shop experience.
Students currently have problems because these folders contain limited instructions, and so they are unable to immediately know the correct process to start making the project. Another problem associated with this current solution, is that many students are unable to acquire the proper materials due to lack of transportation or lack of knowledge about which materials they would need.
Many students start college without shop or machinery experience, and so entering the machine shops can be intimidating. The managers of the Hangar and Mustang 60 would like to decrease any confusion with a set of kits containing basic and detailed instructions. These projects would ideally be creative and interesting projects students would enjoy making, and in the process learn how to use the various machinery available in both shops. Originally we assumed these students had never used a tool before. We then surveyed around 300 mechanical engineering students to gauge a more accurate depiction of average skill level. We will be designing these kits around the data found in our survey as discussed later in this report. These kits would be available and useful to all students attending Cal Poly who wish to increase their tool and manufacturing knowledge.
Our goal, by the end of three quarters, is to create kits for mechanical engineering students to earn hours working in the shop and to become familiarized with the tools and resources there. We will have four kits designed for students with their Red Tag certification, which allows them to use wood tools and general sheet metal work. In addition we will have one kit for students who have their yellow tag, and wish to learn how to use the welders, mills, and lathes. This will give us a final count of 5 projects.
Our overall objective is to create projects that contribute to furthering a student’s machining education, and give them first-hand experience with the tools in Mustang 60 and the Hangar. By the end we will deliver a total of five kits containing detailed instructions for kit assembly and product assembly. The different kits will require a variety of experience and certification, more specifically four red tag kits and 1 advanced yellow tag kit.