College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


Opera San Luis Obispo requires an acoustically projecting stage backdrop for their future plan of deploying a mobile opera house. The custom stage backdrop must be low-cost, easy to assemble and must project the performance sound to outdoor audiences. Other design requirements include being transportable in a step van, the ability to be assembled quickly by a crew of two, resistance to various outdoor conditions, the ability to mount accessories from the walls, and should meet a budget of $5,000. With the scope of the project understood, the three-quarter project is outlined. During the first quarter, the main deliverables included the scope of work and the preliminary design review. During the design process, a variety of brainstorming sessions were held to develop ideas, while decision matrices yielded the superior full design concept. Based on the ideation activities and evaluations performed, the design will be a collapsible aluminum frame that uses ball-bungees to attach to a grommeted polyester coated vinyl tarps. In preparation for the Preliminary Design Review, analysis of all major components of the design was performed in order to propose a final design with all materials, dimensions, and manufacturing processes identified. Inquiries were made to several manufacturing companies and cost estimates were obtained for the custom manufactured pipes, endplates, connectors, and vinyl tarps required. Parts were then ordered to commence the manufacture phase and testing of components. Manufacturing and testing began, taking advantage of the facilities and equipment available on-campus to cut the pipes to size, drill holes, and water-jet cut the endplates. Throughout the manufacturing process, components and subassemblies were tested to validate the design and mitigate possible safety concerns. Adjustments from these sessions were made to refine the final design and assembly procedure. With the refinements finalized, the final design was presented on June 1, 2018 at the Cal Poly’s Spring 2018 Senior Project Expo.