Design and Manufacturing 

In the fall of 2017, I took ME203 at Stanford and spent most of my fall quarter in the Product Realization Lab. In addition to learning manufacturing processes and shop skills, I developed a greater understanding of materials and the design process. I gained extensive shop experience with the wood and metal lathes, the mill, woodworking, sand casting, and 3D printing. My final project, titled Baked, was a sand casting project in which I designed and created a dish to make baked brie that integrates into a cutting board for an easy presentation. Inspired by a personal love for cooking, I wanted to create a product to allow for easy set up of a charcuterie board to bring delight to friends and family. 

 
 Final product shot of Baked demonstrating my product in use.

Final product shot of Baked demonstrating my product in use.

Design

The following show my initial product sketches and iterations. I used SolidWorks to create a CAD model of my product and to get a better sense of dimensions. 

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Initial Sketch 

I originally envisioned my project as two cast pieces, as shown in the sketch above, but later pivoted to having a cast dish with a cutting board that integrates with the dish. 

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Updated Sketch 

Before creating a CAD model and beginning to manufacture my product, I used sketching to think through dimensions and geometries. 

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CAD Model

Using SolidWorks, I developed a CAD model of my project which allowed me to visualize and dimension my dish. I gained experience with SolidWorks software and used Photoshop to add color to my drawing. 

Prototyping & Testing 

I engaged in two rounds of prototypes to make thoughtful iterations throughout the design process.

  Functional Prototype    I started out with a functional prototype made out of clay. This prototype helped me think through the integration of my dish with a cutting board, ultimately settling on creating a groove for the dish to fit into. 

Functional Prototype

I started out with a functional prototype made out of clay. This prototype helped me think through the integration of my dish with a cutting board, ultimately settling on creating a groove for the dish to fit into. 

  Manufacturing Prototype    I created a manufacturing prototype and tested it by making baked brie in my dish. 

Manufacturing Prototype

I created a manufacturing prototype and tested it by making baked brie in my dish. 

  Testing   This prototype not only helped to confirm the function of my product, but brought up use issues such as aluminum getting very hot while in the oven. 

Testing

This prototype not only helped to confirm the function of my product, but brought up use issues such as aluminum getting very hot while in the oven. 

Manufacturing Processes 

Using the wood lathe, woodworking, and sand casting, I was able to manufacture my design. 

  Wood Lathe & Pattern Making   In order to make Baked, I started out by turning a bowl out of Modulan on the wood lathe to create the loose pattern for my project. I paid special attention to fixturing and wall thickness.  

Wood Lathe & Pattern Making

In order to make Baked, I started out by turning a bowl out of Modulan on the wood lathe to create the loose pattern for my project. I paid special attention to fixturing and wall thickness.  

  Ramming Up   Once I finished the pattern, I began the process of ramming up to create my cast part. An incredibly physical process, I learned to take my time to create a mold that would be successful. In addition, I experimented with packing the pattern in both the cope and the drag and ultimately found that I was able to get a better surface finish when packing into the cope. 

Ramming Up

Once I finished the pattern, I began the process of ramming up to create my cast part. An incredibly physical process, I learned to take my time to create a mold that would be successful. In addition, I experimented with packing the pattern in both the cope and the drag and ultimately found that I was able to get a better surface finish when packing into the cope. 

  Sand Mold for Aluminum Casting   After eight attempts of ramming up, I finally came out with a cast part I was happy with. A challenge I faced was trying to get the pattern to pull out of the mold without destroying the raised ring on the bottom of my project. I overcame this by filleting the groove with beeswax and using extra parting compound. 

Sand Mold for Aluminum Casting

After eight attempts of ramming up, I finally came out with a cast part I was happy with. A challenge I faced was trying to get the pattern to pull out of the mold without destroying the raised ring on the bottom of my project. I overcame this by filleting the groove with beeswax and using extra parting compound. 

Finishing & Presentation

 After many attempts, I started to work on finishing my piece. I left the bottom and inside cavity as a cast finish in order to display my sand casting skills. After cutting off the gate and runner, I sanded, buffed, and polished the handles and outside surface of the piece. 

After many attempts, I started to work on finishing my piece. I left the bottom and inside cavity as a cast finish in order to display my sand casting skills. After cutting off the gate and runner, I sanded, buffed, and polished the handles and outside surface of the piece. 

 I wanted to create an integrated cutting board and dish. In order to do so, I laser cut a template to lay over the cutting board and used a hand router to create a groove that the dish fits into perfectly. This picture shows a practice attempt at routing the groove.

I wanted to create an integrated cutting board and dish. In order to do so, I laser cut a template to lay over the cutting board and used a hand router to create a groove that the dish fits into perfectly. This picture shows a practice attempt at routing the groove.

 The final product fitting into place in the cutting board. I especially enjoy the contrast between the cast and polished surfaces and that the polished surface reflects the different foods displayed on the charcuterie board. 

The final product fitting into place in the cutting board. I especially enjoy the contrast between the cast and polished surfaces and that the polished surface reflects the different foods displayed on the charcuterie board. 

 Final product shot with Baked in use. 

Final product shot with Baked in use. 

Other Projects from Design & Manufacturing 

The Magnifying Glass

 The magnifying glass required multiple manufacturing processes. The handle, ring, and lens were turned on the lathe, the lug was machined on the mill, and finally the lug and ring were attached through brazing. 

The magnifying glass required multiple manufacturing processes. The handle, ring, and lens were turned on the lathe, the lug was machined on the mill, and finally the lug and ring were attached through brazing. 

 This project required attention to detail and dimensions, as the handle needed to integrate with the lug, and the lens with the ring. Not only did I gain experience with the mill and lathe, but learned how to follow an engineering drawing, the importance of finishing (sanding the lug and ring forever), and created a product with multiple intergrated parts. 

This project required attention to detail and dimensions, as the handle needed to integrate with the lug, and the lens with the ring. Not only did I gain experience with the mill and lathe, but learned how to follow an engineering drawing, the importance of finishing (sanding the lug and ring forever), and created a product with multiple intergrated parts. 

The Bronze Cast Stanford Seal 

 The Stanford Seal was my first sand casting project. Since the molds are heavy, you need a partner to help you lift and turn the sand molds (as my peer Greta demonstrates). I mastered the process of ramming up a mold and paid attention to manufacturing process limitations, such as wall thickness and strategically placing a gate and runner for the metal to flow into.

The Stanford Seal was my first sand casting project. Since the molds are heavy, you need a partner to help you lift and turn the sand molds (as my peer Greta demonstrates). I mastered the process of ramming up a mold and paid attention to manufacturing process limitations, such as wall thickness and strategically placing a gate and runner for the metal to flow into.

 The final bronze casting, before sanding and buffing. 

The final bronze casting, before sanding and buffing.