Fundamentals of Mechanical Design

DATE:  August 15, 2010     CATEGORIES:  Class Description, Mechanical Design

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Cost: $120 + $3.99 ticket fee

Have you ever known exactly what you want to design and build, but have no idea how to go about actually designing the pieces for it? Are the pieces you’re building flimsier or less functional than you planned? Have you ever just wanted a big, concise resource for How To Build Stuff That Won’t Fall Apart? This class is for you. This class will be a distillation of key elements of mechanical engineering education (drawing from both the academic version and the on-the-job version of said education), with a focus on introducing you to practical concepts you can immediately use in your crafts and hobbies. We will be exploring force analysis, structural design, power transmission and actuation over the course of the class, with practical design homework assigned after each session. You will leave the class with a new fundamental skill set to practice, personal feedback on all of your design exercises, and a packet of rules of thumb and references that you can use to practice and continue your learning outside of class.

Class Goals:

The goal of this class will be to arm students with the beginnings of an intuitive understanding of how to design mechanical structures, and provide them with the resources they can use to practice their new skills and continue honing their understanding




Students should bring some way of taking notes. Laptops are encouraged, but not required.

Instructor Biography: Gui Cavalcanti


Gui Cavalcanti received a General Engineering degree with a Robotics concentration from the Olin College of Engineering. He works as a robotics engineer at Boston Dynamics, working on cutting edge mechanical design for highly dynamic legged robots like BigDog and PETMAN. Over the course of his career he has developed the mechanical systems for a robotic tuna, several robotic snakes, an ornithopter, and several other robotic animals. In his spare time he builds ridiculous things with ridiculous people, like a flotilla of SUV-sized rubber duck boats to take on the water on the 4th of July.

Class Times:

Session 1: 9/5/2010, 11 AM – 2 PM @ 13 Joy St, Somerville MA

Session 2: 9/12/2010, 11 AM – 2 PM @ 13 Joy St, Somerville MA

Session 3: 9/19/2010, 11 AM – 2 PM @ 13 Joy St, Somerville MA

Session 4: 9/26/2010, 11 AM – 2 PM @ 13 Joy St, Somerville MA

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