Laser Kites

2.009: The MIT capstone class for mechanical engineering is 2.009. In this product design class, students in teams of 20 people brainstorm, design, and then manufacture a product. At the end of the semester, teams present their product in front of professor and industry representatives at MIT’s largest auditorium.

Role: When I took 2.009 in Fall 2015, I was a system integrator, one of two team co-leaders. As a system integrator, I led team meetings, scheduled deadlines, and maintained communication between all the subteams – kite fabric team, electrical subsystem, shooter team. Working to integrate all the different parts of the product was exhilarating, but required me to draw from a vast breadth of knowledge.

Project: Our team created Laser Kites, a toy product that enabled kids to shoot down a kite and easily reset it. You can see all our presentation material here and a brochure of our product here.

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As system integrator, I organized across multiple subteams. However, I contributed the most technically in the CAD and manufacture of the shooter. We used surfacing to design a family-friendly shooter with LED lights and sound effects to indicate when the trigger is pressed. We added an alignment feature to allow the user to aim at the release mechanism on the kite. This design was tested with multiple users, especially kids between 5-12.

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In our manufacturing plan, this shooter would be injection molded. For the alpha prototype, we focused on 3D printing and then painting our prototype.

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