As part of my Machine Design independent study in Fall 2011, I developed and completed a project incorporating CAD modeling (including modeling of gear teeth and complex curves), assembly creation and FEA analysis. I created a CAD model of the Greenerd 3-ton arbor press in the Swarthmore Engineering machine shop, and developed FEA simulations in SolidwWorks Simulation to examine the areas of greatest stress concentration produced during pressing operations.
While this project was quantitatively inconclusive (due to time constraints and machine access requirements, I wasn’t able to conduct physical tests to compare to the FEA results), it was an excellent opportunity for me to gain experience both in SolidWorks modeling and in FEA simulation. The SolidWorks model, while relatively simple overall does contain some sophisticated features, including precise, to-spec gear teeth (12-pitch coarse standard, from Machinery’s Handbook, 28th Ed.) and spline profiles. Additionally, I was able to experiment with simulating complex assemblies, something which I hadn’t worked with before.