The goal of our senior project was to enhance a user's laptop experience by providing a reliable, adjustable, and portable work surface in bed or around the house. Through many iterations of design, testing, and modeling, we were able to finalize and build a working prototype to show at our Carnegie Mellon's Senior Design Expo.
The gas spring is what holds up the weight of the laptop, connecting arms, tray, and the user's resting hands. In order to choose the proper gas spring length and resistance, we needed to calculate the forces that the gas spring was going to experience. We created a MATLAB script that dynamically solves all configurations for the gas spring and solves for the force on the gas spring. This provided us the force on the gas spring for any given angle of the system. With this information, we selected the most appropriate gas spring.
We performed further FEA analysis to justify the size of our aluminum adaptors and support arms.
FEA analysis as well as MATLAB were used to optimize the thickness and length of the arms.
I wrote a MATLAB script that would create a 3 dimensional heat map of the locations of the end effector of our system. It calculated all the locations of the end effector for a select parameter sweep of distances and angles and plotted the result.
Some images on how our design evolved.