"I chose to design a prosthetic arm because I had major shoulder surgery during my senior year of high school. Before the surgery, a doctor told me that if the injury had been worse, amputation might have been considered. That experience has made me extremely sympathetic to the prosthetic community and has led me to seriously consider biomechanical engineering with an emphasis in prosthesis."
What challenges did you face during the design/build?
"During the design process, I referred to several existing plans for prosthetic arms and hands that I found through Google and UAH's online library archives, but I did not like the way those designs worked. This led to me to start the project from scratch. I redesigned almost every aspect of the original design to facilitate changes that could make the prosthetic device more user-friendly and practical. Implementing the changes and redesigning and assembling the project in half the assigned time was the most exacting challenge I faced in this project."
What features of Solid Edge did you use to develop your project?
"The features I used the most for this project were the sweep and loft commands. These allowed me to do many of the finger and arm parts that would begin large and decrease into a smaller, and often geometrically altered, shape. I also used several revolve commands to make joints and ball-bearings."
What lessons did you learn in the process?
"The importance of perseverance was reinforced through the process of completing this project. Had I walked away from the project or accepted the imperfections in my first attempt at the design, the end result would likely not have been as robust. My goal was not only to make something both difficult to design in Solid Edge to push my own boundaries, but also to design something that could potentially be used in the prosthetic community. I had to make adjustments that took a lot of time, patience and multiple attempts using different methods. I learned how to use and implement specific commands and also how to get the project up to standards I had set for myself."
Would you recommend Solid Edge to another student?
"I have worked with and observed other design software, but have found Solid Edge to be the most clear and user-friendly for 3D design and assembly. I have already recommended Solid Edge to other students, and will enthusiastically continue to do so."