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IMechE Design Challenge 2016

LINE LAUNCHER

Date 16 / 03 / 2016

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

Page 1

Contents
Introduction
Competition Conditions
Regulations
1

Device Operation

Construction

Costing

Competition Procedure

Heats and Finals

Rules for Poster

Rules for Presentation

Rules for Peer Review

Enforcement of Rules

10

Prizes

11

APPENDIX

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Introduction
Line Launcher
This will be the 9th Annual
Undergraduate Design Challenge
organised by the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers. The challenge
is open to teams of up to 5 students
on the first year of an engineering
course at university.
A Line Launcher is a device used to
fire a rope from one ship to another
at sea or for water rescue. The challenge is for teams to design, build and test a small scale indoor
device to fire a squash ball attached to a line over a distance up to 6m. A target will determine which
device delivers consistent accuracy and precision.
The design will principally deal with energy storage and projectile trajectory. There are many methods
of firing projectiles; such devices require a controlled and safe method of energy storage with a reliable
release mechanism.
The challenge will be in four parts, each part will be awarded separate prizes
1

Work in teams to design, build and test a launcher to compete with other teams

Produce a poster to publicise the teams work. The poster is a demonstration of the teams
ability to sell their design solution.
Give a short presentation explaining the design and development of the device
Submit a peer review where all students have the chance to vote for the best engineered
solution to the problem

3
4

In the spirit of the competition it is expected that the device be designed, developed and manufactured
by students within the facilities of their university. Any member of the team should have good
understanding of the design principles, theories, manufacturing methods and materials used.

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Competition Conditions:
A firing range will be set up in an indoor space i.e. lecture theatre, with a firing line and target area. A
Safe Firing Area will be outlined up to 2m behind the firing device. The target area (Figures 1 and 2) will
be a 600 x 600 mm rectangular 3 x 3 wire grid raised 450mm from the table. Scoring will be judged by
the grid space the ball first passes through on their target. Range is the distance from the device firing
line (the front edge of the mounting base) to the centre of the highest scoring region of the target.
(Figure 1)
Target Area / Points Scored
1

Firing Line

RANGE 2-6 METRES


BASE

Figure 1 target area

To replicate ship to ship there will be will be a pair of tables approx. 1500 x 750mm. The base and
target will fit between the guide rails allowing the base and target to be clamped in any position on the
tables. (Figure 2)

WORKING ENVELOPE
400 x 400 x 400mm

Figure 2 firing range layout

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Devices shall be mounted to a base measuring no more than 400 x 200 x 20mm thick. Your base will
slide between the guide rails which will be set with the inside faces 200mm apart to suit the base
dimensions. Indexed holes will allow simple clamping and will be provided at the event. . The 25mm
spaced holes in the guide rail will be threaded and have clamp bolts to ensure easy clamping of the
base.

CLAMPING BOLTS (ANY HOLE)

Figure 3 Base Location detail

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Figure 4 line attachment to yellow dot squash ball (loop slackened for clarity)

Balls must be put into a projectile trajectory by the device which cannot be hand-held. Balls and lines
will be given at the event and secured as shown in Figure 4. A similar loop at the opposite end will be
used to attach the line to the device within the working envelope
The ball is to be a YELLOW DOT squash ball (provided at the event)
Line will be fishing braid brand Sufix Duraflex 7.0 Kg (Amazon.co.uk) 8m long and will be supplied at the
event by the organiser and must be used.
Length of line will be sufficient to prevent the line length becoming taut and thus controlling range,
excess line cannot be added, cut off or tied to a specific length

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Regulations
1

Device Operation
1.1 Each team shall produce one single device.
1.2 Devices must be regarded as safe and reasonable as judged by the member/s of staff
responsible for the team/s, consideration should be given to guarding if there is risk of
entanglement or entrapment
1.3 Safety glasses must be worn by the operator just prior to arming and at all times during the
heats where a device may fire.
1.4 Devices shall be fixed securely to the mounting base, any device that breaks free from the
base during a competing heat or final will not receive any points for that attempt.
1.5 All devices must be fitted with a safety mechanism which prevents the device being
accidentally fired once armed.
1.6 Devices must be fired remotely via any means of electrical switching up to 2m distance
from the device.
1.7 Pressurised air/gas systems are allowed but must be declared safe and reasonable by the
participating university and must contain parts capable of withstanding a safe working
pressure (SWP) of 5.5 Bar maximum, teams will provide data sheets/specifications for parts
to prove suitability.
1.8 No person is to be forward of the safe firing area during a heat.
1.9 No practice firing of any projectile is permitted, the device may however be tested for all
other functionality.
1.10
No explosive charges or combustion can be used

Construction
2.1 Line must be attached securely to the device and be contained within the working envelope
prior to firing
2.2 The device must fit within a maximum working envelope of 400 x 400 x 400mm at all times
during competition, even during firing.
2.3 The ball exit position of the device shall not be further forward than the firing line.
2.4 Devices should be manufactured using generally available facilities and materials using
processes that students can themselves work with under minimal guidance
2.5 2D profiling i.e. laser/water jet or similar is permitted
2.6 Rapid prototyping techniques (i.e. 3D printing) are permitted costed at 10p per gram

Costing
3.1 A maximum budget of 20 per team is allowed.
3.2 Proprietary items may be purchased at as new retail price from reputable suppliers so that
any other team should be able to purchase the same parts at the same price. Receipts for
any parts over 20p should be available for judging panel if required. Parts from existing
firing devices (i.e. triggers, barrels, breaches) are not permitted. Use of standard stock
materials such as sheet,bar,billet etc. must be costed by their fraction of the stock material
cost i.e. The cost of the line and balls can be excluded, these will be provided at the
competition by the organisers.

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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3.3 Parts of value less than 0.20 should be included on the parts list but do not need to be
included in the total price (considered free). Components in-kind or provided by the
University must be included in the parts list.

Competition Procedure
4.1 All devices must be available for scrutineering prior to commencement of the competition
4.2 Breach of any rule during competition will forfeit that heat
4.3 The range will differ for each heat. All teams will have the same range per heat and will fire
twice per attempt.
4.4 The top scoring three teams will qualify for the 3 shot final over the same range
4.5 Clear instruction on heats and finals will be given at the event.
4.6 Organisers will announce the target range 3 minutes before a heat, upon announcement
participating teams will have those 3 minutes to position their device on the firing line and
be armed but with safety device in place - operators will raise their hand clearly to show
readiness within the 3 min period, if all operators are ready to fire, a heat can commence.
4.7 Once ready, teams will be instructed to RELEASE SAFETY operators will release the safety
mechanism and return to the safe firing position, then on a count of 3,2,1, FIRE ! each team
will fire their device
4.8 Once all devices have fired (or been made safe if not fired) judges will record the scores and
teams will be instructed to retrieve ball and line
4.9 Once all balls and lines are retrieved, teams will have 2 minutes from a given signal to reload and safely arm devices before the second shot, teams not ready will forfeit that
pending throw

Heats and Finals


5.1 There will be three heats over three different ranges, all teams will fire over the same
ranges set
5.2 A device that fires prematurely at any time during the competition will forfeit its next
pending attempt
5.3 If a device fails to fire within 10 seconds of the FIRE command during its heat will not score
points for that pending heat
5.4 If a ball fails to score by bouncing off the top of the target (as identified by the judge)
another attempt will be allowed
5.5 Top three scoring teams will go to the final - In the event of a drawn score to decide
finalists the range will be re-set and a single shot run off will take place with a smaller 450 x
450mm 3x3 target raised the same 450mm from the table. This will be repeated at a
different range until one team outscores the other.
5.6 The final will be three shots over three different ranges, if there is a draw the smaller target
will used (as in 5.5) and the range altered again. This will be repeated at a different range
until one team outscores the other.

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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Rules for the Poster


6.1 - Each University may enter only one team for the poster competition.
6.2 - The poster should be A1 size in portrait format. It should clearly display the logos of the teams
University and of the IMechE.
6.3 - The poster should concisely describe the device, how it operates and the engineering
principles it is based on. It should include, but is not limited to:
Sketch, 3D visualisation or 2D technical drawings representing the device.
Text to explain important features shown in the drawings.
Details of how and why the device works, using diagrams if necessary.
Brief details of the teams members.
Summary of costing
6.4 - A summary of costing should be included.
6.5 - The poster will be assessed and judged by the IMechE Engineering Director or appropriate
designate.

7
Rules for the Presentation
7.1 - Each University may enter only one team for the presentation competition.
7.2 - Presentations should be submitted on arrival at the final event.
7.3 - The maximum length of the presentation is five minutes plus typically two minutes for questions.
It can be delivered by any number of team members, from one person to all members of the team.
Computer and projector facilities with common software will be available.
7.4 - The presentation should include, but is not limited to:
The principal features of the final design.
The engineering science that underpins the device.
The steps the team followed to arrive at the design.
The cost of the final design and if/how costs influenced the final design
7.5 - The team will be required to answer questions on their design.
7.6 - The presentation will be assessed according to the marking scheme in Appendix B, and will be
judged by a representative of each University. Universities will not mark their own presentation.

8
Rules for the Peer Review
8.1 - Teams will clearly display their device along with the costing sheet in the designated spaces
provided.
8.2 - All teams will then review (without touching or handling devices) all the other participating teams.
8.3 - Teams are asked to select and rank the top three designs they believe to have the best engineered
solution and vote for them by completing the slip an example of which is shown in Appendix C.
8.4 -There will be only one voting slip for each team, competitors may not vote for their own University.
8.5 -The team with the most first votes will win the peer review.
8.6 - In the event of a tie second votes (and then third votes) will be counted. If a tie remains then prize
money will be split equally amongst the winning teams.
9

Enforcement of the Rules


At the event:
Judges reserve the right to change any rules if appropriate to account for unforeseen circumstances
9.1 - On matters relating to test equipment and procedure, the authority will be the chair of the
IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk
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Institution of Mechanical Engineering Design Challenge organising committee or his/her delegated


representative(s).
9.2 - The panel of judges consists of a representative from each of the participating Universities and the
IMechE.
9.3 - The decisions of the panel of judges will be final.
9.4 - In addition to the rules for the final outlined above, Universities are responsible for internally
ensuring that the spirit of the competition is adhered to during the design and make stages.
9.5 - Appeals If a team wishes to lodge a complaint, query a procedure or rule infringement they must
do so through the chair of the institution of Mechanical Engineering Design Challenge organising
committee or his/her delegated representative(s).

10

Prizes

10.1
Cash prizes will be awarded to the two teams achieving the highest score in the 3 shot
final. There will be a separate prize for the poster element of the challenge.
Team prize values for the line launcher challenge:
1st prize:

500

2nd prize:

300

To be distributed equally amongst the team members.


10.2
The winning teams institution shall be awarded a trophy by the Institution of
Mechanical Engineers, for safe keeping for one year (or until the next Challenge, whichever
comes first).
10.3
The team judged to have produced the best poster shall be awarded a further cash
prize of 100, again, to be divided equally between the members. The poster prize shall be
awarded independently of a teams performance in the heats or final
10.4
The team judged to have given the best presentation shall be awarded a further cash
prize of 100, again, to be divided equally between the members. The presentation prize
shall be awarded independently of a teams performance in the heats or final
10.5
The team judged to have the best designed device in the Peer Review Competition will
receive a Cash prize of 200.
10.6

Certificates will be awarded to all winning students and the winning institute.

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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APPENDIX A Poster judging criteria

Technical Content

Visual impact

Weight (%)
Compliance with rules size (A1) and orientation (portrait)

15

Obvious information on the university represented (logos)


and the team members names

15

Good use of colour, layout, text and space to convey meaning

15

Clear but brief textual description of the competing device

15

Clear diagram(s) sketch, rendering or CAD model of the device

15

Evidence of the engineering science underpinning the device

15

Summary costing of major components of the device

10
100

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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APPENDIX B Presentation judging criteria

Technical Content

Presentation
style

Weight
(%)
Audience Engagement

15

Quality of spoken presentation (well structured, fluent, clear etc.)

15

Quality of visual aids


(clear and easily readable, do not duplicate spoken presentation etc.)

15

Principal features of the final design

15

Steps followed to reach the final design, including costing of the


device

15

Engineering science that underpins the final design

15

Answer to judges questions

10
100

IMechE Design Challenge 2016 Release 1 03-06-15 Tony Broad aibroad@uclan.ac.uk

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IMechE Design Challenge 2016

APPENDIX C Peer review voting slips


#..
Team voting:
We have reviewed the other teams designs and would rank the top three best designsas:

1st

2nd

3rd
#..
Team voting:

We have reviewed the other teams designs and would rank the top three best designs as:
1st

2nd

3rd
#..
Team voting:
We have reviewed the other teams designs and would rank the top three best designs as:
1st

2nd

3rd