Technology Projects Spring 2004
Design and build magnetic levitation vehicles
By Steve Belitsos from the Automotive Technology
Department with material from Betsy Dorries. Steve will be assisted by
his son Peter Belitsos, a student in the Architectural and Building Engineering
Design small structures (like children’s furniture), using Lego parts,
Excel and Autodesk Inventor
Manufacture from the design, using 2x4 lumber, PVC pipe, drill, chop saw,
jigs and fixtures
By Paul Johnson and Louise Maynard with material developed with Mary Waldo,
all from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department
Lean Manufacturing – manufacturing without waste
Just In Time (JIT) - the Toyota
Inventories are held down by developing high
quality processes and then waiting for orders
Design for Manufacturability (DFM)
Designing products so that they can be made easily
Flexible Manufacturing System
A system that can switch quickly from making one
product to making something different
is placed diagonally to prevent networks of beams from collapsing.
has 1" chamfers that blunt 4 corners that might have protruded.
parts have 1 3/8 inch diameter 'thru' holes.
parts have 1/2 inch thru holes with 1 3/8 inch diameter by 1/2 inch deep
counter bores on both sides.
A Spacer has one hole and is 3 1/2 inches
Mary’s Examples (internet explorer recommended)
Skills Acquired (Computer, Teamwork, Hands-on, and
Spreadsheets for cost and time estimation
Design Software for parts and assembly modeling and Working drawings
up and following thru
goals and expectations
holes with Forstner bit
jigs and fixtures
Working with 2 x 4 lumber, 1" ID PVC pipe, and nylon cord
a project for the use and pleasure of others
The projects enjoy the generous support of the public schools. School staff
members accompany the students and assist with the projects. The schools pay
for project preparation, instruction and coordination (mostly from Vermont Tech
faculty and staff), and materials like glue and ice cream.
The projects also enjoy the generous support of Vermont Technical College.
The college contributes facilities (like computer labs and machine shops),
technician time, and oversight and assistance (payroll and invoicing) from the
Academic Dean’s office.
Further, this year we thank Bernie Allen of Allen Lumber for donating some
2x4’s and John ‘Dive King’ Gleason of E. F. Wall & Associates for saving
some good scrap from the dumpsters.
Warning to Parents and
In these projects many of the technologies are inherently dangerous.
Of course, if a student is not comfortable with a dangerous technology, someone
else will use it for them.
Students and parents should also understand that a place, where
technologies like power tools are used, is an inherently dangerous
environment. We have been fortunate in recent years to have avoided a
If a student shows a dangerous lack of skill or judgment, an instructor or
staff member may remove them from the project. Many risks, however, can not be
countered by close supervision. All students and parents should be warned that errors
in concentration, skill or judgment can quickly lead to injury.
Also, even a person doing the right thing might get hurt by a freak
accident or someone else’s mistake.
We recommend an attitude of calm mindful respect for the inherent dangers
Paul H. Johnson
Vermont Technical College