My iCover

I designed the parts in the product My iCover. My iCover is a way to identify your iPhone accessories using colorful covers with color-coordinated inserts.

My iCover
My iCover iPhone accessory

There are 5 injection molded parts. I created multiple design concepts for each part and further developed the most promising designs. I performed testing of a series of CNC machined and 3D printed prototypes. Finally, I worked with a manufacturer to have the parts injection molded. In addition to mechanical design I created photo-realistic product renders.

My iCover
My iCover iPhone accessory

Wifi Blinds

My most recent personal project is a WiFi connected opener for horizontal mini-blinds. A stepper motor alters the blind's tilt angle and a gyro/accelerometer sensor measures the angle of the blades; providing feedback to the stepper motor. The blinds can be controlled with a custom Android app or a wall mounted button interface. Go to https://hackaday.io/project/21467-wifi-blinds-esp8266-iot-device for more details on the project.

Demo of Wifi Blinds.
Housing and PCB
Wifi Blinds housing and PCB.
Android app interface
Android interface.

Dronesmith Technologies

I worked for a start-up drone company, Dronesmith Technologies, as the Lead Mechanical Engineer from Aug. 2014 to Mar. 2017. Dronesmith Technologies creates tools for developers creating new drone sensors and applications. My main responsibility at Dronesmith Tech was to continually improve the design of the airframe for our Qua.R.K. quadrotor drone. The airframe was designed so developers could attach custom sensors and integrate the sensors with the flight core. The airframe consists of a 3d printed nylon outer frame joined to a carbon fiber and aluminum sub-frame.

Qua.R.K. drone
Qua.R.K. quadrotor drone on a lake bed.

I took over the early design and upgraded each component. I altered the shape of the 3d printed plastic 'rings' of the outer frame to reduce stress concentration and improve aesthetics. The design of the machined aluminum joints of the sub-frame went through several iterations to improve strength and add functionality. The latest joint design functions to:

The images below show the design evolution of the two main components.

Rings
Design evolution of plastic 'rings' of Qua.R.K. quadrotor drone frame.
Joints
Design evolution of sub-frame joints of Qua.R.K. quadrotor drone frame.

The use of 3d printed materials was advantageous for low volume production as it allowed for rapid design iteration and geometries that would be difficult or impossible to produce with injection molding. We tested several 3d printed materials and found that SLS nylon was the best choice as it was sufficiently durable and had a high print resolution.

I worked closely with electrical engineers to integrate custom electronics into the core of the airframe. This was challenging because the main electronics housing had to be as compact as possible and had a mixture of custom designed electronics and off the shelf radio electronics. We eventually came to a design that improved the assembly process and satisfied all our constraints. To help take some of the load off our electrical engineer I designed two simple printed circuit boards in Kicad PCB software.

Another notable project was the design of a 3d printed protective housing for our flight controller. The housing consists of two halves: a top half that snaps to the PCB board and then a bottom half that snaps to the top.

Housing
3d printed housing for flight controller.

To help market our various products I created 3d renders in Autodesk 3DS Max software. Below are two more examples.

Render of quadrotor
Rendered image of quadrotor drone.
Render of housing
Rendered image of flight controller in housing.

Solar Decathlon

In 2012-2013, I worked with a talented team of UNLV students, professors, and industry professionals to design and build an ultra-efficient solar powered home. The home was one of 20 entries, submitted from around the world, in the US Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon.

Desert Sol
Desert Sol, the Team Las Vegas entry into Solar Decathlon 2013.

My primary responsibilities were to design the domestic water supply and sanitary plumbing systems and model the plumbing systems in Autodesk Revit. Designing a plumbing system for Solar Decathlon provided unique challenges — the homes are not connected to city water and sewage. Our domestic water supply was pumped from a large tank underneath the deck while the sanitary system drained into a separate tank.

Desert Sol
The final location of Desert Sol at Las Vegas Springs Preserve.

Team Las Vegas placed 2nd overall and 1st in the nation. It was a fun and challenging experience. I learned how to work with a large team to make something great.