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Stage Machine Design Competition (SMDC)

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In May 2023, I competed in the annual Stage Machine Design Competition. Teams were hired by an imaginary children's museum to help create a giant game of Guess Who. The design goal was to rotate a 3'x5' panel from 0° to 100° when a maximum of 5lbs of force was applied to a lever that moved a maximum of 8in. A push would flip it up, and a pull would flip it down.


In addition to our prototype mechanism, our team also submitted an initial design proposal and a final report that detailed our design process, a failure and effects mode analysis, a budget, and more. At the competition, our team was awarded Most Elegant Implementation.

Housing and Build

I led the design and build for our mechanism housing. Because of its location in a children's museum, I prioritized child safety, aesthetics, and structural rigidity.


I made a conceptual sketch of a frame in AutoCAD that positioned the user to one side and away from the moving panel. I worked with my teammates to minimize the footprint while maintaining the range of motion needed for the lever arm and safe distance between the user and the panel. I also added a door on the side for maintenance access.


During the build, ​I used the conceptual sketches to explain the design to my team and to finalize the dimensions we needed to cut.


In our final report, I wrote the maintenance guide, developed the cost breakdown, and completed the failure mode and effects analyses (FEMA) for the mechanism and the housing.

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