Earth Dance Organic Farm School has asked that we design an improved version of their “Quick-Cut” greens harvester. The redesign should be capable of cutting a 36 inch wide bed of greens, should roll on wheels, and should be able to operate for long periods without interruption. This report details the concept generation and selection phases of the project, wherein we elect to design the system with an aluminum extrusion frame, four- wheeled custom band saw system, and rope sweepers, among other key features. In the concept embodiment phase, we explore the features of our initial prototype and areas for improvement as we develop the final prototype. Design goals for the prototype system include cutting 90% of harvestable greens, operating for a minimum of 10 minutes with minimal wear to the entire band saw, and for 90% of the cut greens to be harvested into the removable basket. We were successful in achieving the latter two of the three goals, with a qualified success on the first. Discussion of our final prototype includes the engineering models used in design decisions as well as unexpected issues that emerged. We briefly touch on finite element analysis of structural components and design for manufacture analysis. Project discussion includes analysis of team dynamics, performance, and improvements for future development.
Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)
Celentano, Matthew; Watts, Nicholas; Friedrich, Sam; and Mennin, Ava, "MEMS 411: Improved Greens Harvester" (2019). Mechanical Engineering Design Project Class. 133.