While we were in Milan, I had an opportunity to talk to the contestants who participated in the SOLIDWORKS xDesign hackathon. His design tackles “moving in a sustainable world.”
Can you tell me about yourself?
My Name is Kevin Loeppke, I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from University of Missouri in 2015 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I currently work for Nanova Biomaterials Inc. I design surgical and orthopedic implants. I have been a SOLIDWORKS user since 2012 and got certified as a CSWE in January, 2018. In my free time I enjoy exercising, woodworking, board games with friends, and riding both my motorcycle and bicycle.
What problem did you want to solve? When given the challenge, I was inspired by the theme, Moving and Living in a sustainable world. While at Mizzou, I frequently rode my bike to get around campus. Numerous times I had close calls with cars, and had a good friend break his arm in a bicycle-car accident. Also I would also use my phone often throughout the day for calls, texts, email, maps, music, games, homework, games etc., and would often run out of battery. So my idea was to come up with a product that sustainably charges mobile devices using bicycle power (a sustainable mode of transportation) while increasing rider safety.
What solution did you come up with?
My product design is of a contactless dynamo, that, while moving powers a brake light and produces power via a USB cable outlet. The dynamo could be mounted to a seat stay of the frame. Magnet mount housings are then snapped onto spokes and slide outward radially until the ‘wings’ interact with the adjacent spokes, keeping the spoke magnets in place. When the rear wheel spins, the spoke magnets will pass by the dynamo and spin the spherical magnet inside, producing a magnetic flux in the spool-wrapped wire, which in turn will produce an electric current.
This method would be more efficient and have less losses than a dynamo that uses physical interaction. An integrated computer chip with a capacitor and/or battery would allow charging during very brief stops in commutes (stop sign, stoplight). An accelerometer would activate the brake light when a certain threshold of deceleration was experienced. Groove on dynamo could allow it to be easily removed from the bike if there was fear of theft while parked, allowing the less desirable dynamo mount to be left screwed onto seat stay with tamper resistant screws.
How did you use SOLIDWORKS xDesign?
SOLIDWORKS xDesign was used to model the various components of the device. It was easy to transition from a base part to assembly, and edit in context to confirm compatibility of components. I was able to easily use the design guidance to find advantageous areas to shell on the dynamo fixture. The bottom surface was fixed and a force was placed on the back wall of the fixture to simulate the pull of the spoke magnets.
Want to join us? Signup for the SOLDWORKS xDesign Lighthouse at: https://www.solidworks.com/how-to-buy/join-xdesign-lighthouse-program