Last Tuesday, the team met with LEAF to discuss the latest design moves and make sure we were keeping on target. During our conversations, we discovered some needs that were not met, such as the need for a complete rain covering over the stage. Up to that point, we had designed a covering that acted as a shading device, but this new requirement shifted our focus for the canopy. To make better use of our remaining time and materials budget, the team developed a two-part plan for the new design. The central canopy over the actual trailer will be of a lightweight rigid material, such as polycarbonate or corrugated plastic sheathing, and the canopy over the unfolded wings will be of a retractable canvas. The wing coverings will be later acquired by LEAF as funding permits. The structure was simplified to accommodate the rigid panels, and the steel component was lowered to support additional members, resulting in a more efficient design. Another thing to consider was that they would have an hour and a half for stage set up at a typical event. We discussed including community input by allowing children to paint the auxiliary boxes designed by the team.
Over the week the team finished a full scale mock-up for the superstructure. This allowed us to finalized the height of the frame and visualized the space on the stage.
We also learned how to weld! We have a new volunteer from AB Tech who will be overseeing the metal work. Susan has already contributed her time and expertise.
With Susan’s guidance we prepared the trailer for construction. Several team members focused on grinding the contact points for future welds and removing unneeded pieces.
At the same time, other students cut the steel posts to weld to the deck of the trailer. There was also a group who focused on honing their welding skills.
There were several pieces ordered during the week including mechanical assist components:
4. Flat bar steel for hinge tabs to be CNC plasma cut at Clemson.
With construction under way, the team looks forward to seeing the U-LEAF come to life!