USC Engineering students will compete tomorrow (Wednesday 24 October) in an interesting challenge to replicate cartoon character Fred Flintstone’s famous Bronto-crane.
Students in a Mechanical Design subject have used only balsa wood, glue and string to create quasi quarry-mining dinosaurs and will demonstrate the rock-lifting prowess of their light-weight model cranes using ping pong balls.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Selvan Pather, said the competition aimed to help students develop the skills to turn their ideas and sketches into reality.
“This is the first in a suite of engineering design challenges that these students will do as part of their degree,” Dr Pather said.
“They will need to develop the concept, sketch the design and then convert what’s drawn on paper into reality — to be able to build it.”
Dr Pather said students were enjoying the unique challenge that was helping to develop their understanding of key engineering concepts like mechanical mechanisms, levers, pulleys, load-carrying capacity and the precise control needed for their designs.
The event will also include a display of students’ design creations of clock faces inspired by nature, freehand sketches of vehicles, and cardboard polyhedral shapes.
USC Engineering students competing in a similar challenge last year – a prehistoric putting machine contest.