Published: October 25, 2018
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By: Cristian Herrera, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
Category: Mechanical Engineering
The purpose of this project was to reverse engineer and analyse a can crusher, with the capability of reducing the volume of a can to at least 50%.
The first step taken in this project was measuring every component of the can crusher and creating solid models of every component. An assembly was then created in order to correctly simulate the construct and motion of the entire can crusher unit. Properly dimensioned drawings of each component were also created.
Secondly an FEA static analysis of every component was run using SolidWorks in order to study the internal forces within the can crusher and determine stress concentrations. A motion study was also performed to check if the parts were dimensioned and mated correctly to have a working dynamic model.
In conclusion the FEA static analysis showed the internal stresses of the crusher. The largest magnitudes were located at the pins. The pins were expected to have the most stress build up and eventually fail, validating a theoretical strength analysis done of the crusher.
The motion study concluded that an 18 pound force applied at the handle would crush a standard aluminum can to a height of about an inch. This was determined to be a comfortable design that requires a reasonable amount of applied force from the consumer.
Changes in the design could include the weakening of the side walls of the can prior or while it is being crushed, resulting in faster buckling of the can.