Engineering Now .: Volume 2 - Edition 9 .: March 29, 2006

WEDD Finals, just the beginning for engineering students

Marc-Andre Filion, a fourth-year Electrical Engineering student, sets his design project in motion at the WEDD Finals Thursday, March 23, 2006.

Imagine a world where robots serenade you with authentic trumpet sounds, illegal downloads are a thing of the past, and hobbyists can build their own model airplanes – from design to fruition - right from the comforts of their own home.

Western’s fourth-year engineering students showed an audience of friends, family and fellow students how all of this can happen at the annual Western Engineering Design Days Final Presentations held Thursday, March 23.

Marc-Andre Filion, a fourth-year Electrical Engineering student, kicked off his presentation by explaining he is a hobbyist who enjoys building model airplanes from his one bedroom apartment. Since Filion is also an engineer, he also enjoys the challenge of designing and making his own parts to build the planes. So, for his fourth-year design project, Filion challenged himself to construct a system to produce model airplane parts based on computer generated designs.

“My prototype can produce parts for less than $300,” explains Filion. “This is ideal for hobbyists like me.”

Filion’s prototype, currently constructed with a wooden base, 3-axis stepper motor controller and a custom DC motor driven spindle tool to cut the wooden parts, is linked to a DOS run laptop. The machine is set into motion based on machine code generated from the hobbyists design.

“There are four steps to create the parts from computer to machinery,” explains Filion. “First you create CAD designs for the parts you would like cut-out, using a scale of 1 to 1. The CAD designs are converted to G-code, which is standard for CNC. G-codes are sent to the machine and parts are produced.”

Filion offered to show the group a demonstration. After a couple minutes of entering different coordinates into the computer, the prototype started carving designs into the wood. Dean Berruti walked over to the machine to get a closer look and was more than impressed, reminding Filion that “the University has programs to assist students to bring their prototypes to life.” Adding, “You should definitely come talk to me.”

When the machine stopped carving, Filion picked up his newly cut piece and showed the audience a perfect cut-out of “UWO.”

Marc-Andre Filion’s project was one of ten projects honoured at the WEDD Finals. The 2005 winners are:
Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Diesel Desulfurization to Meet New Regulations
Adam Albeldawi, Farouk Dhanidina, Nicole Persaud, Nazanin Hakimzadeh

Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Design for Manufacturing Clopidogrel Bisulfate: A Model Approach
Milana Trifkovic, Sandra Cardoso

Chemical & Biochemical Engineering
Novel Oxygen Carrier Materials for Chemical Looping Combustion
Kelly Sedor

Green Building Team 2
The Green Community Centre
Michael Bell, Megan Bojarra, Jennifer Dunkley, Petrusia Hontar, Martin Kapuscinski, Kenny Khoo, Daniel Martindale, Paolo Saccon, Zach Shaw

Civil Engineering
Solid Structural Engineering (SSE)
Christine Costa, Julie Bui, Hanan Khalil, Peter Norris, Rob Vandenberg

Civil Engineering
Assessment of models simulating wind effects over non-uniform terrain
David Gatey

Computer Engineering
Design of Low Power, High Speed Parallel Multipliers
Jonathan Kleinberg, Pat Offi

Electrical Engineering
3-Axis Stepper Motor Controller: CNC Router Application
Marc-Andre Filion

Mechanical Engineering
The Trump-bot: a Mechanical Trumpet Player
Kyler Brouwer, Chris Ward, Adrian Wolters

Software Engineering
P2P Media Piracy Firewall
Avnish Babla


Photos by Ralph Buchal

Also from this web page:


.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808

Scott Miller presented for the SSE group

David Gatey discussed wind effects

Jonathan Kleinberg and Pat Offi proved improvements can be made for parallel multipliers

Marc-Andre Filion enters coding for his CNC router application

As Filion answers questions, Dean Berruti watches the machine in action

Filion poses with the UWO cut-out his machine created

Kyler Brouwer demonstrates the sounds a trumpet makes when played by a human

Adrain Wolters describes the research his team did to design the Trump-bot to make authentic trumpet sounds

Chris Ward explains how the Trump-bot works

Kyler Brouwer, Adrian Wolters and Chris Ward - Trump-bot creators

Anvish Babla points out media piracy issues

SSE team with award presenter Franco Berruti

David Gatey with award presenter Dean Berruti

Jonathan Kleinberg, award presenter Mizanur Rahman, Pat Offi

Award presenter Mizanur Rahman, and Marc-Andre Fillion

Chris Ward, Adrian Wolters, award presenter Dean Berruti, Kyler Brouwer

Award presenter Ken Stuart, Anvish Babla