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Denys Matvyeyev Engineering Design Portfolio


Perhaps because it is an Engineering Design Portfolio I should have started with my personal definition of the engineering design. But I am not a philosophical type of person and can’t encompass immense meaning in just few words. Therefore, as any other engineer would do, I will break the problem in smaller sub-problems and deal with them separately. For me design is a synonym of creating, while engineering is ensuring that something works the way it supposed to. Combined together, engineering design is creating something that works the way it supposed to. Simple as it sounds, it requires tremendous effort to design (create) something new, unique and simple and build it the way that it is stays this way for good. For me design is the most problematic. I am extremely strict towards my solutions - they must satisfy numerous criteria that I set up for them. For instance, they should be simple, intuitive, the cheapest possible, extremely productive and revolutionary. At the same time they should be well engineered - durable, sustainable and safe. In this portfolio I will go through some of the projects I participated in. I will start with two biggest challenges of my first year at the University of

Toronto – bridge designs for Structures and Materials course, where I had to think as an engineer for the first time in my life. I will then briefly describe my experience in Bridge Inspection Assignment, where I practiced analysis of a product of someone else’s design. After this I will describe engineering process behind the biggest project of my first semester at university – improvement of the current method of pesticide removal from fruits and vegetables. However, the biggest part of this portfolio is dedicated to the second semester project – improving wayfinding method for visually impaired customers of TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). The whole process was so big that I had to divide it into four sub-parts: the main solution, 3D modeling, prototyping and vector graphics. Looking back at all of my projects, I realize that the most important aspects of my life that helped me tremendously in all of them were that I am open-minded, not afraid to dream, a little bit crazy for ideas and experienced in different areas. I think after developing a good theoretical basis in terms of engineering I will be able to become an engineer not only with sometimes insane ideas, but with some real results.

CIV102 Project – Pedestrian Bridge over St. George Street between Galbraith Building and Bahen Centre At my first year Structures and Materials course we were asked to design a truss bridge with at least one intermediate support. The objective was to design visually appealing bridge with the lowest possible price tag. In order to ensure both of objectives our team designed the bridge the way that the smallest in size and therefore cheaper HSS (Hollow Structural Section) members were used. Using “Bridge Designer� software available online our team tried all possible designs for the truss and discovered that using Pratt type for the East side and Warren type for the West side will minimize maximum forces in its members and as a result smaller HSS members can be used. I was responsible for the calculations and design of the intermediate support as well as for the engineering drawing. Based on rough calculations for the support, I decided to use three-section truss as the most effective and efficient in that case. It was not really challenging because by that time we practiced similar calculations for quite some time. Even though we were expected to deliver hand-drawn sketches or the engineering drawing, I decided to explore Autodesk AutoCAD, which I was not familiar with before. It was challenging and interesting at the same time. The program gives limitless possibilities; however, it took me nearly 48 hours to discover some of them and eventually finish the drawing on time. During this project I improved my skills in calculating and designing truss structures, as well as familiarized myself with some of the rarest truss designs and various HHS members. I also learned how to draw 2D models in AutoCAD, 3D was my next goal.

My Calculations for the Support

Engineering Drawing was Done Using AutoCAD

CIV102 Project – Beam Bridge As the last challenge at Structures and Materials course we were asked to design and build a cardboard beam bridge. We were said what kind of testing it will go through and what are the minimum requirement in order for it to pass. Furthermore, all groups had the same amount and type of cardboard.

This project was one of the biggest lessons during my first year experience at University of Toronto. Even though we learned it the hard way, this project showed how important full understanding between team members can be. Furthermore, our team still curious whether our unconventional design would work if built properly; so we are planning to participate in next year contests with the same design.

After discussing some of the possible designs our team decided to take our chances and go ahead with rather risky design. We wanted to combine beam and truss designs in one, making structure that we could not find analogies for. In theory, the structure should have been much stronger than regular beams. Furthermore, such design sparkled some interest among other students and TA’s. In real world this kind of structure is not used for various reasons. As we were explained both beams and trusses are strong and reliable structures and there is no need to build truss-like elements inside of beams because it is a) difficult to manufacture, b) unnecessary, because beam can be reinforces by simply using better steel or by changing its proportions. However, in our case we had cardboard of limited amount, and therefore we were open for an experiment.

3D Model of Our Bridge

Eventually we build pi-beam bridge with truss in its upper half. Truss acted as diaphragms along the entire length as well as increased its buckling stress. As a result the maximum weight it could support in theory was well above a kilo-Newton. However, due to misunderstanding, members of our team that we responsible for construction of the bridge did some critical mistakes while cutting the cardboard. As a result many parts were glued together instead of being solid pieces. That fact dramatically decreased maximum stress the bridge could handle and unfortunately it failed at the very first test. Bridge after the Failure under the Load

Praxis I – 30 Bond Street Bridge Inspection As an assignment in one of our courses we were asked to choose any pedestrian bridge in City of Toronto and inspect it in accordance with various provincial codes and standards.

the first time we did some proper research, identified the problem and suggested possible solutions. At the same time this assignment showed us how many various factors an engineer has to account for.

Our team chose a pedestrian bridge between The Li Ka Shing Institute and St. Michael’s Hospital. It was recently built (2010) 18-meters long bridge over Bond Street, downtown Toronto. Probably because it was brand new, bridge met all Ontario provincial standards. Personally, I was responsible for checking the accessibility code, which our bridge satisfied on all levels: angle of the ramp was within allowable range, door opening button was installed on the proper level, walking area was wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other easily, the carpet surface had proper elevation. Overall, 30 Bond Street was well designed and built. However, we discovered that the final price of $2,000,000 CAD was enormous for a bridge of such type and length. For example, bridge manufacturing company Excel estimates the maximum price for a beam bridge of such length in $130,000 USD (15 times cheaper). Upon researching we found out that such a big price tag was caused by framework, which was designed and built in Germany and then shipped to Canada, and its external glass panels, which were manufactured in Italy.

One of my Slides from the Presentation

Our team suggested two Canadian companies Price Steel Ltd. and MD Glass that could be alternative local suppliers. Hiring these companies could reduce shipping price dramatically. We also wanted to suggest changing carpet floor surface to vinyl tiles that usually used in hospitals, however, the day before the presentation flooring in the bridge was changed to ceramic tiles. This bridge inspection was beneficial for all of us, as we familiarized ourselves with local engineering and construction standards. That was also

Picture of the Bridge

Praxis I – Design of Pesticides Removal Method for Fruits and Vegetables. Part 1 - Participation in the Main Solution Design Our team was presented with a design brief, where we were asked to provide at least 3 possible solutions for a problem of removing pesticides from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Our main solution was a result of group brainstorming with further scoping. We all agreed that the price should be the lowest possible and it should not require any special training or change in person’s daily routine. As we started to think about it, analogy with dishes raised and a dishwasher was a natural consequence. At first we were skeptical, but then we realized that there is a way to use already popular and widely available product in slightly different context. As a main solution we suggested to build a tray for a dishwasher, where dirty fruits and vegetables will be placed and later washed using Rinse program. Rinse program (or alternative) is a short option (about 10 minutes long) available on the most of contemporary dishwashers regardless of their class. During this option only cold or slightly heated water (up to 35o C) is used in the amount of about 3 gallons per wash. Our design also included a cartridge with soap that would be attachable to a water dispenser inside of a dishwasher to increase washing efficiency. In our opinions that was an elegant and working solution; however, teaching team expressed their concern about water pressure and high temperature. In order to support our solution we created an experiment, where we washed in a dishwasher a carrot, an apple, a tomato, a piece of broccoli, a banana, a kiwi, an orange and one yellow pepper. The dishwasher we used was manufactured by Kitchen Aid (Model: W10084453A). We put vegetables and fruits on the lower level of the dishwasher in two sieves. Ten minutes later, when it was done we

examined products and tasted them. As we expected none of specimens were damaged or changed its taste. This experience was very important in terms of supporting information and reference for any of my future engineering designs. I learned that I should be ready to support any of my claims regardless of my personal opinion and beliefs. Furthermore, I realized that a research of reference designs can help tremendously.

Praxis I – Design of Pesticides Removal Method for Fruits and Vegetables. Part 2 – Participation in the Alternative Solution Design As an alternative solution I suggested and later designed a device for cleaning fruits and vegetables off pesticides that could be installed at the points of purchase (supermarkets, convenient stores, private vendors). The main advantage of the following method is that required result is reached before the product gets to the consumer and therefore no effort or money spending is required from their side. While working on the problem, our team realized that perfect solution for our problem would be to emancipate a customer from the problem. Changing the industry of pest control was out of scope of our brief; therefore, we focused on the idea of cleaning the food on its way from the field to consumer. We could not find any reasonable solution to clean product right after it was harvested or at the intermediate points of transportation. As a result, supermarkets and other retail locations became our primary goal. We realized that in case we can come up with effective and efficient device, retailers would be willing to pay for it and later use the idea of fruits and vegetables cleaned off pesticides in their marketing. Ideally only those vegetables chosen by a customer should be cleaned after their permission. Cash register is the perfect place for such device. Apart from its main purpose it should be cheap, easy to use by unfamiliar with it personnel and applicable to current structure of the cash register. Eventually, our solution was a modified plastic bag stand. This devise is to be installed at the place of current stands; therefore its dimensions at the base are 13” x 13”. The lower part of our stand looks exactly the same as current stands with hooks for the bags. However, the top part of it has cleaning part. It

consists of two inclined surfaces that are covered with spongy material impregnated with cleaning chemical. This part of the device is responsible for cleaning a bottom part of a vegetable. The tilted surfaces are attached to the walls of the bag holder by two rails each. At the same time, each rail is inside of a spring, which pushes the inclined surface away from the walls of the holder. At the point where both surfaces connect, there are coarse strings covered with the same chemical as spongy areas. Whenever the customer want to purchase a vegetable or a fruit, the cashier pushes it through the device. The spongy part cleans the bottom part of the fruit. As it gets to the very bottom of the tilted surfaces, the rails start to move through the holes in the walls and surfaces spread apart letting the fruit continue going down. As it goes further down, strings clean the sides and the top part of the fruit. Then the fruit falls directly to the bag, and strings return tilted surfaces back to their initial position. That was a good solution in general; however upon further investigation we realized that spongy surfaces and strings would get dirty rather quickly and they also can be hazardous because some fruits can leave their particles on the strings. If a customer is allergic to the fruit, whose particle left on the strings from the previous customer, it can cause severe seizure and possible death. For these reasons Cash Register Cleaning Device was mentioned in the report only as a possible alternative.

Praxis II – Navigation for the Blind within TTC Our team was assigned to design a better wayfinding method for visually impaired customers of TTC (Toronto Transit Commission). In particular RFP was focused on subway stations, which in some cases have extremely complicated layout. According to the RFP, solution should not cause inconvenience to other commuters, should avoid any additional undesired attention, take user a short amount of time to learn how to get from point A to B and also should minimize cost for implementer and blind people. Our team had many various ideas, but solution that I suggested was eventually chosen as our final. When I was thinking about the problem, I wanted it to be more or less personalized. Ideally, the system should provide unique directions to every blind individual and at the same time stay applicable to the third largest transportation system in North America. Personally I did not want to rely on any kind of electronic guiding device, because of a big number of potential problems (batteries, controls and technophobia in general). I also wanted my solution to work for all king of customers, including new to the city and tourists. As a result I scoped it to the solution within the station. I didn’t want my solution to require any special training; therefore, I decided to research the ways blind people interact with the world and the ways they navigate. Upon research I found out that cane is the most common tool used by visually impaired people to walk. As a result I considered tactile surfaces as a solution rather naturally. Furthermore, I found out that it is really hard for the blind to walk straight and tactile surfaces are extremely helpful in this case. Hence, I decided to improve current tactile surfaces system in TTC the way that it will guide users to the destination of their choice.

I remembered the way of navigation I saw in Sunnybrook Hospital. There they had a board with a list of departments in the hospital. Each department was assigned a certain color, which was mapped by the line of the same color on the walls. Instructions suggested following the line of respective department. I found it fascinating, as there is no need to remember complicated layout of the floor, directions are quick and simple and chances for mistake are minimized. By this point I already had an idea of combining this idea and tactile surfaces – different tactile surfaces represent different directions. The same way as in Sunnybrook, a person identifies their final destination at some initial point and follows respective tactile surface to their final destination. Then I thought about the information stand, where customers will obtain directions to the point of their interest. Following the same concept that I saw in the hospital, information stand did not have to provide complicated step by step directions, it only have to introduce the customer to the system, give a choice of possible directions and describe type of the line to follow. After summarizing all my ideas, I realized that it should be simply a board with “you are here” identifier and different lines going from there towards different directions. When I discussed it with my partners, in order to make the method easier and faster, we decided to make some pre-choices for users. When we were working on designing the patterns and info stand we realized that giving the user a choice whether to use an elevator, escalator or stairs overcomplicates the system. Furthermore, we wanted the system to be as fast as possible, and we believe giving a customer multiple choices might take much more time for relatively nonessential convenience. Therefore, considering that elevators and escalators can be out of order or on maintenance, stairs was the only option left. In case there are more than one entrance to the platform, our solution would not provide them with an option that will lead them to the one we consider the most efficient.

Putting such restrictions made our final solution much simpler – we needed only one patter leading to one side of the platform. Taking into account the layout of the whole subway system we decided to have only 5 patterns, which represent South, North, East and West directions as well as Exit. We agreed that the same pattern would lead to towards the same direction at all subway stations. As a result experienced visually impaired person would be able to identify their direction by simply recognizing the pattern. In addition to this we suggested to each pattern have its own color so regular TTC users will know that in order to get, for example, to the Northbound trains they just have to follow blue line. Therefore, our solution also improves navigation in TTC for regular people too. We suggested the following colors for 5 directions: North (cold) – blue, South (hot) – red, East (sun rises) – yellow, West (associated with money) – green, and black for Exit, as a neutral color. With regards to info stand we wanted it to be as simple as possible. We decided to install an elevated button in the middle of the surface, with “You Are Here” written on it in both regular text and Braille. We expect the person to push it intuitively, and it will initialize quick verbal instruction and directions. However, even if the person did not press the button, they still will be able to obtain all necessary information from the instructions written in Braille.

space for experimenting and by testing we identified the following 5 pattern as the most distinctive from each other:

The material we suggested for such patterns was thermoplastic or cold plastic. Both materials are very durable and easy to apply. Thermoplastic, for instance, is used for road marking in Europe and proved to last at least 8 times longer than regular materials used. Furthermore, its height can be increased to a desired level –this option frequently used in road marking to warn drivers.

On the sides of the button the info stand will have minimized copies of the patterns leading to different directions. At the same time if the pattern is to right from the button, the actual pattern can be found to the right from the stand. All the instructions will be in both English and Braille, so that regular people can use it for themselves or to assist blind. As for the patterns, we combined all our research and decided to make all of them 57 cm wide (shoulder width), which is exactly the space a person need to walk comfortably. So the person will be actually walking on it and will be able to feel it with both a cane and their feet. That gave us some

Information Stand and Tactile Surfaces

Praxis II– 3D Model of the Subway Station for Blind People Navigation Project

the planes in unions, as Denis discovered that AutoCAD works faster when big objects are in unions.

Another subpart for this project was to design a 3D model of the Queen’s Park Subway Station. We decided that having a 3D model of the subway station at our poster during the showcase will highly increase the comprehension of the concept. However, because nobody in our team knew how to make it, my partner Denis Burkov and I decided to attempt to draw it using textbooks and YouTube tutorials.

It was much harder to create an information stand. At first, I created a plane with a map and extruded required parts of it. Then it took a lot of time to recline this plane in proper way. Eventually I used 3D Align tool, with allowed to rotate in desired direction. However, during Alignment some of the parts of the plane changed their location with respect to the other parts of the plane. It took us a few hours before we discovered the option of changing the orientation of the coordinate system. Only by changing the orientation, we were able to make proper modification to our tilted info plane. After that we uses curved planes and modified boxes to crease the body of the stand.

We started by rather simple 2D plan of the main platform. Due to security concerns we were neither able to obtain blueprints, nor to take measurements on site. Therefore, Denis went to the station and measured it with his steps, which allowed us to have more or less realistic proportions. As soon as we were done with 2D layout, we used Extrude function to make 3D objects out of 2D shapes. That was the way we started to work in 3D; however, later we discovered easier ways to accomplish the same results by switching to 3D modeling mode and using preset objects such as box, cylinder, cone and etcetera. While working on the model we learned how to work with various 3D objects, such as those mentioned above and planes; we also mastered in texture application and later rendering of the model. We attempted to explore lightening, but we did not have enough time to finish it. Even though each of us was involved in absolutely all parts of the drawing, Denis was focused the most on the platform and upper level and I was responsible for creation of the information stand and tactile surfaces. Tactile surfaces were rather simple: I drew auxiliary borders for patterns and then drew Plane Surfaces within these borders. We later combined all

This experience was particularly interesting and useful, as I obtained experience in 3D modeling. We used it for illustrations on our poster and for walk through experience on the large screen during our final presentation. I am planning to continue working in AutoCAD and therefore, I have plans to learn it properly during the summer break.

View of the 3D Model Used in Poster Design

3D Model of the Information Stand

Poster for Blind People Navigation Project For the presentation of our solution during the showcase we were supposed to have a large poster to illustrate the main aspects of our solution. In order to accomplish it, we were supposed to use vector graphics software, which none of us was familiar with. As a result, the same way as with 3D model, my partner Denis Burkov and I spent some time learning the basics of Adobe Illustrator.

As for the pictures we had to save some of the AutoCAD views as PDF, and then insert it in our poster in order to ensure vector format of the picture. Overall, I think that this poster was a successful project as it was covering the most important aspects of our solution, while being concise and simple.

At first, I watched numerous tutorial videos on YouTube and then spent couple hours experimenting with various tools and options. Some of the most useful tools were basic shapes, pen, grid and layers. The second step was to create the layout of the poster. We wanted the heading to standout and ensure that person will understand the topic of the poster right away. For that reason we dedicated nearly 1/5 at the top of the poster to the heading and added TTC logo and Blind Person sign next to it. We then wanted to ensure some kind of natural flow of reading. So we divided the rest of the poster in four even parts and made the leftmost top sector dedicated to wayfinding process. We used triangular shapes pointing down between the points in order to ensure correct reading direction. Intuitively it should lead them towards information stand section, continued by Tactile Surfaces part. As for information on the poster, we wanted to have just the most essential points of the design. For the info stand we briefly described the function of three main elements, while for Tactile Surfaces section we simply provided the patters we are suggesting to use. As it was suggested in “Slide:ology� by Nancy Duarte for the color scheme we decided to use colors from the field. We decided to go with grey (subway cars) and blue (color associated with accessibility). Bright blue was later changed to baby blue in order to harmonize the color scheme.

Direction We Expected People to Read the Poster

The Final Version of the Poster

Praxis II – Prototypes for Blind People Navigation Project Another important part of that project was to create prototypes of the tactile patterns. At first we wanted to build them purely for the critique assignment as a demonstration of our idea. However, later we realized that we will need t do some testing and therefore, we decided to build full-size prototypes. For our first version, we found 3mm thick cardboard plates at arts supply shop. We used 5 of these plates as a base, and used the rest to make the actual pattern. As a result we got one-meter-long, full-scale testing prototypes. These patterns were later used by our team member who did testing. However, for the final showcase we decided to make better prototypes that would be made of tougher material, so that people could actually walk on them without breaking. At the same art supply store we found the same kind of plates, but made of plastic. In order to minimize the price we did our base 60 cm (3 cm larger than the width of a tactile surface), and glued different patterns to both sides of the base. As a result we used 3 plates of plastic, instead of 7, as we did for cardboard prototypes. Overall, both prototypes performed well and accomplished the mission they were created for. I am fully satisfied with both materials and willing to use them in the future for the similar projects.

Working on the Cardboard Prototypes

Working on the Plastic Prototypes

Testing out Designs

Engineering Design Portfolio for Praxis II  

Engineering Design Portfolio for Praxis II