Mechanical engineering students design and 3D print a multipurpose valve

By Kamryn Wesson

Special from UTPB

University of Texas Permian Basin engineering students wrapped up the semester by presenting their senior design projects—a project all engineering students must complete to graduate.

Mechanical engineering students, Marian Valdes Schenke, Maribel Garcia, and Esteban Garcia Silva designed and 3D printed a valve that functions as a flow controller and a differential pressure device. The team tells us about their ingenuity behind the design.

“Our team was inspired to create a valve that could control fluid conditions and create differential pressure to measure volumetric flow rates in response to the demand we observed for these types of devices in the Permian Basin,” Schenke said. “We decided to take on this challenge since we had not seen the product on the market yet.”

The students used GrabCAD for 3D printing, SolidWorks for designing the parts and conducting finite element simulations, and Excel to develop the calculator they utilized throughout their project. There were many hours put into this effort.

“On average, we have each dedicated 12 hours per week to this project, resulting in a total of 192 hours per team member,” Silva said.

Each member of the team had a different role to fulfill in order for the project to come together. Silva focused on cost analysis, development of design, study of current products on the market, and other work with BP Supply Inc. Garcia concentrated on element finite analysis, research, and application of knowledge gained from her internship with 3S. Schenke took on mathematical analysis, development of design, free body diagram, force calculations, and application of knowledge gained from her internship with Morrow Energy.

Garcia said she feels this project has helped the group become better equipped with the knowledge needed to succeed in the industry.

“We have done extensive research on industry standards, which has helped us gain a better understanding of how the design process goes,” Garcia said. “We also improved on our communication skills since we had to talk with several engineers who work in manufacturing.”

Courtesy Photo

The team shared their appreciation for the UTPB College of Engineering and all the faculty who helped them succeed.

“We greatly appreciate the reliable and supportive professors who were always willing to offer guidance whenever we needed assistance,” Schenke said. “The University’s exceptional facilities also played a critical role in the successful development of our senior design project.”

Silva added that he would encourage anyone who is looking to study mechanical engineering to enroll at UTPB.

“The department offers a fantastic opportunity for future engineers to focus on academic success while receiving encouragement and support from knowledgeable professors,” Silva said. “Additionally, UTPB is one of the most affordable ABET-accredited Universities, which is essential for those looking to study engineering.”

To learn more about mechanical engineering senior design projects, contact Professor Md Salah Uddin at [email protected].