This project tasked us with replicating Elon Musk's infamous Hyperloop on a workshop scale. We were to transport 2 eggs down a 20 metre, 80mm pipe - using a shuttle that would be tested on it's top speed and total time taken. We had to investigate methods of acceleration, deceleration and keeping the eggs safe. We were provided with an EDF fan, battery, speed controller and receiver.
Step 1: Body of Shuttle
Our design for the main body was fairly straightforward. It was a cylinder that fitted around the 55mm EDF snugly. We introduced an air buffer behind the fan to force the air around the breaking mechanism, electronics and eggs. This buffer was made from foam. A small hole was made through the foam to allow the wiring to go through it.
A large section of the tube was cut to allow easy access into the vessel. This was secured with tape while testing.
Step 2: Protection of Eggs
The eggs were placed in an egg holder made from foam and then wrapped in bubble-wrap. They were wrapped enough such that when the tube was closed, it was a tight fit. This ensured the eggs stayed fixed whilst the shuttle was moving.
Step 3: Breaking Mechanism
An 8mm threaded rod would be fixed to a motor. Once rotated, it would drive an 8mm nut upwards. The top nut's thread was removed to keep it in place. The parasol-like mechanism would then lift the two arms out from the body of the pod and press against the side of the pipe, stopping the shuttle.
To keep the mechanism fixed, four thin metal guides were introduced.
The breaking mechanism required a 9V battery to work.
It was run off of the receiver and activated near the end of the pipe.