The Figure shown above, was the first visualization of the challenge presented by the sponsor. It illustrates a system that needs to be completed in order for its desired outputs to be accomplished. At the top of the diagram there are numerous switches placed above an actuator separated by ¾ mm of air. In actuality these switches require 3000 lbs of force in order to activate them, however, due to facility restraints this force has been reduced to 100 lbs of force in order to simplify the actual design plans. The actuator rests on top of a thrust bearing, which in turn rests upon a stable platform. The thrust bearing’s lower section is fixed to the platform at their point of contact and its upper section is free to rotate. Everything that is at or above the upper section of the thrust bearing will be rotating at an RPM of at least 200, this figure has been also scaled down from 10,000 because of limitations from funding and facility hardware. The one conclusive factor that is driving this project is the conception of an idea that will allow the actuator to traverse ¾ mm in the vertical direction with enough force to activate the switches while not affecting the rotation in any way whatsoever.
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