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Navistar RV Porch

I was the lead engineer for the Akimbo Porch, one of the projects created for the Integrated Product Design course in Spring 2011.
Integrated Product Design involves teams of engineers, MBA's, and designers working with a company to design a revolutionary new product.

Sketch-up model of the design by Zachary Burchman

My team spent the semester working for Navistar, focusing specifically on their Recreational Vehicles. Navistar asked us to design innovative RV features that would distinguish their vehicles in the market place.

We conducted extensive market research, visited shows RV, and interviewed RV users to assess the market for innovative features. Based on what we learned about the social behavior of RV users, we identified a market opportunity for an expandable porch and gathering area that could be used on the side of the RV.
As the head engineer I created the mechanical design and support structure for the expandable porch. I used the engineering drawings of Navistar's RV chassis to construct detailed CAD models and ensure all the components would function in the limited space available. In addition, I designed a series of mounting points for the porch which could be easily fixed to a current Navistar chassis, minimizing the work required for Navistar to incorporate the innovation into its existing RV product line.
I ran a series of FEA simulations and stress calculations to understand how the expandable porch would react under a heavy load so I could maximize the strength and reliability of the design.
Finally, I created a series of high quality renderings and animations of the model to help Navistar understand the design. Our work is being used by Navistar in its application for a patent of the new design.

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