For this week’s featured ENGS 89/90 project, I spoke to Matt Reynolds about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it.
Matt’s team was tasked with building a better snowboarding mount. The team’s sponsor, Terry Smith, realized that because skis bend in a U-shape (with the lowest point under the boot) they handle a lot better, whereas when you’re on a snowboard, there’s a large flat space between the rider’s feet. Terry wanted to know if it would be possible to design a snowboarding mount that would allow the board to bend in that U-shape.
Because the idea was provided by the sponsor, Matt’s team was basically doing a feasibility study designed to figure out if there was a viable way to make such a mount.
Originally, Terry wanted to try putting a post on a snowboard and mounting a platform on top of those posts to maximize the bend in the board, but on realizing that that made it extremely difficult to steer the board, the team decided to try different designs. The team is now on their third design. They say the boards’ performance and handling get better with each subsequent design!
For this project, the team used the machine shop extensively. They drilled holes through the snowboards, cut pieces of metal and wood for the mounts, and welded parts of the mounts together.