Closing Reflection Q&A !!

What is your favorite thing that you learned?

My favorite thing I learned throughout this whole process was probably that all ideas can be laid out physically if you are really passionate about it. We never thought we would be holding an actual 3D prototype of our design. Adding on to our 3D designed prototype, I also re-learned how to use tinker-cad after learning it briefly at a previous summer program which was really nice because I got to experiment a little more and try and remember what I already had some experience in.  

What new questions do you have about this topic?

Well, Neta and I realized after testing our prototype on an actual bike pedal, that the bike pedal itself needs to be sturdy enough to secure our prototype which is something I want to experiment with more. I think looking into different parts of the actual bike that affect our prototype will be helpful in terms of future success. 

What worked out as expected?

Building a 3D prototype definitely happened just as we had hoped from the start of our journey, and luckily we made it happen just in time before exams. There were some errors with our 3D print, but we worked around them which allowed for even more creativity!

What was surprising/exciting/challenging?

I mentioned this above, but our dimensions and measurements we used in tinkercad to 3D print our prototype were wrong because when we pieced the different parts together, the measurements were off by a slight miscalculation which prevented us from moving forward. This was challenging because we had to physically adjust the measurements by shaving off some of the 3D print and creating tolerance which was definitely a new and exciting experience for me!

What did you learn about your learning process? 

I learned when making a plan, it is important to think reasonably. What I mean by this is think ahead and try to imagine future steps before getting to a point in time when you realize you are really behind on your goals. This is because there are always going to naturally be setbacks. For example, we planned on having the 3D print done in a week, but it ended up taking 2 weeks. Luckily we left enough time at the end of the year to adjust our schedule.

Testing on bike!

After quite a quite a bit of time testing and finalizing our final prototype, we got the chance to test it out on an actual bike in the gym! While placing our prototype on the bike and putting it in motion we felt accomplished because we never thought we would have been here at the beginning of the semester. We also realized that our prototype worked on all generic bikes since the pedals were mostly the same design which was really exciting.

In the lab

This is a picture I took of Neta while we were testing the motion and functionality of our 3D prototype in the lab (after hot glue gunning a spring inside).

More pictures :)

3D Parts of Prototype

We finally had the opportunity to see our 3D print and take a picture! Everything worked out well, but since the measurements were not completely accurate, we had to shave off some of the 3D print to make the parts fit together when we tried combining the 3 parts to form our final prototype.


As we are learning more within our design process, we have started finalizing our idea of our final prototype. After deciding we wanted to work with the Camshaft idea, we narrowed down and decided we wanted to make an upside down CamShaft that connects to the socket of a prosthesis. Camshafts can be hard to work with in our situation because the CamShaft might not being long enough to reach the bike’s pedals. So, we thought of using an egg-shaped object at the bottom that could potentially fix this problem because if the object attached was a perfect circle, then it would not function properly. It wouldn’t touch the pedal at all times due to its shape which is a problem since it interferes with our design goals. We are now 3D designing on Tinkercad so that we can eventually print our 3D model by the end of the month!

Workings of Camshaft Brainstorming

Halfway Reflection

  • What have you been learning so far? Give a brief summary. 

Personally, I have learned that through our process, even the smallest pieces of insight can go a long way. After finishing up our brainstorming process and a good amount of interviews, new questions have risen that will most likely impact our design a lot. I also learned that after the “brainstorming” process, you have to brainstorm a design which tells me how many aspects that need to be considered when entering the engineering design process. We are now at the point where we think we know what our final design will be.

  • What has stirred your emotions?  Anything delightful, intriguing, frustrating, shocking?

One thing that has “stirred” my emotions throughout our independent study is probably thinking outside of the box when it comes to trying to work around obstacles. Even the brainstorming process, where both Neta and I tried to come up with 5 potential designs was frustrating because we had to try and fit our design with our ultimate goals.

  • What new questions do you have about this topic?

I still question how we are supposed to know what factor in our design process should we consider the most or adjust to the most. Is getting on the bike a bigger problem than being able to balance on the bike?

  • What are you learning about your learning process? 

I definitely answered this question more i the first question, but I would say I am learning how to be patient and careful with my decisions. Even though we may be stuck sometimes in the same place for 2 weeks, we continue to push forward and make more progress. We can not rush into anything since this is, afterall, a learning experience.

  • Review your blog posts so far. Have they opened up conversations or led to new learning? 

I, personally, am continuing to work on my blog posts. I think when Neta and I write things down and think them through within our blog posts, we lay out our ideas that could potentially lead to a discovery within our process. It is also nice to see the connections we both make and the similarities and differences within our thoughts even though we are doing the same study together.

  • What has been the most helpful thing that has come from meetings with your content advisor?

I think weekly check-ins just help in general because there have definitely been moments where we think we are going to go one path, but then meet with our content advisor and completely shift our ideas and path we want to take.

  • What do you need to change?

I think in terms of our study, we are on a good path and we have good timing. Perosnally, I want to post more on my blog instead of dumping al my ideas out every 3 weeks. That would work way better and everything would be more organized.

  • Do you need any help that you’re not currently receiving?

Nope, we are on the right track. Neta and I are looking forward to finishing this independent study with a design that was worth the process 🙂


A lot has happened regarding who we have met and the types of advice both neta and I have received about our study. We conducted interviews and met with people such as Mr. Adair, Dr. Katherine Saul, and of course our advisor, Ms. Starling. During the envision process of what we might want to come up with in the end, Neta and I were unsure of what our device would look like or even function like. We both knew in the beginning that we were leaning more towards designing a prosthesis because that was ultimately our goal. The problem with this was that we were not thinking outside of the box. We ignored important factors and did not ask “Is this realistically going to happen?” “Is this feasible?” or “Does this vision take into account our large audience?” which limited our view of what we wanted our final device to be. So, we met with Dr. Saul. We presented our ideas on how we want to approach the brainstorming process. We presented the conflict of a prosthesis even being plausible, and she gave us the great idea of attaching/incorporating a widget device onto the bike so there is a larger chance of usability increasing since a functional leg is no longer needed. This was great because it meant less costs and more functionality/accessibility.

LDC’s & Bikes/Cycling

After a good amount of research, we found that cycling is the most effective form of exercise in terms of getting heart rate up. While researching the limitations cyclists with amputations have, we came to the realization that not everyone uses bikes for exercise. In our AP Human Geography class, we learned that bikes are actually essential to lesser developed countries’ (LDCs’) economy. Bikes are used to get people places (jobs +more) in order to fulfill their basic standards of living. They are not just used as a form of casual exercise because not everyone is fortunate in every country. Not everyone has the luxury to just buy a 50,000 prosthesis. This is where our second point arose. Money is a HUGE factor in determining whether to get a prosthesis or not. Accessibility is important. Not everyone everywhere has the luxury to just by a prosthetic knee when they need one which is mainly due to accessibility and the price of prosthetics. We started thinking about what makes prosthetics so expensive. We were thinking that if there is one factor that makes prosthetics so expensive between people, it might be possible to make a change. The major reason AK prosthetics are expensive is because they have to be adjustable to the specific person they are providing for. If we can make one form of the same prosthetic and make that one prosthetic adjustable to fit each person’s need, it will limit costs by a major amount.