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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 06-27-2011, 03:44 AM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by eagle33199 View Post
I really doubt the engineer that designed my blender at home worried about it killing someone. Taking off a finger maybe (and then only to protect the company from idiots who misuse the product), but not killing.
Just for the sake of argument, I'm relatively certain that someone thought about the effects of accidentally immersing a blender in the sink, while connected to mains power.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 06:21 AM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by Tristan Lall View Post
Just for the sake of argument, I'm relatively certain that someone thought about the effects of accidentally immersing a blender in the sink, while connected to mains power.
I dunno, plugs near water have those breakers that trip off if something plugged into them is in water don't they?
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Unread 06-27-2011, 09:42 AM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by Andrew Schreiber View Post
I dunno, plugs near water have those breakers that trip off if something plugged into them is in water don't they?
I don't believe all do, only the ones in my bathroom have breakers apart of the outlet itself.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 01:57 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by jmanela View Post
I don't believe all do, only the ones in my bathroom have breakers apart of the outlet itself.
Our kitchen has a few and we also have an outlet in our garage that is somehow connected to a ground fault breaker in the bathroom above it so you might be surprised.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 02:07 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by Tristan Lall View Post
Just for the sake of argument, I'm relatively certain that someone thought about the effects of accidentally immersing a blender in the sink, while connected to mains power.
That's really not a concern for the engineers. Sure, dropping just about anything plugged into an outlet into the sink or bathtub is bad (and now that I said that, someone's bound to give a counter example). However, at least here in the US, that's completely covered by the National Electrical Code, which is reviewed/amended every 3 years, and is required to be followed by law in most states. GFI circuits have been required on all outlets serving counters near sinks in the kitchen since 1987, and in bathrooms since 1975.

Rather, the results of dropping your appliance in a body of water is usually something that a company's marketing, legal, or compliance department worries about, and simply applies to the labeling materials that accompany the product - something the Engineer might never even see.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 11:18 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

I guess more of an engineering concern would be when you turn the machine on, the blade will stay safely where it is supposed to be and not hurt the customer.

However, you can try to make something as safe as you possibly can, unfortunately no matter what someone will find someway to hurt themselves. For example, you can make a car as safe as possible. It may get the highest safety ratings in it's class, but if you drive it off of a cliff there really isn't much you can do about that.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 11:20 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by eagle33199 View Post
That's really not a concern for the engineers. Sure, dropping just about anything plugged into an outlet into the sink or bathtub is bad (and now that I said that, someone's bound to give a counter example). However, at least here in the US, that's completely covered by the National Electrical Code, which is reviewed/amended every 3 years, and is required to be followed by law in most states. GFI circuits have been required on all outlets serving counters near sinks in the kitchen since 1987, and in bathrooms since 1975.

Rather, the results of dropping your appliance in a body of water is usually something that a company's marketing, legal, or compliance department worries about, and simply applies to the labeling materials that accompany the product - something the Engineer might never even see.
GFCI protection is great, if your house has it. The electrical code isn't retroactive for ordinary homes in any state that I know of. That means there are millions of dwellings in the United States that can't be counted on to be protected, not to mention hundreds of millions of such dwellings around the world. (For that matter, I wouldn't be surprised if there were 10 million American households that don't even have working safety grounds on some of their outlets.)

The engineer designing the appliance ought to know all of this, and take it into consideration. The blender's designers probably decided against a bare metal case, for example—because an internal fault could enliven the housing. (Or if it is bare metal, I bet they thought about the degradation of insulation inside of the unit, and chose something that would be durable.)

That's not to say every device is designed with the same care: an immersion blender has different insulation and sealing requirements than a tabletop blender. Although nobody needed to lose sleep over a blender, there was likely at least some consideration of the life-threatening failure modes, simply as part of the due diligence necessary to avoid a finding of negligence. You definitely wouldn't want to have to testify that you were relying on the NEC to protect users of your blender.
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Unread 06-28-2011, 05:13 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

Not to kill this otherwise illuminating argument, but most appliances use UL (Underwriter's Lab) certified components and there are standards and test for such components. (Often the Green Shirt Folks at competition have something to do with UL).

This is true of most consumer products in that there are safety standards to be followed in order to be in compliance or to rate your product relative to safety (like crash test ratings for cars). Many large companies are able to self certify and have internal labs that can perform such a test. Often not for profit organizations get together and make the standards in order to not count on the wreckless calculations of an ill-prepped engineer. For instance, most lifting apparatus have some pretty major factors of safety associated with them. A lifting harness may require a 2.3 to 4x factor of safety (depending on standard) for each atttachment point relative to the entire load. These sort of safety factors are often necessary and built from previous bad experiences. for instance, a 4 chain harness without good load distribution could actually lift most (or all) the load with 2 chains. If you used a 1.5x factor of safety relative to all 4 chains for the entire load, It might work, or it might drop a really heavy object. For further reading on chains: http://www.liftingrigging.com/Inform...ain-safety.htm

That being said, you can do your best to build a better product and idiot proof it, but society has a way of building a better idiot.

Very cool graduation present.
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Unread 07-06-2011, 02:39 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

That's a pretty sweet Graduation Gift package. It's amazing, one seems to pull in a decent amount of cash and some useful knick-knacks, but these type of gifts seem to be the most memorable and the most useful. I.E. props to my coach, who gave me a Leatherman Squirt PS4 for graduation:



I've already been using it a bunch at my current engineering internship and it was a very thoughtful and useful tool. Hope you enjoy and use yours in just as many creative and practical ways
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Unread 07-06-2011, 10:45 PM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by Navid Shafa View Post
I've already been using it a bunch at my current engineering internship and it was a very thoughtful and useful tool. Hope you enjoy and use yours in just as many creative and practical ways
I have yet to use the WD-40, however I have already finished off the duct tape with only a few different jobs.

1. Fixing a ripped boat cover
2. Fixing a tube on a pool cleaner
3. LARP foam weapon - i'm such a nerd
- lots of duct tape
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Unread 07-07-2011, 02:43 AM
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Re: pic: Graduation Present

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Originally Posted by jmanela View Post
3. LARP foam weapon - i'm such a nerd
- lots of duct tape
Jealous

We have a larp-sword which belongs to our CAD sub-team and has been passed down through student generations. It has been restored through the years and we even added a sheath for a nice duct tape transport to be flung over the back:

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=77626

What did you make, pics? ...
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