If you want to create something, working through the engineering process is vital. The engineering process is first defining the problem, then developing solutions, then optimizing prototypes. However, it isn’t just a three step process. You go through it many times, and in the end, you will have a solution to your goal.
The first step that we took when we were given the design goal “something wearable with another purpose” was narrowing the goal down. Starting is the hardest part, but once we narrowed this goal down to “elbow and knee pads that will keep you safe” we had kick started a momentum that drove us through until the end.
The next step we took was developing solutions to this goal. We used background knowledge from previous slime test observations to come up with a base polymer (boogers) and other substances we wanted to add (PVA solution and glue, borax, cornstarch, water, guar gum). With this information, we started to test ratios of substance to substance to find a perfect ratio that will give us a polymer that will fit our goal. This took the most time and effort. We had our first ratio, and of course it wasn’t perfect. This meant that we were back to the drawing board, finding the problem with our polymer and then fixing it by adding more of the substance that would give that polymer the property it was missing. Of course this would also counter act some properties therefore we would need to optimize it again, but eventually, we were able to come up with a polymer that worked. It was a cycle of finding the problem and finding solution, but being engineers we “never gave up, never surrendered”.
Through all of this, we learned many things. Without passion for the outcome of our polymer, we would never have gotten this far, we would have given up the first problem we came across. With this we understood the true importance of passion. In broader terms, we learned what it was like being an engineer and all the difficulty it bared.