UPS Rapid Prototyping


I had the opportunity to lead multiple high-priority, quick-turnaround projects in addition to my main project work at UPS. I’m choosing to highlight these smaller projects because, in my eyes, they epitomize the practice of rapid prototyping.

#1 Robot Package Carrier - Turnaround: 4 days

A UPS technology summit was approaching, and the director of the UPS Robotics AI Laboratory met with our team about the idea of demoing their mobile robotic research platform to the crowd by having it deliver food trays when it came time for the afternoon lunch recess. With a general concept and a few ‘napkin’ sketches, I quickly CADed a design for a package carrier that would fit a standard sized package. I used the Waterjet and 3D printer to cutout and form the components of the assembly.

The package carrier was a hit when the robot arrived on stage with Chick-Fil-A lunch! Later, the same package carrier was used again in UPS’s Healthcare Conference, bringing boxes to and from miniature healthcare buildings in an interactive demo.

#2 Sensor Enclosure Box - Turnaround 2 days

A member of a UPS R&D team had a clever idea for a way to mount a sensor inside of an enclosure, and wanted help fabricating the rough CAD model they had built.

I was sent the CAD files and immediately got to work, first water jetting out sheet metal plates and then using the handbrake to make the necessary bends. I was able to collaborate with the team member on how to mount the box and provided feedback on how to improve the design for assembly.

#3 Sliding Package Dividers - Turnaround 5 days

A team member was in a sprint to finish their main project and needed help improving a package divider concept that partitioned boxes inside a larger system.

I dissected the divider’s design and identified two areas I thought would benefit from improvements. I devised a few alternative design solutions and 3D Printed iterations of each to evaluate their performance. The final design uses an all-thread connecting rod between the two wheel mounts to tension the wheel faces against their guiderails.