WARG Mechanical Bootcamp


WARG members often find that joining this team requires more knowledge and has a larger learning curve than other student teams. Once members have acquired this knowledge they gain a lot of confidence and are able to make large contributions to the team. Therefore, this Bootcamp is designed as a first task to be completed to both help you through the learning curve, while giving you a project that is fully your own. The hope is that once you complete this Bootcamp you will feel confident and hopefully have acquired enough skills such that you are ready to take on tasks with our aircraft! Just a quick disclaimer, this Bootcamp will help accelerate and minimize the learning curve but it will not give you all knowledge. The remaining knowledge will be acquired through completing other tasks with the team.

Bootcamp Objectives

  • Make justified mechanical design decisions based on project constraints and criteria
  • Learn to take accurate measurements of parts using vernier calipers
  • Learn CAD design in SolidWorks
  • Learn how to make assemblies in SolidWorks

Bootcamp Outline

This Bootcamp has two options, both of which require a Team Leads approval of completion in order to move onto working on other tasks. The estimated time of completion for this Bootcamp is 1 week.

1. Two-Axis Camera Gimbal:


A camera gimbal is an electromechanical device used to stabilize and direct a camera in a desired direction. On our aircraft the camera is a crucial component which provides us with the information allowing us to locate targets using our computer vision software. The camera gimbal houses the camera used to obtain these images. During flight it is vital to keep the camera as still as possible while always pointing towards the ground no matter what orientation the aircraft is in.


You are tasked with designing a two-axis gimbal (mechanical or electromechanical) to house a GoPro Hero 3 camera. This gimbal design needs to be lightweight, minimize drag, Additionally, the gimbal must have 90 degrees of motion in the roll axis and 120 degrees in the pitch axis. The gimbal will be attached to a flat rigid board using four M4 bolts. The design does not need to include the board but needs to have proper holes for the bolts to attach the gimbal to the board. You will need to come into the WARG bay (E5 2001) and take all necessary measurements of the GoPro using our calipers. You need to design a case to hold the GoPro and the case must make the power button, record button, and HDMI output easily accessible through the case. All parts must be made in SolidWorks using units of mm and g. If your design uses servos and/or motors you will need to model these in SolidWorks as well. After all of the parts are made, you will make an assembly with the proper mating to demonstrate the required range of motion in both axis. Once all of these tasks are completed, use the Solidworks "Pack and Go" feature to create a zip file of your parts and assembly. Then send this zip file to the appropriate team lead for approval.

Project Checklist

  • Parts made in SolidWorks using dimensions of mm and g
  • GoPro Case measured with power button exposed
  • Mounting method using 4 M4 bolts to the flat board
  • Motors / Servos selected and modeled (if required)
  • Assembly created with the gimbal able to rotate the requisite amount in both axis

Using Solidworks

There are many options for you to use SolidWorks (SW) for this Bootcamp. First, SW has a free 30 day trial which can be downloaded from their website. Second, if you are an MME student you should already have a version downloaded from your ME 100 class. Third, all the engineering computer labs have SW on the computers. Fourth, the WARG Bay has a version of SW on our desktop computer. One of these methods should be used to complete the Bootcamp. Therefore, you all should have access to the SW software.

2. Previous Team Contribution

If you have been on the team and feel that you have made a contribution significant to be exempt from the option 1 you can contact a Team Lead to explain, and preferably show the project you have done. It will be up to the Team Lead’s discretion whether you qualify to be exempt from the Bootcamp. If the Team Lead feels that you should still complete option 1 it is because they think you can learn and gain skills from the completion of the Bootcamp. An example of a project that would be exempted: 3D modeling of our VTOL aircraft in SolidWorks.

Completion of Bootcamp

Upon the approved completion of the Bootcamp by a Team Lead you are now eligible to work on other tasks with the team! If you have any feedback you would like to give to make this Bootcamp better please let a Team Lead know as we want this to be the best and most informative introduction to the team as possible.