The diver propulsion vehicle was a one-month long product design project. The goal was to redesign the standard DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle). I wanted to make something that looked more aerodynamic and sleek in its design. To start I looked at images of animals that we may be able to mimic such has dolphins and rays.

We used these animals as a reference to start sketching out possible designs for the DPV. After initial design sketches were complete I created a 3D model in Fusion 360 to start to figure out how we could make this a reality.

The design includes a central propeller for thrust modeled off of the appearance of the mouth on a ray. This is surrounded by the housing that the user rests their body on. This housing is also where all the electronics are located. On the bottom of the housing, there is an electronics bay. It holds the battery, electronic speed controller (ESC) and an Arduino that is used to ramp throttle up and down when the user pulls the switch.

This 3D model went through multiple iterations. To begin with these changes were due to aesthetic choices. Eventually, though there were also technical changes made to allow it to be 3D printed. Its mass was reduced by over 25% to reduce the amount of material needed. Then to prepare to actually fabricate the project it had to be split into subsections to fit within 3D printer constraints.

Once all the pieces were printed they were glued together and Bondoed to cover any seems. The original intent had been to print all in ABS which would have allowed us to use Acetone to water seel the outer shell. Unfortunately due to the short timeline that was not possible. In the case of this model, it was then painted with filler primer instead and will be clear coated for underwater tests.

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After the body was done it needed to be wired and have the handles attached. Wires were fed through the body to the handles where they were connected to a switch that would allow the user to turn on or off the motor. There is no variable throttle, in this design instead it ramps to a set speed. I then wired up with its battery, motor, speed controller and Arduino as well as coding a small program to talk to the ESC. The Arduino turns the on of state of the trigger switch on the handle to a ramp up to a set speed when on and ramp down to zero when not on.

Hopefully in the near future this project will get to be properly tested underwater.