2019 Team7

Project Overview  |  Proof of Concept  |  Final Design  |  Fabrication  |  Testing and Results  |  Meet the Team  |  Acknowledgements

Project Overview

Denslowe Designs aims to design an abrasion tester for gaming cabinet surface finishes that can test wear characteristics between two surfaces for Scientific Games. The team’s goal is to align their visions and ideas with the needs and requirements from Scientific Games to develop a device that can meet the standards of a company that is respected for quality within their industry. With the wide range of environments and materials that can come in contact with the surfaces of gaming cabinets, a device that can simulate real world conditions is an important part of the process of developing new and innovative cabinet surfaces. Creating lasting impressions of quality for users comes from extensive testing of the various wear conditions a gaming cabinet can experience so that the final product displays durability in any setting over a long period of time.


Proof of Concept

Denslowe Design’s Gaming Cabinet Surface Finish Abrasion Tester will be used in the gaming industry. There are other companies that also produce surface finish abrasion testers, such as Taber Industries and Danilee Co. While they do not cater only to the gaming industry, they are Denslowe Designs competition as they produce a similar product that can be used by gaming cabinet manufacturers. To prepare for entering the market, Denslowe Design has done market research to learn about the products competing companies produce and have learned how to design a unique and valuable product that will fit nicely in the market niche that is the gaming industry.

For the proof of concept, Denslowe Design is doing a Finite Element Analysis, Steady State Thermal Analysis, and a Transient Thermal Analysis in SolidWorks of their final design to ensure that the design can handle the stresses and the heat generated by the wear element. By analyzing all parts of the machine for stress, strain, displacement, and temperature Denslowe Design will ensure that all parts of the wear tester perform as expected and will not break from regular use. The Finite Element Analysis will prove that the forces the wear tester will be subject to will not strong enough to stress or bend it in undesired ways that could affect performance. The Steady State Thermal Analysis will prove that the maximum temperatures seen on any part of the wear tester will not be hot enough to deteriorate the materials and weaken them. Finally, the Transient Thermal Analysis will prove that over an expected period of use the wear tester will not exceed the maximum expected temperature as defined by the Steady State Thermal Analysis. These simulations should mirror the real world pretty closely and therefore give us a better understanding of how our concept could be improved, as well as what it already does well. In this way when the wear tester is built, we know what we can expect from it during operation.


Final design

The frame of the abrasion tester will be created from sheet metal measuring 8”x5”x1/8”. This frame will subsequently be mounted on a plate of sheet metal to create a sturdy base. This plate will measure 9”x9”x1/4”. A 3.5 in rectangular hole will accommodate the readout/input screen of the Raspberry Pi control system. A LabView program will be developed in order to run the solenoid motor and display the output (solenoid repetition value). This program will be ran through a Raspberry Pi which will be placed inside of the frame prior to the final enclosure of the base. A hole will be drilled through the frame to accommodate the USB cable from the laptop to the Raspberry Pi. A 3in x 2in “basket” will be welded in to contain the sample. Retainers will be included in the final design in order to restrain the sample piece and prevent inadvertent movement of the sample. A 12V solenoid motor will be mounted to a moveable mount and will be driven by the Raspberry Pi equipped with the Labview program

This product is designed to be a versatile and easy-to-use gaming cabinet surface finish abrasion tester. The product will be useful in evaluating the potential longevity of existing and proposed surface finishes for gaming machines. The product is designed to be extremely versatile and accepting of many different material types. The Labview program that drives the motor is designed for a user unfamiliar with systems operation, so it can be used by even the most inexperienced user. The product is also designed with safety in mind, and Denslowe Design has been careful in mitigating any safety risks that have been identified with the project.



The fabrication for the teams project is rather straightforward. The first step is to assemble the electronics that drive the machine, which breaks down in this manner

  • Prototype circuit on breadboard
  • Create a permanent circuit using solder board
  • Attach power supply and Raspberry Pi to circuit

The next steps are to create the frame that will hold all of the electrical components and the test sample. They break down in this manner

  • Consult the drawings
  • Gather materials
  • Cut sheet metal into the correct sizes
  • Weld all pieces together to create final assembly

After the electrical and mechanical components have been individually created, the next step is to assemble them together to create the final functional prototype.


Testing and Results



Meet the Team

Neil Dodds

Neil Dodds is a Mechanical Engineering student from Newcastle, CA. His most challenging engineering project has been designing an airfoil and simulation software for an aerodynamics course, and he has worked to improve his problem solving skills during his time at the University of Nevada Reno.  Outside of school, Neil has rebuilt and restored a 1970 Mercedes 280se that he inherited from his dad, during which he used analytical techniques to solve problems with the cooling and exhaust systems. Neil’s goals are to graduate on time and to work in robotics or aerospace after graduation.





Anthony Graver

Anthony Graver is a mechanical engineering student from Reno, Nevada. The most challenging engineering project that Anthony has been a part of was his freshman year hovercraft project due to the importance of his leadership to the success of the team. Managing a diverse team with differing levels of dedication to the course taught Anthony valuable people skills that are important to the success of any engineer in a professional environment. The most relevant application of his engineering problem solving skills outside of work and school is seen when he attempts to work on his German car himself, which usually ends up discovering more problems than are solved. Anthony plans on continuing to work hard in school for his last semester before graduating and seeking entry-level employment that allows for paid travel.




Matt Escola

Matt Escola is from Saratoga, California and is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Nevada, Reno. The most challenging engineering project Matt has been apart of was the hovercraft project due to it being the first real group project in an engineering team. Scheduling times to meet when everyone had very different schedules was a real challenge, as well as coming up with creative solutions to the task at hand. Matt has improved his teamwork and creative thinking skills throughout his academic career. Outside of school, engineering has helped him modify his car as well as discover problems and solutions for repairs. For example, when his car developed an intake leak, Matt used an unlit propane torch around every vacuum hose until he found one that sucked in propane and raised the engine speed. He then replaced that hose to fix the issue. Matt’s current goals are to complete his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and future goals consist of finding field-related work after college. He also aims to save up enough money to purchase a house.




Dominic Aramini

Dominic Aramini, from Reno, Nevada, is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno. In the near future, Dominic will complete a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He plans to find a promising position at an aeronautical company while pursuing a Master’s degree somewhere out of state. The most challenging engineering project Dominic has been involved in was building a hovercraft. This project was challenging because it demanded a lot of time and teamwork which was a new experience for him considering it was his first year in college. Other than improving on engineering concepts and teamwork, Dominic has developed important computer skills which will be beneficial in his career. He has learned how to use programs such as Solidworks and Labview, as well as coding in C++ and Matlab. Something Dominic is proud of that he accomplished outside of school was building a drone. As it took extensive research, he was able to assemble a simple quadcopter that improved his knowledge about what he wants to do in his future.






Nathaniel George

Nathaniel George is a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in mechanical engineering. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Nathaniel plans on moving to the east coast after graduation and beginning his engineering career. As for immediate plans, he hopes to progress in his current roles as a writing consultant at the University Writing Center and as an engineering intern at Via Inc. He cites his most challenging engineering accomplishment as creating an innovative and comprehensive engineering documentation process at his current internship. During his academic career, Nathaniel has progressed extensively with CAD and 3D modeling software, which he had been entirely unfamiliar with until attending the University of Nevada. He has used these modeling skills outside of the classroom to design and print various automotive components to supplement those sold by the dealer at a premium. Outside of school and work, he is proud to be a seasoned snowboard and ski instructor, and prides himself on his ability to teach others.