The Rs. 3,000-project uses scrap materials

Creativity knows no boundaries – students like Amogh Desai of Belgaum is a case in the point. A first semester year Mechanical Engineering student of Angadi Institute of Technology (AITM) in the city, Amogh has shown early signs of innovation. While working in the workshop at his college, he saw a metal cutting machine running on electric power, which kindled a thought: “Is it possible to devise an equipment to cut metal pieces and also saves power? Pondering over this thought for some time led him to a wonderful idea: “Why not use a bicycle?” And this was how the Pedal-powered Hacksaw Metal Cutter came into existence.

The power hacksaw machine, which runs on electric power, works on the principle of the conversion of rotational motion to oscillatory motion. The bicycle also uses the same principle. To give shape to his idea, Amogh first bought an old bicycle from a scrap market. He then cut the pedals of the bicycle from 12 cm to 8 cm and welded it as per requirement and re-affixed the pedals to it.

He used a guide to control the hacksaw blade which is used to cut the metal. Metal slabs were fitted on the hacksaw blade to ensure pressure on the object to be cut and linear movement of the blade. A clamp, with 360 degree rotation, was fixed to hold the metal pieces while cutting, and to allow them to be cut in any shape and angle.

Amogh also added a chain to the bicycle for easier pedalling. He fixed the chain in reverse to that of a normal bicycle and finalised the design of the pedal-powered metal cutter.

Since a lot of energy is produced during the pedalling process, Amogh envisioned utilising it productively. He fixed a dynamo and a 12-volt battery to store the energy. To transfer the energy generated from dynamo to the battery, a forward-biased diode was used. The saved energy could be used to light a 12-volt bulb, which comes in handy while working in the dark.

One of the advantages of this cutter is its portability. It could be used wherever metal cutting is done in small scales, including at construction sites and furniture units, or to cut metal for window panes. It can also be used in college workshops and auto garages to save electricity. Amogh says he spent about Rs. 3,000 to develop the equipment.

Sudheendra Dhawale of Leaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) Program of Deshpande Foundation, said Amogh had shown how simple ideas could lead to technological developments helpful to the community, particularly to workers of the lower income groups. Amogh was a proud member of LEAD, he added.