HVAC Compressor Crane

FEA Work Sample
Click here to download the report.


This is a portion of the final project involved in Computer Aided Engineering. Our task was to design a crane that could be used to lift a residential HVAC compressor out of an outdoor condensing unit, to help prevent technician back injuries. Various design restrictions were applied to the task. An FEA analysis was to be done on the crane. I was the member in the group responsible for the FEA portion of the report among other things.


The crane used a worm gear mechanism to make use of the massive mechanical advantage. The crane itself could be regularly disassembled into a base with legs that folded from a shut position to a 90 degree configuration. The crane arm fit into a slot machined in the base. A trailer hitch locking pin was to be slid into a hole running through the base and the arm, fully assembling the crane. The base could be firmly attached to the ground via holes in the base that allowed for corkscrew stakes to anchor the base to the ground.

Our group's design shattered the design limitations, in all areas including cost (50% given budget), weight (<50% of budgeted weight), and lifting capacity (400% required lifting capacity). I do not have the project files (besides the FEA analysis) available at the moment, however when I find them, this page will be updated with the pictures and animations.