All I am asking for is some guidance but with discouraging comments like this, man is it even worth trying to learn.
Well, it is what it is. In this forum we don't discourage anyone from learning, because none of us here was born with an innate understanding of electronics and things electrical. Most of us acquired what we do know by the application of time and effort over long periods of time. But only you can decide what is worth trying to learn. We are here to help, but learning is up to you.
As for "guidance" please show us what you have done
so far. We can't offer any
guidance unless we know what path you are on. To date, it appears to me that you may have found one
path in the QEX article, but I see no evidence that you understand that design. Example: your question about ESR (equivalent series resistance) specification for capacitors. Example: your question about assuming a switching frequency and asking if there is a formula.
Engineering is NOT about collecting a portfolio of formulas, although many of us start out doing just that. Well, I did, but I was prepubescent at the time and didn't know any better. Formulas are a crutch, a substitute for real knowledge and understanding. Every "formula" you use in engineering (any field of engineering) you should be able to derive (at least once in your lifetime) from first principles. Engineering is applied science, not a collection of recipes and formulas. We do often refer to "cookbooks" of circuits for inspiration, but no good
engineers that I have ever met copy circuits verbatim. They take what they find, or have encountered in the past, and adapt it to their specific task at hand.
There were plenty of suggestions on the other thread, but I have yet to see you post anything resembling your own
block diagram, your own
schematic with parts specified, or your own
calculations. You did specify your parameters but without much specificity. Also, the image you posted
specified bi-polar output instead of a single output. Has something changed? Is it even necessary
that your design be a switching mode power supply? In other words, is that a "given" or is it an option? Would a power supply with a linear regulator be an acceptable design? Does the output have to be adjustable? If so, over what range? How much ripple can you tolerate in the output? How fast must the power supply respond to changes in load? Should that response be critically damped, over damped, or allowed some oscillation before settling in to a final stable output? How much can the output be allowed to change as a function of load? How much can it change for variations in the input voltage? Over what temperature range must it operate, and to what specifications? Yada, yada, yada. Point is, there are many factors to consider, some more important than others, depending on how the PSU will be used.
Okay, so now you have some "breathing room" to finish your design. I wasn't aware that it is "standard practice" to pay off someone to do the work to secure a grade. Although the practice is not unknown here in the USA, I consider it to be dishonest. Good for you that you have decided not to do that with your design effort. The "reward" may not be a higher "grade" but you will have the satisfaction of actually learning something.
As for hardware build and test, this would appear to be heavily weighted against you and any of your classmates with zero experience, compared to someone who is, for example, an electronics hobbyist and familiar with the various assembly techniques. That's too bad. As you may have noticed, the world is full of unfairness and challenges to moral integrity. Please don't let it discourage you.
Prototyping experience is valuable, even essential, if you are just learning the basic principles of an unfamiliar circuit. I hope you are able to "visit" the Electronics Laboratory as often as possible to breadboard sections of your power supply, test it, take measurements with meters and oscilloscopes, keep a notebook of the things you did, and note what did and what didn't work. Perhaps you think you can learn everything you need to know by reading the appropriate texts, but IMO you would be wrong. You need hands-on experience too and a well-kept journal.
Most working engineers now "out source" circuit board manufacturing to companies that specialize in that, including not just PCB (printed circuit board) layout and manufacturing, but also "board stuffing" with vendors providing pick-and-place automation of component selection, placement on the board, and re-flow soldering in an oven. Doing all this by yourself would definitely be character building, perhaps even worthwhile toward a career in engineering. But if you can afford the service, and your instructor does not prohibit it, why not pay someone to provide a "professional" looking board? Or learn to do it yourself and perhaps save a little money. It all depends on how much time and money you have, and how much of that you want to spend to become a well-qualified hobbyist as well as an engineer.
It is my personal opinion that really good electrical or electronic engineers are also intimately familiar with "bench work" and enjoy it immensely. Unfortunately, management at large corporations does not agree. All they are interested in is that paper ticket granted by an accredited school that says
you are an engineer. After hiring you they will train you fit their idea of what an engineer does. They hire technicians (not engineers) to read color-codes and solder parts. I have worked with so-called engineers who literally didn't know which end of a hot soldering iron to pick up and hold in their hand. When I once interviewed to be hired by one of these mega-corporations, I was told that all the unionized technicians would go on strike if I were to pick up a soldering iron (by either end). I turned down their job offer.
Some of those "cookie cutter" engineers I have met eventually learned at least the rudiments of real-world design, which most definitely does include constructing prototypes. Others learned to work the system and became engineering managers. Many, I suspect, left engineering for other careers. If you aren't having fun
in your chosen career, it's time to choose another.
So, please don't allow me or anyone else to discourage you from learning.