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3-D Design in Art and Engineering: An Interdisciplinary Experiment

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Best In DEED

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Robert T. Bailey P.E. Loyola University Maryland

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Dr. Robert T. Bailey is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the Department of Engineering at Loyola University Maryland. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, the latter in 1991. He worked in industry for Westinghouse and Science Applications International Corporation, served as a senior program officer at the National Research Council, and taught previously at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His research interests include mechanistic engineering analyses to support risk and safety assessment of industrial processes, application of computational fluid dynamics to heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, and improvements in engineering education. Dr. Bailey is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers; and the American Society of Engineering Education and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Maryland.

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Billy Friebele Loyola University Maryland

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Billy Friebele is an Assistant Professor of Art at Loyola University Maryland. A multimedia artist working in the Washington, DC area, he builds objects that combine kinetics, interactive electronics, and drawing. He earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Billy has exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, the Art Museum of the Americas, among other places. He teaches a range of undergraduate courses from sculpture to digital art.

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As part of an institutional initiative to develop “hybrid” courses at the boundaries of two distinct disciplines, the authors recently created and taught a course that merged studio art and computer-aided engineering. External constraints dictated that the course satisfy Loyola University Maryland’s core (general education) fine arts requirement and also serve as an “engineering elective” for engineering students, though the course was open to students from all majors. The theme that tied the disciplines together was the process of design and problem solving. Early lessons and exercises explored the creation of objects in both the physical and digital realms, progressing from sketches and simple extrusions to more complex three-dimensional (3-D) solids and assemblies. Once they had developed basic proficiency with the sculptural techniques and software, and had gained an understanding of visual principles and concepts behind analysis of art, students were asked to design and fabricate an artistic piece comprised of manually-formed and 3-D-printed elements. This final project incorporated both artistic objectives and engineering constraints and reinforced the similarities and differences between the artistic and engineering design processes. As the course unfolded, and again at the end, students were asked to evaluate the extent to which the course goals and learning outcomes were satisfied and to provide suggestions for improving the course the next time it is taught. This paper describes the goals, outcomes, structure, and assignments associated with the course, as well as the challenges, evaluation results, and lessons learned. Although several areas for improvement were identified, both the instructors and the students considered the course to be successful and worthwhile.

Bailey, R. T., & Friebele, B. (2020, June), 3-D Design in Art and Engineering: An Interdisciplinary Experiment Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33976

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