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A Comparison of Manual vs. Online Grading for Solid Models

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Visualization tools, modeling abilities and grading models

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.31.1 - 23.31.13



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Paper Authors


Holly K. Ault Ph.D. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Holly K. Ault received her BS, MSME and Ph.D. degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1974,
1983 and 1988 respectively. She has worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for the Norton Company
and Product Development Engineer for the Olin Corporation. She is currently Associate Professor of Mechanical
Engineering atWorcester Polytechnic Institute, co-director of the Assistive Technology Resource
Center, and director of the Melbourne Global Project Center. In the fall of 2001, she was invited as the
Lise Meitner Visiting Professor, Department of Design Sciences, Lund Technical University, Lund, Sweden.
Her primary teaching and course development responsibilities include undergraduate and graduate
level courses in computer-aided design, mechanical design and rehabilitation engineering. She served as
the Director of Liaison for the Engineering Design Graphics Division of ASEE from 1995-8, EDGD Program
Chair for the ASEE Annual Conferences in 2002 and 2011, division vice chair in 2003 and division
chair in 2004. Her teaching and research interests include computer aided mechanical design, geometric
modeling, kinematics, machine design and rehabilitation engineering. She is a member of ASME, ASEE
and ISGG.

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Alister Fraser Parametric Technology Corp.

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Alister Fraser is the Senior Academic Program Manager for PTC. In his role at PTC Alister focuses on bringing together global leaders in product development and partnering them with colleges of engineering. These partnerships encourage industry and academic collaboration, create meaningful project experiences and foster cross-educational programs focused on product development education.
In recognition of his experience in the field of computer aided design pedagogy Alister has been invited to participate on advisory boards including Digital Design and Technology Uk, Design Council UK, NASA additive manufacturing workforce development consortium and is a proud Co-Founder of the Strategic Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering (SAPCE) in association with NASA Glenn Research Center.
Prior to working at PTC Alister was as a University teacher at the Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, UK, where he undertook his PhD on the topic of Computer Aided Design and its influence on pupil attainment.

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A Comparison of Manual vs. Online Grading for Solid ModelsRigorous assessment of students’ solid modeling skills can be a time-consuming task for CADinstructors. Students may submit print outs of parts (screen shots) to demonstrate that the partswere completed, and these screen shots may include a feature tree (model tree) that shows theorder of feature creation. However, many aspects of the modeling strategy cannot be examinedby inspection of the feature tree alone. Parameters such as sketch dimensions and constraints,feature creation parameters, parent-child relations, and other factors that capture design intent arenot easily checked except by examination of the part file. Manual checking of part files is a time-consuming task, and impractical for large classes. Thus, students tend to make parts that “lookgood”, but fail to incorporate robust modeling strategies. Without feedback to remedy theirmodels, students develop and perpetuate poor modeling practices.Limited attempts have been made to automate grading of solid models. Baxter1 used VisualBasic in conjunction with CAD software programming capabilities to query the database ofstudent part files. Dassault Systems2 uses the calculated mass properties values of SolidWorksmodels to check the geometric accuracy of parts modeled for their certification exams. Theseattempts are either limited in the ability to assess the model and/or require extensive knowledgeof the software and programming skills to develop assessment tools for specific parts. The toolsare not generic and cannot be applied to models of different parts.In this paper, we introduce the use of Pro/FICENCY, a PTC technology designed to automate theassessment of student parts and drawings, and ProToolkit, a programming utility within the solidmodeling system, in an effort to identify variations and mistakes, and thereby automaticallyassess students’ modeling strategies. A comparison between automated and manual grading ofselected part files will be presented. We will also discuss the effort required to implement theprocedure for different parts.1 Baxter, D. and M. Guerci (2003), Automating an Introductory Computer Aided Design Courseto Improve Student Evaluation, ASEE Annual Conference, 2003.2 Dassault Systems (2012) MCAD Certification Programs,

Ault, H. K., & Fraser, A. (2013, June), A Comparison of Manual vs. Online Grading for Solid Models Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19045

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