Asee peer logo

A Hardware/Software Centered Approach To The Machine Design Course At A Four Year School Of E.T.

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.28.1 - 5.28.10



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Howard A. Canistraro

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session #1566

A Hardware/Software Centered Approach to the Elements of Machine Design Course At a Four Year School of ET

Howard A. Canistraro, Ph.D. Ward College of Technology University of Hartford


A particularly difficult course for many students in either Mechanical Engineering or MET is the Machine Design Course. One of the major problems they encounter is the vast range of diverse topics that must be covered which often tie into theories and principles that have been introduced over their entire academic careers.. Additionally, the idea of the course being “open ended” and without “exact” answers leads to confusion over the distinction between the textbook and the industrial world. In an attempt to unify and clarify this broad array of subject matter and provide some insight into the actual practices utilized in industry, our Machine Design Course now centers itself around mechanically complex commercial devices. These devices serve as an instrument to demonstrate much of the subject matter found in most texts. Computer software is also extensively used to ease in the calculation and aid in modelling the dynamic nature of mathematical relationships. The revised course has been taught for 5 semesters and in each case a gear transfer case has been analyzed in terms of the following: gear tooth design, shaft design, shaft vibration analysis, fracture and fatigue, bearing analysis, splines, keys and structural deflection. The hardware, along with complete prints and specifications have been donated by John Deere Inc. (A right angle gear box from commercial deck mower) and Mitsubishi Motors of America,(a transfer case from a 3000GT VR4). The students are required to disassemble the devices, make measurements (either from prints or directly), apply the principles presented in the course and determine the adequacy of the design. Specially designed student course evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive and performance on tests has been excellent. The use of the program MathCAD has also greatly eased the complex equation usage required. In general, the level of complexity and depth of course has been expanded. A detailed discussion of the application of the theory to the hardware, a description of the laboratory activities, a discussion of the use of MathCAD in machine design, and an evaluation of the student assessment of the course will be presented in the paper.

Description of the Course:

The primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with the common task of solving open- ended engineering design and analysis problems. Courses of this type cover all aspects of basic machinery with an emphasis on power transmission systems and advanced strength of materials.

Canistraro, H. A. (2000, June), A Hardware/Software Centered Approach To The Machine Design Course At A Four Year School Of E.T. Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8422

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015