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A Low Cost Team Collaborative Environment For Student Product Design

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

New/Emerging Technologies

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.57.1 - 7.57.11



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Paper Authors

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Chenghsin Liu

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

Main Menu Session 2163

A Low Cost Collaborative Environment for Student Product Design

Paul Cheng-Hsin Liu, S. Gary Teng, Gladys Hsiao-Ching Tsai California State University, Los Angeles/ The University of North Carolina at Charlotte/ Susteen, Inc.


The process of new product development or new product introduction has been changed due to the concept of concurrent engineering and globalization. It requires frequent interactions among various design teams and customers. Therefore a collaborative environment has to be established to handle all the interactions and communications in production design. In this paper a low cost collaborative environment is used for product design. This primitive but innovative collaborative environment can be applied in the teaching of product design. The instructor, student team members, and even industrial partner can participate in the product design together. Team members at different locations and times can collaborate through the web-based environment and provide feedback to each other. This approach can provide students with better inputs to their design, better use of information technology, and better interaction with potential industrial collaborators.


As product design cycle time shortens ever faster, the method of design changes accordingly. Computer-based technologies have greatly changed the way design engineers work. The first technological element was the use of high-powered personal computers (PCs). With PCs, design engineers have access to Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software right at their own desks. Personal computers and CAD packages replaced drawing boards, pencils, and T-squares. The second change is the emerging use of the Internet or Intranet by engineers that enables them to collaborate with partners at far-flung locations. The third technology is virtual reality (VR) that allows users to enter design works and interface in three dimensions (3D).

Three-dimensional CAD software has been used extensively due to its power in creating 3D solids. Adding the third dimension has taken out the guesswork of how a product might look and behave. The on-screen solid models can be seen and analyzed long before they get to the shop floor. Schmitz (1994) indicated that the next step in the product development process was animation. Animation enables designers to see how their designs will look and work on screen.

Most of the state-funded universities and colleges have very limited equipment budget to purchase high power computers. And because of the complexity of the CAD software packages,

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Liu, C. (2002, June), A Low Cost Team Collaborative Environment For Student Product Design Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10667

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