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A Scalable Instructional Method to Introduce First-Year Engineering Students to Design and Manufacturing Processes by Coupling 3D Printing with CAD Assignments

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Making in Design

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

26.106.1 - 26.106.21

DOI

10.18260/p.23447

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23447

Download Count

69

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Paper Authors

biography

Ethan Reggia University of Maryland, College Park

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Ethan Reggia is a Junior undergraduate mechanical engineer at the University of Maryland, College park. He works for Engineering Information Technology in the A. James Clark School of Engineering as a 3D printing technician.

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biography

Kevin M Calabro University of Maryland, College Park

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Kevin Calabro is Keystone Instructor and Associate Director in the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

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biography

Justin Albrecht University of Maryland, College Park

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Justin Albrecht is a junior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

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Abstract

A Scalable Instructional Method to Introduce First-Year Engineering Students to Design and Manufacturing Processes by Coupling 3D Printing with CAD Assignments Providing first-year engineering majors with an opportunity to experience engineeringthrough a project-based design course has become an important curricular element in manyengineering degree programs. An introduction to engineering design course at the authors’institution, a large state-supported research university, requires students to work inmultidisciplinary teams of 8-10 students to design, build, and test an autonomous vehicle. Forover a decade, computer-aided design (CAD) software has been introduced as a courserequirement with the academic promise that learning this material will become useful when youbecome an engineer. Historically,  students  only  used  CAD  software  as  an  afterthought  to  present  their  final  project,  and  not  as  a  design  tool.    The  exciting  link  between  CAD  software  and  manufacturing  practices  used  by  real  engineers  was  missing. To address this contextual mismatch, ten consumer-grade 3D printers have been added asa course enhancement to the introductory engineering course. This is a required first-year coursefor all engineering majors and is taken by more than 1200 students each year. The courseutilizes a two-phase approach that allows students to experience the product developmentprocess. Instruction  on  technical  content  is  provided  during  the  first  half  of  the  semester,  and  the  remainder of the semester is devoted to a hands-on design project where student teamsapply this knowledge. This paper describes a scalable instructional method that has been developed to betterlink CAD assignments to modern manufacturing processes. Inline with what has been done inthe past, each student in the course is required to complete five CAD assignments that providethe knowledge to create part, assembly, and drawing files in Autodesk Inventor. A new coursecomponent requires each student to print  one  of  the  parts  they  generate  in  the  CAD  assignments.    The  average  print  time  for  this  assignment  is  less  than  40  minutes. The  final  in-­‐class  assignment  requires  each  design  team  to  pool  their  3D  printed  parts  and  assemble  and  test  a  small,  wheeled  vehicle  with  a  drivetrain. This paper details challenges that were overcome to effectively integrate 3D printing intothe course in a way that strikes a balance between reliability, ease of use, and learning potential.An enjoyable experience is needed to motivate the students to continue to use the technology, buta hands-off, vending machine style approach does not afford the same opportunities for learningas a system where direct knowledge of the mechanisms and operation of 3D printing machines isimportant for success. Analysis of user data from the 3D printers will be provided.Additionally, results from a student survey will be discussed. The survey will attempt to assessstudents’ motivation to learn CAD software as a design tool as a result of the 3D printingexperience. Lastly, the authors’ provide reflection on the overall success of this courseenhancement and provide commentary on how this course component could be improved andscaled for use at other institutions.

Reggia, E., & Calabro, K. M., & Albrecht, J. (2015, June), A Scalable Instructional Method to Introduce First-Year Engineering Students to Design and Manufacturing Processes by Coupling 3D Printing with CAD Assignments Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23447

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