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A Significant Reverse Engineering Project Experience within an Engineering Graphics Class

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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

CAD Assessments, Trends and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.102.1 - 23.102.12



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Paper Authors


Douglas Howard Ross University of Alabama, Birmingham

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Douglas H. Ross (M’11) received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign, Ill. in 1979. He earned an M.S. in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007 and is a Ph.D. candidate in that department. He worked as a design and automation engineer for Flo-Con Systems and Vesuvius from 1979 to 2002. He worked as a programmer and instructor for the University of Alabama Birmingham from 2002 to 2009. He is currently employed as an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Ross is a member of the ASEE, IEEE and the ACM.

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A Significant Reverse Engineering Project Experience within an Engineering Graphics ClassSince the Spring of 2007, we have incorporated a project experience similar to that of apracticing engineer in terms of timeline and scope of responsibility in the context of anengineering graphics class. The goal of the project is to cement the course content and assiststudents early in their school career to decide if engineering is a good choice for them. Theproject is to reverse engineer, from a geometry perspective, a real assembly of significantcomplexity. The course has developed over time to make the project very memorable andsuccessful. Examples of projects include instruments, computer systems and peripherals, toysand industrial equipment. This one semester course is the student’s only formal engineeringgraphics training. The topics covered include the standard topics such as hand sketching,dimensioning, projections and use of the solid modeling package to generate parts, assembliesand formal documentation. The topics and structure of the class are arranged in a manner tosupport the progress of the reverse engineering project. Successful execution of the class as aninstructor requires detailed planning for the activities of each class period with consideration ofthe learning period for the acquisition of the skills and knowledge required to successfullycomplete the project. Some of the educational principles utilized in the course are construction,spiraling, and immediate use of learning. The course is taken both by freshmen students as partof their first year experience and by transfer students.The purpose of this presentation is to outline how the course is structured to enable studentsto create an assembly of professional quality. The in-class component is part lecture; partdemonstration; and part in-class exercise, both guided and independent. The course is taughton three tracks that are ongoing from the start of the semester. The first track is hand sketchingand engineering graphics principles; the second is solid modeling, including assembly andformal drawing generation; and the third track is the reverse engineering project. Both theinitiation of learning solid modeling and the introduction of the reverse engineering projectoccur early in the semester with solid modeling started on the 3rd day of class while the projectis introduced on the 7th day of class. The structure of the class and the rationale for themethod and order of material is introduced and presented.

Ross, D. H. (2013, June), A Significant Reverse Engineering Project Experience within an Engineering Graphics Class Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19116

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