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Applications of SolidWorks in Teaching Courses of Statics and Strength of Materials

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Mechanics Concepts II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.199.1 - 25.199.15



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Paper Authors


Xiaobin Le P.E. Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Xiaobin Le is Assistant Professor, Ph.D., P.Eng., with a specialization in computer-aided design, mechanical design, finite element analysis, fatigue design, and reliability, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, College of Engineering, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA 02115, Phone: 617-989-4223; Email:

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Richard L. Roberts Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Ali Reza Moazed Wentworth Institute of Technology


Anthony William Duva Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Applications of SolidWorks in teaching courses of Statics and Strength of MaterialsABSTRACT Statics and Strength of Materials are two core technical courses in the Bachelor ofScience in Mechanical Engineering Technology program (BMET) at Wentworth Institute ofTechnology. In Statics, the definition of a vector and vector addition are introduced andexplained in the first two weeks. Many technology students have difficulty using vectoroperations to obtain a resultant force or its direction. Some students have even forgotten the lawsof sine and cosine. In some cases, students try a graphical approach with hand sketches forgetting answers. However, this graphical approach usually does not provide accurate results.Students need simple tools to gain additional insight regarding these operations as well ashelping them obtain accurate results. In the case of Strength of Materials many students sketchMohr’s circle for visualization purposes but use equations to calculate the stress at differentorientations. In our BMET program, every student is issued a laptop with associated software. Whenstudents start studying Statics, they also start to learn SolidWorks in MECH395- MechanicalCAD Application I course. SolidWorks is a parametric feature-based 3D software program inwhich geometries can be modified and changed by dimensioning and creating geometricalrelations between or among geometrical items. In 2010 we introduced the idea of using thesketch tools in SolidWorks to draw force diagrams. When the sketch tools of SolidWorks isused to draw the parallelogram rule or triangle rule, the magnitude and angle of the resultantforce can be directly measured from the fully specified sketch with accurate results. UsingSolidWorks to draw Mohr’s circle, students can fully realize the purpose of Mohr’s circle bydirectly measuring normal stress and shear stress at any orientation. In this paper, the application of sketch tools of SolidWorks in vector addition,equilibrium of particles, Friction and Mohr’s circle will be presented with accompanyingexamples. The procedures and detail steps will be provided and explained and can beunderstood and used by any person without any skill of using SolidWorks. In 2010 and 2011this new visual approach has been used and embraced by our students. In addition, students haveshown a greater understanding of the concepts.

Le, X., & Roberts, R. L., & Moazed, A. R., & Duva, A. W. (2012, June), Applications of SolidWorks in Teaching Courses of Statics and Strength of Materials Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20959

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