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Design Application: A Product To Meet The Need

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.186.1 - 3.186.8



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Paper Authors

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Ronald R. Hosey

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R. Gregg Bruce

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Lester K. Eigenbrod

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Hansjoerg Stern

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

Session 3549

Design Application: A Product to meet the need

R. Gregg Bruce, Lester K. Eigenbrod, Ronald R. Hosey, Hansjoerg Stern School of Technology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

1 Introduction

He was fluent in mechanics and could calculate the stresses on the components of an assembly, but he had no confidence in applying his knowledge to a functioning machine. She knew how to draw using CAD, but she was overwhelmed by the complexity of selecting components to work together in a system. He was familiar with basic manufacturing processes, but he had no experience in assembling them into a production process with only product specifications to guide him. She understood tolerances but didn't have the experience needed to place tolerances on a blueprint in a manner that permitted cost-effective manufacturing. The faculty of the Purdue University Mechanical Engineering Technology Department determined that they could do a better job of providing practical application of organization, synthesis, and analysis skills to engineering technology graduates.

A Mechanical Design course was therefore introduced into the Mechanical Engineering Technology curriculum at Purdue University and taught for the first time in the Fall of 1997. It represents a cross-disciplinary approach to capstone application of the principles taught in the design, materials, mechanics, fluid power, and manufacturing undergraduate course sequences. The course utilized a student teamwork-oriented approach to accomplish three design projects and employed additional faculty to discuss such topics as inventiveness, concurrent engineering, teamwork & supervision, life cycle design, manufacturing cost, product safety, and professional ethics.

2 Course Objectives

Several primary objectives were established, following faculty recommendations from curriculum and mechanics subcommittees and from members of the Industrial Advisory Committee. The first was to emphasize the fundamental elements of the design process. Faculty members with expertise in selected topics offered to give supplemental lectures that included their personal experiences. Students received an introduction to each topic that included class exercises as well as assigned readings. Most, although not all, topics were further reinforced through team activities associated with the student design projects.

Secondly, provide multiple open-ended design experiences that reinforce prerequisite course work. Three projects were chosen to emphasize mechanical design, fluid power design, and manufacturing process. Students were assigned into three-member design teams1 to encourage team effort and to discourage being perceived as slacking off. Student selection for these teams was based upon a leadership profile questionnaire2 administered during the initial class session. The projects included lectures, lab activities, original investigations, personal logbook maintenance, computer aided drafting, and finite element analysis.

Hosey, R. R., & Bruce, R. G., & Eigenbrod, L. K., & Stern, H. (1998, June), Design Application: A Product To Meet The Need Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7016

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