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Design, Build And Test In Support Of Computer Aided Design

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Capstone Design Projects in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.414.1 - 11.414.6



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Paper Authors


John Burkhardt U.S. Naval Academy

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John Burkhardt received a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York City. At the University of Illinois Prof. Burkhardt received his Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Prof. Burkhardt is currently on the faculty at the United States Naval Academy in the Mechanical Engineering Department.

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

Design, Build and Test in Support of Computer Aided Design Introduction

A senior level project requiring the design, fabrication and testing of an idealized lift hook is discussed. The primary objective of the project is to address the issue of solution accuracy1 and its importance in computer aided design (CAD). Secondary objectives of the project are to reinforce the CAD process, introduce the computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining process, and to provide some of the tools and skill helpful to students during their senior capstone design projects.

The primary CAD tools used in the completion of the project are solid modeling and the finite element method (FEM). Critical to the successful application of the FEM, under all circumstances, is the generation of an accurate solution. As defined here accuracy requires the construction of a proper finite element model (e.g. finite element, restraints, loads, etc…), as well as a numerically robust solution. Accuracy must answer two questions:

• Is the computational model sufficiently accurate2? • Is the numerical solution sufficiently accurate3,4?

While it is difficult to determine firm answers to these questions it is important that they are asked. The lift hook project being discussed and its design, build, and test format is constructed to raise awareness of these issues.

Course description

The lift hook design project is part of the first course in a two course capstone design sequence in mechanical engineering at the United States Naval Academy. The first semester course is structured to have two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. Course credit is split evenly between computer aided design content (CAD) and the capstone design project.

The CAD portion of the course is project driven covering topics in solid modeling, drafting, finite element analysis, assembly modeling and rapid prototyping. Approximately a third of this time is spent on design projects using finite element analysis. The specific analyses required include rods and beams, frames, linear elastic solids and heat transfer. The last three projects are team assignments. The finite element lecture content has changed from year to year ranging from a miniature finite element course to a just-in-time delivery model. The lecture topics and course materials of relevance to this project included the basic element stiffness approach for rods and trusses, plane stress rectangular finite elements and formal and heuristic approaches to determine solution accuracy and convergence.

Project description

While all of the finite element projects in the course contain an element of design, build and test the most well developed project, and the one discussed here, concerns the linear elastic behavior of a lift hook. The project requires the design of a lift hook with the greatest stiffness

Burkhardt, J. (2006, June), Design, Build And Test In Support Of Computer Aided Design Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--851

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