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Design Of A Cad Integrated Physical Model Rotator

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Conference

2003 Annual Conference

Location

Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Using IT to Enhance Design Education

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

8.370.1 - 8.370.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/12383

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

author page

Brad Kinsey

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

Session 1625

Design of a CAD Integrated Physical Model Rotator

Brad Kinsey University of New Hampshire

Abstract

Increasing the number of engineers is crucial to keep pace with the current demands for a high tech workforce. There are two critical concerns related to the shortage of engineers, retention of students in engineering disciplines and attraction of students into engineering fields. While not the only factor that influences retention and recruitment issues (others include peer support and mentoring), poor spatial ability skills may play a significant role. For example, the ability to correctly visualize three dimensional objects when they are represented in two dimensions, such as in Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software or in a detailed part drawing, is essential for engineers. Not surprisingly, due to self selection, engineering students typically score higher on spatial ability tests than their non-engineering counterparts. Research has shown that the spatial ability of engineering students will improve during a semester long CAD based design course and also that students prefer working with actual physical objects when developing these skills during a drafting course. However, whether the integration of an actual physical model with the CAD software can generate even greater improvement in spatial ability in both engineering and non-engineering students has not been investigated. In this paper, a CAD integrated Physical Model Rotator is proposed and details are provided with respect to its design and implementation. Future experiments are also discussed which will investigate the effectiveness of this educational tool to improve the spatial ability skills of a diverse population.

I. Introduction

The shortage of engineering students and the fear of the United States’ losing its global technological advantage are well documented [1]. A report by the National Science Board estimated that the growth in engineering employment between 1994 to 2005 will be 35% while the enrollment in engineering fields has fallen consistently since 1979, approximately 1.6% annually [2]. There are two critical concerns related to the shortage of engineers, retention of students in engineering disciplines and attraction of students to engineering fields. While not the only factor that influences retention and recruitment issues, poor spatial ability skills may play a significant role due to the lack of confidence a student feels during introductory engineering courses and while performing crucial visualization tasks. As was stated by Bishop [3] and noted by several others [4-10], “good spatial conceptualization is not an asset but a necessity” for engineering as well as other math and science disciplines. Henderson [9], a sociologist, came to this conclusion after interviewing design engineers in over 30 companies, and Ferguson [10] stressed the importance of the “mind’s eye”, i.e. the ability to have a mental image and be able to mentally manipulate the artifact, during the design process. An example of this vital spatial skill

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Kinsey, B. (2003, June), Design Of A Cad Integrated Physical Model Rotator Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12383

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