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Effects of a Structured Prototyping Strategy on Capstone Design Projects

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.584.1 - 26.584.12



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Paper Authors


Tanmay Gurjar The University of Texas, Austin

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Tanmay Gurjar is a second year Master's student at University of Texas at Austin. His research deals with prototyping strategy development.

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Daniel D. Jensen U.S. Air Force Academy

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Dr. Dan Jensen is a Professor of Engineering Mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he has been since 1997. He received his B.S. (Mechanical Engineering), M.S. (Applied Mechanics) and Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering Science) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked for Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, NASA, University of the Pacific, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and MSC Software Corp. His research includes design of Micro Air Vehicles, development of innovative design methodologies and enhancement of engineering education. Dr Jensen has authored over 100 refereed papers and has been awarded over $4 million of research grants.

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Richard H. Crawford University of Texas, Austin

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Dr. Richard H. Crawford is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and is the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow No. 3. He is also Director of the Design Projects program in Mechanical Engineering. He received his BSME from Louisiana State University in 1982, and his MSME in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1989, both from Purdue University. He teaches mechanical engineering design and geometry modeling for design. Dr. Crawford’s research interests span topics in computer-aided mechanical design and design theory and methodology. Dr. Crawford is co-founder of the DTEACh program, a ”Design Technology” program for K-12, and is active on the faculty of the UTeachEngineering program that seeks to educate teachers of high school engineering.

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Effects of a Structured Prototyping Strategy on Capstone Design ProjectsPrototyping is often a very important phase in a capstone design project. However, in manycases, prototyping decisions are made arbitrarily by students, adversely affecting the quality ofthe final product delivered. At the University of ________ we are developing a structuredprototyping strategy tool based on a synthesis of prototyping techniques that have been shown tobe effective. Our strategy tool leads designers through the process of making decisions aboutaspects of a prototype program, such as how many concepts to prototype, how many iterations tocomplete for a given concept and whether to use scaled prototypes. In this study we evaluatewhether explicit discussion of these prototyping decisions affects the results of the capstonedesign projects. At the beginning of the semester, two researchers presented the prototypingstrategy tool to the students and elaborated upon the benefits of the same. The researchersconducted interviews at the end of the semester to evaluate the success of the prototyping effortmade by the students. These results were compared to previous capstone projects where thestudents were not exposed to such a prototyping tool. The results of the comparison showstatistically significant increases in the proportion of teams opting to create prototypes and theaverage number of prototypes per team. This paper describes the study in detail, analyzes theresults, and presents conclusions and future directions of the research.

Gurjar, T., & Jensen, D. D., & Crawford, R. H. (2015, June), Effects of a Structured Prototyping Strategy on Capstone Design Projects Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23922

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