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Integrated Hands-On Mechanical Systems Laboratories

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Laboratories I

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.893.1 - 22.893.10



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Paper Authors


Arif Sirinterlikci Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Arif Sirinterlikci received B.S. and M.S. degrees
in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University,
Turkey, and a Ph.D. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Ohio State University. Currently, he is a Professor of Engineering as well as Co-Head of Research and Outreach Center at Robert Morris University in Moon
Township, Pennsylvania. His teaching and research areas
include rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, robotics
and automation, bioengineering, and entertainment technology. He has been active in ASEE and SME, serving
as an officer of the ASEE Manufacturing Division and SME Bioengineering Tech Group.

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Tony Lee Kerzmann Robert Morris University Orcid 16x16

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Tony Kerzmann received both a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. After graduating, Tony Kerzmann enrolled in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh where he graduated with a Master in Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, in 2007 and 2010, respectively.

Currently, he is an assistant professor at Robert Morris University, where his research goals include, hybrid concentrating photovoltaic systems, energy system life cycle assessment, sustainable product development, and active learning.

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Integrated Hands-On Mechanical Systems LaboratoriesMechanical engineering education is a demanding field, especially the mechanical systems area.Unfortunately, the integration of kinematics and dynamics demonstrations, laboratory activities,and relevant assignments into engineering coursework is not always easily accomplished or costeffective. This educational initiative is based on a concept of developing laboratory kits thatwould allow multiple general and mechanical engineering courses to utilize the same system fornumerous laboratory sessions.The initial laboratory kits will employ the VEX Robotics Development System in construction ofmechanisms such as crank sliders, ordinary cranks, 4-bar linkages, oscillating levers with quickreturns, and Geneva wheels. These basic mechanisms will be demonstrated in two introductorygeneral engineering courses, ENGR 1010 – Introduction to Engineering and ENGR 2160Engineering Graphics. The kits will be capable of providing dynamic classroom support for theintroductory level engineering students by way of simple mechanism demonstration coupledwith computer-aided design (CAD) based engineering analysis through Solidworks motionstudies. The students from these introductory will be asked to integrate these mechanism typesinto their term project designs.Also included in the kits are the associated data acquisition systems and laboratory manuals thatwill provide experiments and analysis opportunities at higher levels. The kits will be used toreplace multiple laboratories for intermediate and advanced engineering students and thereforewould provide a very cost-effective means to create a hands-on kinematics and dynamicslearning experience. The intermediate level engineering students taking the ENGR 2100Dynamics course would have the knowledge base to further analyze their kinematic systems. Forthese students, the laboratories would guide them through experiments including the constructionof the simple mechanisms, the testing of the mechanisms using sensors that are synced to thesoftware, and the analysis of their experimental findings. The intermediate level laboratories willbe focused on concepts that include position, velocity, and acceleration as well as velocity ratios,stresses, torques and/or deflections within the mechanisms.The modularity and integrated software possibilities of the VEX Robotics Development System,allow for almost infinite possibilities in the development of mechanical systems. Modifiedstructural VEX components and custom made parts will also be employed in the developmentprocess. This will lead upper level engineering students who are in the ENGR 4100 MachineDesign course to use the kits as a design and development tool for given specific project goalsand criteria. Solidworks finite element method (FEM) simulation features will be takenadvantage of as well.This paper will cover a brief history of the initiative as well as developmental examples fromeach level of the methodology described above. Some student feedback on the utilization of theVEX system will also be included within the paper. The paper will conclude with the near futureworks.

Sirinterlikci, A., & Kerzmann, T. L. (2011, June), Integrated Hands-On Mechanical Systems Laboratories Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18200

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