Asee peer logo

Integration Of A Circuit Board Milling Machineinto An Ece Curriculum

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.377.1 - 5.377.11

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

W.D. Jemison

author page

W. R. Haller

author page

W. A. Hornfeck

Download Paper |

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

Session 2532

Integration of a Circuit Board Milling Machine into an ECE Curriculum

W. D. Jemison, W. R. Haller, W. A. Hornfeck

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Lafayette College Easton, PA 18042


Three years ago, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lafayette College purchased a printed circuit board milling machine system and began integrating its use into the ECE curriculum. The system has been enthusiastically accepted by our students and the faculty. This paper will describe our experience with this printed circuit board milling machine. Specifically, the paper will describe how the machine is being used in a number of courses ranging from our first-year Introduction to Engineering course, through sophomore and junior year laboratory projects, to our capstone senior design course. The integrated design process used by our students to design printed circuit boards will be described and several representative designs will be discussed to demonstrate the level of design complexity that can be achieved using this technology. Finally, some initial assessment data regarding student reaction to the PCB milling machine is provided.

I. Introduction

Virtually all fundamental phenomena associated with the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) discipline occur at the microscopic level, and therefore cannot be observed by the naked eye. This makes it difficult for students to establish an intuitive sense of the discipline. Furthermore, many students who have good "hands-on" engineering skills are turned off by the abstract nature of our discipline. Therefore, it is important to introduce students to key ECE concepts in the laboratory to ensure that students gain a practical appreciation of the theoretical concepts presented in lecture. In addition, it is important to provide the junior and senior year students with realistic, requirements-through-test and verification, design experiences in their independent projects. In these projects, the students design, construct, and test a fairly complex circuit or system; the project experience is broader in scope or greater in depth than a weekly laboratory experience. The difficulty, we have found, is that with the proliferation of advanced CAE/CAD tools, the level of project complexity proposed by

Jemison, W., & Haller, W. R., & Hornfeck, W. A. (2000, June), Integration Of A Circuit Board Milling Machineinto An Ece Curriculum Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015