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Integration Of Mechanical Design And Prototyping Activities

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.714.1 - 7.714.11



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Paper Authors

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William Palm

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Thomas Keggler

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David Taggart

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David Chelidze

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Brent Stucker

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

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Session Number 1526

Integration of Mechanical Design and Prototyping Activities

David G. Taggart, Brent E. Stucker, Thomas Kegler, David Chelidze, and William J. Palm

College of Engineering University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 02881


In this project, concepts of engineering graphics, mechanical design, numerical simulation, rapid prototyping and product testing are integrated in project experiences performed by interdepartmental teams of sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students. Working in vertically integrated teams, students were asked to design components using a commercial computer-aided design software package, perform analytical and finite element stress analyses, manufacture components using rapid manufacturing methods, and test components to verify their mechanical performance. In the first project, a planar structural component was machined using an abrasive waterjet (AWJ) cutting system. AWJ’s ability to machine a wide variety of materials allowed students to select from materials with widely varying mechanical properties. In addition to satisfying loading requirements, each team was required to consider material costs, machining costs and recycling costs. In the second project, a device for launching rubber balls was designed, manufactured, assembled and tested. The students used solid modeling software to create the models and produced components of the device using a three dimensional printer.

1.0 Background

With the development of solid modeling based computer aided design (CAD) software, finite element analysis (FEA) software and computer controlled manufacturing systems, it is now feasible for engineers to quickly design, analyze, manufacture and test physical prototypes. Integration of these activities into the curricula is a challenging task for engineering educators. As discussed by Barr and Juricic [1,2], courses in engineering graphics can be enhanced by the use of solid modeling software. Integration of solid modeling with FEA and rapid prototyping has been demonstrated to be effective by several authors [2-7]. Since these activities typically span several courses in an engineering curriculum, a promising approach for integrating these activities is through the use of teams of students from different courses. Several studies [8,9] have shown that team-based projects enhance learning of engineering concepts and help students develop essential teaming skills.

This paper summarizes an initial attempt to integrate CAD, FEA and prototyping activities into three courses through the use of interdisciplinary teams. Two separate projects were performed

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Palm, W., & Keggler, T., & Taggart, D., & Chelidze, D., & Stucker, B. (2002, June), Integration Of Mechanical Design And Prototyping Activities Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10694

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