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Interlacing Engineering Graphics In An Introductory Engineering Materials Course As Visualization Aid

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-20 Activities in Materials Science

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.766.1 - 8.766.16



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Paper Authors

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Hermes Calderon

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Amilcar Quispitupa

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Scott Kiefer

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

Session 2164

Interlacing Engineering Graphics in an Introductory Engineering Materials Course as Visualization Aid

Oscar Marcelo Suárez, Scott Kiefer, Hermes E. Calderón, Amílcar Quispitupa

Dept. of General Engineering, Univ. of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez / Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Tri-State University / Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez


In an introductory engineering materials course, the basics of engineering graphics were utilized to generate three-dimensional models of crystals and molecules. AutoCAD™ software allowed the students to construct crystallographic models, while it helped them visualize the three- dimensional characteristics of different ceramic compounds. In order to build the computer models, the students were required to provide the geometrical features of each crystal. Specifically, they were required to provide the distances between atom centers, lattice parameters, atomic radii, and ionic radii, which helped them familiarize with the particularities of crystal structures of ionic, covalent and metallic solids. A student survey helped determine their perception of this crystal structure learning technique compared with the construction of foam ball models.

1. Introduction

In basic engineering materials courses, visual teaching tools have become a necessity to enhance the instruction 1. Particularly useful are visualization techniques provided as slides 2 or in electronic format (CD-ROM, etc.) in the last generation of materials science and engineering textbooks 3. These visualization software packages have become very popular, particularly when complex organic molecules are examined. In most cases those packages are available at a steep price while in few other cases they are free such as Rasmol.

On the other hand, in large class sizes it has been recommended the use of hands-on demonstrations as an alternative to full laboratory experiments 4. For this purpose the students can be guided through a well-thought demonstration by teaching assistants. Alternatively, the present module proposes the use of computer graphics for a team assignment in a self-learning strategy to develop a three-dimensional perception of the structure of matter.

At the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez, as well as on other campuses, most engineering students in their fourth semester have already been trained in the use of computer graphics,

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

Calderon, H., & Quispitupa, A., & Kiefer, S. (2003, June), Interlacing Engineering Graphics In An Introductory Engineering Materials Course As Visualization Aid Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11404

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