Asee peer logo

Introducing Rapid Prototyping Into Different Classes

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Creative Ways to Present Basic Materials

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.808.1 - 9.808.11

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

William Jordan

author page

Hisham Hegab

Download Paper |

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

Session 3664

Introducing Rapid Prototyping into Different Classes William Jordan and Hisham Hegab College of Engineering and Science Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 71272


In order to improve the design education of undergraduate students Louisiana Tech University has recently purchased a model Z406 Rapid Prototyping System from Z Corporation. This machine allows the operator to make small conceptual models. It uses an ink jet technology to spray colored binder on plaster powder. It builds up structures one thin layer at a time by spraying the binder in successive layers of powder that can be as thin at 0.003 inches. This system has been used to introduce design concepts to three very different levels of students.

The rapid prototyping system was used in a special topics course to introduce rapid prototyping techniques to our junior level engineering students in the desire to equip them with some skills that they might use in their senior design classes. The purpose of the course was to provide an introductory course on various rapid prototyping techniques and allow the students to acquire some hands-on skills using some of the facilities that are available within our college. The students were trained on using the Z406 rapid prototyping system and a 3-axis CNC milling machine. To stimulate the use of the equipment in the course, the students were placed in small teams of three or four students and assigned an open-ended design problem of developing a conceptual prototype of a spill-proof cup holder that could be used in an automobile. They were highly encouraged to make use of the rapid prototyping system in developing their conceptual prototypes.

This machine was used to introduce design to sophomore education majors. These are students who take the elective Engineering Problem Solving for Future Teachers course. They are introduced to design by having them design two different components. The first one was to design a paperweight that had a maximum volume of about 6 cubic inches. These students came up with a variety of designs. These designs were converted to digital drawings by a graduate student. Their second project was to design a nose cone that could fit on a model rocket. On the last class day there was a contest to see whose model rocket design would go the highest.

This concept was also introduced to 7th and 8th grade students who attended a series of “Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Jordan, W., & Hegab, H. (2004, June), Introducing Rapid Prototyping Into Different Classes Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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: © 2004 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