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MAKER: Locomotive Steam Engine Valve Plug

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Make It!

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Arlynn Baker


Chip W. Ferguson Western Carolina University

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Chip Ferguson is the Associate Dean of the Kimmel School and Associate Professor of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University.

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Acquiring replacement parts for ageing equipment and mechanisms has become increasingly difficult due to the lack of original engineering drawings, the variability between the machines themselves, and the low to nonexistent availability of replacements. Additionally, older machine parts tended to be single-made, versus mass produced, which further complicates finding an appropriate replacement. This is a distinct problem when dealing with ageing machines that are still in use, but cannot be easily fixed. This paper presents an example of how reverse engineering, modeling, and prototyping using a Maker Space may be employed to generate a part for an ageing steam locomotive. To further student learning of reverse engineering and modeling, this project was additionally used to fulfill and Honor’s Contract in an introductory 3D constraint-based modeling course.1

Baker, A., & Ferguson, C. W. (2016, June), MAKER: Locomotive Steam Engine Valve Plug Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25632

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