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Paddling For A Record—Building A Kayak To Improve Cad Surface Modeling And Composite Construction Skills

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Teaching Strategies in Graphics

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.980.1 - 11.980.8



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Paper Authors


Veekit O'Charoen Boeing Commerical Aircraft Group (Seattle)

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Veekit O'Charoen currently works on computer aided design and integration issues for Boeing Commercial Aircraft Group. He taught computer aided design techniques including surface modeling and CAD customization in the Engineering Technology Department at Western Washington University.

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Eric Leonhardt Western Washington University

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Eric Leonhardt is the Director of the Vehicle Research Institute at Western Washington University. He teaches courses in powertrain, vehicle design and vehicle construction. Prior to April, 2002, he worked for DaimlerChrysler in the CAx Research and Development Group.

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

Paddling for a Record – Building a Kayak to Improve CAD Surface Modeling and Composite Construction Skills


This paper describes an advanced CAD course that used a kayak design project to engage students in developing their design, surface modeling, and composite construction skills. Students worked with a client, a competitive kayak racer, whose large size and personal goal to set a twenty-four hour distance record for a kayak presented both design and construction challenges. Students used an integrated CAD and CAE environment and met with other kayak users, designers, and builders to develop insight into the design challenges. While improving their surface modeling skills, students also combined requirements, manufacturing process knowledge, and an ergonomic CAE tool to produce hull designs. The students, assisted by their client and a local kayak builder, blended resin transfer composite molding with construction techniques from the Aleut Baidarka designs to produce the final kayak. The product created met the client’s needs; it weighs twenty percent less than competing open cockpit kayaks and is six to ten percent longer.

Introduction: Advanced CAD and the Kayak Project Inspiration

An advanced CAD CATIA® course was offered on the authors’ campus for the first time during the spring quarter of 2004. The purpose of this course was to improve students’ surface modeling skills and proficiency within CATIA® Version 5. During the Advanced CAD course, students experienced the design process using an integrated suite of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) applications for digital product definition and simulation.1 Teaching students about the integrated suite of CATIA within the context of the design process offered a few challenges. Text books on CATIA® V5 focus on introductory level skills in the solid modeling domain.2 Several tutorials provide surface modeling exercises for students. The texts reviewed for the course did not integrate surface modeling within a top down design approach or with other workbenches in the CATIA suite of tools. These challenges were addressed by using a problem-based learning approach built around a client design project.

The authors chose a kayak design problem for a real client to help motivate students to improve their design skills. Our campus is located within a vibrant kayaking community. Olympic Gold medal winners can be found at the weekly match races on a local lake. The world’s fastest surf- ski kayaks, the Twogood Mako® series, are hand fabricated a few miles from campus. Both Ocean® Kayaks and Necky® Kayaks are designed locally. Brandon, our client, paddled with his wife around Lake Baikal, the largest lake in the world. The pair won a stormy race around Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Brandon has also won the Yukon Quest event. Our client is preparing to set two twenty-four hour distance records held by kayaks on both moving and still water. His enthusiasm and energy became an inspiration for the course and the students.

The kayak problem enabled students to experience the design tool integration within the context of a real design problem. The Advanced CAD course used the kayak project to build upon

O'Charoen, V., & Leonhardt, E. (2006, June), Paddling For A Record—Building A Kayak To Improve Cad Surface Modeling And Composite Construction Skills Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1229

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