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Redevelopment Of A Design Course Fills A Gap In The Curriculum

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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

Mechanical ET Curriculum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1076.1 - 11.1076.7



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Paper Authors


Zhongming Liang Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

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Zhongming (Wilson) Liang is program coordinator and associate professor of mechanical engineering technology. He has been with Purdue University Fort Wayne since 1987. He has a number of publications in the areas of automatic control, mechanisms, and others.

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

Redevelopment of a Design Course Fills a Gap in the Curriculum


There were some repeatedly exposed drafting and design problems seen in senior design projects in our mechanical engineering technology (MET) program. Also our students were not able to apply the solid modeling techniques in later courses. In fall 2005 we reactivated and redeveloped the junior-level course Computer Aided Tool & Fixture Design. As results, the students’ abilities to use the solid modeling CAD system for mechanical design were significantly enhanced; they became much more familiar with the requirements and standards for professional drawings; they gained good knowledge and experience in design. We feel that the concept presented in this paper is a good approach to producing graduates with the appropriate skills1.


In the fall semester of 2005, at recommendation of the faculty and endorsement of the Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC), the junior-level course Computer Aided Tool & Fixture Design returned to the curriculum. The faculty and the IAC believed that the course should give students tool design knowledge as well as more computer aided modeling and drafting (CADD) techniques. In teaching this course, it was seen that the restructuring of this course actually played a big role of filling a gap in the curriculum.

For years we had seen some fundamental drafting and design problems in senior design projects in our MET program. This had caused great concern because these problems could be carried into their jobs. But we were not sure what were the major causes of the problems and what would be effective means to fix them. In teaching this tool design course, we surprisingly found out that much of the basic design knowledge had not been taught to the students when they came to the course. In other words, when without this tool design course as in the past, students went to the senior design course not fully prepared.

The mechanical design sequence of the MET curriculum had a 3-credit CADD course on AutoCAD, another 3-credit CADD course on Solid Edge by UGS Corporation, a 3-credit machine element design course, a 3-credit dynamics and mechanism course, and a 3-credit senior design course. The problem with the curriculum was, as found in teaching the tool design course, there was no design projects prior to the senior design. It has turned out that the tool design course, having a number of design activities and the term project, has filled a gap in the curriculum.

Also, many students were not able to apply the solid modeling techniques learned in the sophomore year to their study of later courses such as engineering dynamics and senior design. The new tool design course, with extensive CADD activities, substantially promotes students’ abilities to apply CADD to design tasks. In this sense too, it has filled a gap in the curriculum.

Though this course had been offered in the past, it was substantially modified and enhanced this time. The lecture part now, all delivered with Microsoft Powerpoint, included general tool design,

Liang, Z. (2006, June), Redevelopment Of A Design Course Fills A Gap In The Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1456

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