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Teaching Surface Modeling to CAD/CAM Technologists

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Teaching Strategies for Solid Modeling

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1403.1 - 22.1403.12



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Paper Authors


Derek M. Yip-Hoi Western Washington University

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Derek Yip-Hoi has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has broad experience in CAD/CAM and geometric and solid modeling from research and teaching experiences at UM and the University of British Columbia. Currently he coordinates the CAD/CAM instruction in the Engineering Technology Department at Western Washington University.

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Teaching Surface Modeling to CAD/CAM Technologists By Derek Yip-HoiAn option in a Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MET) program that focuses on the developmentof CAD/CAM skills has been developed. These skills include in-depth exposure and training in the useof state-of-the-art Computer-Aided Design software tools, and the programming and operation ofComputer-Numerical Controlled machine tools. Students apply their knowledge from these areas inother courses where tooling and mechanical equipment are designed and fabricated. Beyond anintroductory exposure to CAD in freshman courses, students taking this option must complete twoadvanced junior level CAD modeling courses one of which exposes them to the use of advanced surfacemodeling using CATIA. Surface modeling is important in that it provides the capability to model adiversity of complex shapes far beyond what is possible using a feature-based parametric modeling tool.It is the primary modeling environment for developing products with freeform shapes. In using this newworkbench students need to grasp the difference between a solid and a surface, learn the geometricmodeling and management techniques and be able to convert surfaces to solids as is necessary fordeveloping tool paths and properly dimensioned engineering drawings.This paper discusses in detail the importance of surface modeling for CAD/CAM technologists and howit supports a broad range of courses in the MET program that students must complete to graduate. Theunderlying strategy for teach®ing a course on surface modeling is also presented. This is driven fromthe different techniques by which the design intent or style for the model is specified. One of thesetechniques is to use 3D laser scanning to capture point cloud data from a physical scaled model of theproduct being designed. This technique is for example used in automotive body design where scaledmodels are created as part of the styling process. Students get the opportunity to use a FARO Armmounted scanning system to collect data for an automotive body shell of their choosing from which aCATIA surface model is manually constructed. The process is illustrated in the accompanying figure.This activity requires students to properly identify surface types in the scanned data and to makesensible decisions on the amount of scanned data to use in construction. This paper will highlight theapproach used to instruct and guide students in how to make correct choices in using this type of inputdata. Approaches that use other types of design data for input will also be discussed.Examples of student work will be presented. This includes tutorial, homework and project basedassignments that must be completed over the course of a 10 week term. Projects are designed to includeboth a group and individual component. Teams work collaboratively to construct a surface model of anautomotive body such as shown in the accompanying figure. Individually, each student must then addancillaries such as wheels, mirrors, scoops or spoilers to complete their own design. While the groupcomponent emphasizes collecting data and applying surface modeling techniques to this data, theindividual component allows students to creatively use the surface modeling techniques to style theancillaries they choose. This paper will summarize the challenges and effectiveness of this approachbased on instructor observations and student feedback. Finally, this paper will discuss the approachesand challenges encountered in grading and accessing student performance.1 2 3 4

Yip-Hoi, D. M. (2011, June), Teaching Surface Modeling to CAD/CAM Technologists Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18585

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