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The Use of Software Package and Commercial Catalogues in Development of Design Documentation

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Software and Related Tools for Teaching and Course Efficiencies

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jorge Rodriguez P.E. Western Michigan University

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Faculty member in the Department of Engineering Design, Manufacturing, and Management Systems (EDMMS) at Western Michigan University's (WMU). Co-Director of the Center for Integrated Design (CID), and currently the college representative to the President’s University-wide Sustainability Committee at WMU. Received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering-Design from University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MBA from Rutgers University. His B.S. degree was in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Monterrey Tech (ITESM-Monterrey Campus). Teaches courses in CAD/CAE, Mechanical Design, Finite Element Method and Optimization. His interest are in the area of product development, topology optimization, additive manufacturing, sustainable design, and biomechanics.

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Timothy Neil Thomas CADENAS PARTsolutions LLC

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Tim Thomas is a founding partner and CEO of CADENAS PARTsolutions and continues to evangelize the importance of standardization techniques in design processes. Tim has 28 years of CAD technology development and application experience. Previously he spent thirteen years at Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (SDRC) where he was the Director of CAD Development. He was the COO at Computer Aided Systems for Engineering (CASE) where he was responsible for all aspects of the drafting software business until CASE was acquired by SDRC in 1998.
Tim’s career also includes working as a design engineer at Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon), TRW (now Northrop Grumman) and Goodyear Atomic. Tim has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University where he served as Co-Chair of the Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board, the Alumni Board, and is actively involved with STEM in the curriculum at many Universities.

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The use of CAD/CAE systems in industry is ubiquitous nowadays. All graduates from technical careers are expected to have a working knowledge and skills on these engineering tools. The expectation at most industries is that designers will perform modeling and analysis tasks during their work. Unfortunately, a large portion of such work is repetition of work previously done, or it is repetitive work by the design person. The reutilization of existing work, or the utilization of commercially-available components, has not been emphasized in the curricula. This paper will describe the efforts that are being implemented in mechanical engineering design courses in order to address the idea of reutilization of work during the engineering design process. Specific exercises have been developed in order to expose students on the tasks of using commercially available parts, re-utilizing previous selected parts, and re-utilizing previously designed parts. Teams of students are presented with these design exercises with the intention of having such concepts present in their minds as alternative to explore. Initial results indicate a level of interest on the use of these techniques, and some suggestions have been presented as well for improvement of the materials used. It is expected that these concepts will bring an improvement in engineering design efficiency due to the fact that it is estimated that up to 45% of the parts currently specified in mechanical designs are commercially available components.

Rodriguez, J., & Thomas, T. N. (2017, June), The Use of Software Package and Commercial Catalogues in Development of Design Documentation Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29019

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