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Using 3D Printed Teaching Pass-Arounds for Mechanical Design Courses

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Machine Design Related

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Edward James Diehl P.E. University of Hartford Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Diehl received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2016, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer at Hartford in 1996, and BS in Marine Engineering Systems at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He worked as a Professional Engineer in the maritime industry for 17 years and taught mechanical engineering courses for the past 12 years. His research interests include simulation of mechanical vibration in gear systems for condition monitoring and engineering pedagogy.

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Abstract— Inexpensive additive-manufacturing (three-dimensional printers) allows faculty to create tools that address diverse learning styles, especially visual and kinesthetic learners. Inexpensive 3D-printing has unleashed solid mechanics instructor creativity to produce physical representations of the mechanical parts being taught. These 3D-printed “pass-arounds” are touched and manipulated by students as important design features are introduced and discussed. 3D printing capability allows an engineering instructor to develop and implement ideas for new teaching aids quickly. This paper presents five different solid mechanics and mechanical design teaching aids that were rapidly conceived, designed, printed, and implemented within two semesters of acquiring a dedicated instructor 3D printer. The tools generated enhanced student learning and helped them build connections between what’s on paper and real objects in a constructivist manner. There is considerable potential for instructor creativity while developing innovative solutions quickly, but these ideas can also be easily shared with other instructors as open-source printable files. This paper demonstrates the example ideas with the purpose of sharing the tools and inspiring fellow faculty to improve and build upon them. These teaching tools and more like them can be printed with inexpensive printers making them accessible everyone.

Diehl, E. J. (2021, July), Using 3D Printed Teaching Pass-Arounds for Mechanical Design Courses Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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