Design Under Alternative Incentives: Teaching Students The Importance Of Feature Selection And Organization In Cad
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In today's global and digital environment, computer-aided design (CAD) databases are no longer solely used by individual engineers to produce detailed drawings. These databases are used for finite element simulations, tooling fabrication, and numerous other activities in the development process; in some cases these databases are transferred to engineers located around the world for global engineering projects. The use of product lifecycle management tools mean that these databases may be accessed in the future to be altered by other engineers. These trends increase the importance of designing in a manner that is both intuitively organized and amenable to change. In most CAD courses students design components that are never altered, or in some cases only altered by the original designer. To show students the importance of designing in a manner that is intuitive and amenable to change, a design and change exercise is presented. Students are split into two groups and incentivized with differing goals. The first group's goal is to design the part as quickly as possible; the second group's goal is to design the part in a manner that can be quickly altered. The parts are then exchanged between the groups and altered. Data is presented which shows the time required to perform the initial design as well as the alteration. The students' assessment of the design (based on how intuitive they found the design) they had to alter is reported. Student ratings of the usefulness of certain CAD tools in relation to intuitiveness and amenability to change are reported; the use of these tools broken down by group is also shown. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2009.
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