This Tuesday January 19, we'll be in the Baker Hall 140E computer cluster.
Index of Course Pages
Class Home Page
- Susan Finger
- Office: PH 123B
- Office hours: Whenever my door is open or by appointment (send
- Section A T TH 12:00-1:20
- Section B T TH 3:00-4:30
Overview and Goals
Introduction to rapid design through virtual and physical
prototyping. The class will cover the design process, problem solving
methods, interdisciplinary team work, current industrial practice, and
manufacturing process capabilities. The course emphasizes hands on
Overview and Goals
Students in this course will have the opportunity to explore and
evaluate our rapid and virtual prototyping services in the context of
collaborative design. These rapid manufacturing technologies include
stereolithography, layered shape deposition, fixtureless precision
machining (CyberCut), and the LaserCamm. This course will:
- expose students to the roles of virtual and rapid prototyping for reducing
design cycle times and promoting a concurrent engineering approach.
- familiarize students with using the Internet communications and accessing
tools and services for design, analysis, simulation, and manufacturing.
- expose students to using rapid and virtual prototyping as a way to
communicate design ideas.
- provide students with a design experience in which they create interactive
exhibits to help children learn the basic principles of engineering.
Warning: This course uses experimental software and experimental
manufacturing facilities. This course is different each time it is offered.
This course should not be taken by students who cannot deal with uncertainty,
ambiguity or surprises.
Students in this course must complete three projects. The first project is a short, individual project focussing on the conceptual
design of a toy that engages children in learning some physical principle.
The second project involves learning about different rapid manufacturing
processes and is a group project.
The final project, which will take the second half of the semester, is
a group project that involves designing, building and testing an
engaging engineering activity for children.
Each project require a brief presentation and a report in the form
of an html document. The final project requires a poster, a final
report and a more formal group presentation.
| Class work
| Project 1
| Project 2
| Project 3
| Class participation
Projects 2 and 3 are group projects. The group will receive a single
grade for each component.
"We learn from the mistakes we make while gaining experience; we
gain experience from experimentation; we learn through our conversations
in speech, movement, sketches, and text; and we build our knowledge through
conversation, experimentation, and reflection. The student design experiences
should not be only about the success of the final product, but about learning
to experiment, fail, converse, share, reflect, and create. Learning these
skills may require unlearning some of the skills acquired in a standard
undergraduate engineering education in which sharing and failing are discouraged
and in which the skills of conversing and reflecting are often considered
We need to instill these ideas in our students, so they do not proceed
on the premise that they simply need to get the job done. The most important
aspect of the student design experience is the practice of reflection,
a practice many of us bypass because of time constraints. Within a university
setting, we work in a reduced form with a more manageable environment in
which we can take the time to teach our students the skills they need.
Within our design process, we include activities to help students learn
to work in teams, to explore the dynamics of the team and to understand
the strengths, weaknesses, and roles and responsibilities of individuals
and groups within the project team."
Excerpt from "Reflections on a Concurrent Design
Methodology: A Case Study in Wearable Computer Design," Finger,
J.,Amon, C. H., Gursoz,
L., Prinz, F. B., Siewiorek,
D. P., Smailagic,
A. and Weiss,
L. E., Computer-Aided Design , 1996, pp 393-404.