Investigation of Spatial Orientation of Freshmen Level Engineering Students with the Introduction of Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing
Dakeev U* and Pecen R
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
Generic introduction to computer aided design class in industrial/engineering technology involves the introduction to sketches, three-dimensional model development, and the generation of blueprints for the models. In some cases, the students learn the assembly and simulation for stress or aerodynamics analyses if the time is sufficient. Industrial and Engineering technology students rarely learn 3D printing or CNC in their CAD classes. Some institutions have advanced level computer aided design elective classes that teach students advanced techniques and skills within the software, however, the CNC and 3D printing is still left out of the curriculum. The advancement of technology requires both industrial and engineering technology students to possess 3D printing and CNC skills to stay competitive in the job market. This study reports on the redesign of an introductory CAD course in industrial technology department to involve regular CAD concepts, development of 3D printed parts, and manufacturing in CNC. This study is comprised of multiple phases: 1-Introductory CAD, 2- 3D printed CAD, and 3-CNC CAD. The participating students will receive a spatial test on a pre-defined object at the beginning of semester. During the phase 1 the students will have developed basic 3D modeling skills and reproduced the pre-defined part, where the researchers will record the influence of CAD software on the spatial orientation. The second phase involves students to 3D print their pre-defined part and inspect physically to compare with the original design and complete the spatial test. During the 3rd phase, the students will manufacture their parts in CNC, analyze the result, and complete the spatial test. All collected data will be statistically compared to investigate which of the phases influences student spatial orientation most. Authors believe that the introduction of 3D printing technology and CNC to an introductory computer aided design course will improve student spatial orientation and will better relate their degree to engineering practices.