This is a three-week unit in EPICS 151 in which students learn and practice the mechanical design skills that are still used in engineering applications where computer-aided drawing (CAD) is either unavailable or impractical. This unit also provides a foundation for study in SolidWorks, AutoCAD or other CAD programs, as well as continual practice in several design communication techniques.
We have found that fewer than 25% of EPICS students have taken a mechanical design class prior to entering CSM. However, 50% of these students have taken an art class, and these students often realize an advantage in an earlier mastery of visualization.
Specific lessons include perspective sketching, geometric construction, isometric and orthographic views, dimensions, and sections. Homework is assigned weekly, and a final project consists of a complete hand-drawn sketch of a machined part with features that might be expected in actual machined components.
Each semester the EPICS 151 students create a sketch of a part based upon given specifications. An existing part is measured to determine the required dimensions. These dimensions and the sketch are the basis for communications to a machinist who should be able to recreate the part from the student's drawing.
These are examples of the sketching projects from past semesters.