SE 3 Graphical Communication for Engineering Design

Description of Course

SE 3 presents engineering graphics and design and the fundamental concepts of SolidWorks and AutoCAD as it relates to engineering design. The course introduces reading of construction and manufacturing plans, comprehending scale, engineering graphic standards and operation of software through hands-on tutorials, and a culminating team-based design project.

Students develop spatial visualization and reasoning skills while understanding the power and precision of computer-aided modeling and drafting. They are challened to construct accurate 2D geometry as well as complex 3D shapes and surface objects.

Developing engineering soft skills is also a key aspect of this course, as students learn to organize and deliver effective verbal, written and graphical communication, and apply relevant sketching, 2D and 3D techniques and skills using modern engineering tools in a team-based setting to design and manufacture parts of a larger system.

SE 3 is a flagship course for hands-on engineering within the Jacobs School of Engineering Envision Maker Studio. Students get the opportunity to learn and utilize prototyping manufacturing tools for their Term Project such as 3D Printers and Full Spectrum Laser Cutter.

Featured Hands-On Lab Experiences

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Spatial Visualization Concepts & Practice

The beginning of the course is dedicated to building strong spatial visualization skills. Students are assigned fun lesson modules on the Spatial Vis app in addition to participating in a few group lab exercises that allow the students to develop and hone their skills.

Students are also educated on basic 2D and 3D terminology, such as plan and section views, orthographic and isometric projections, principal planes and enclosing boxes, and more.

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Scaled Free-Hand Sketching

An important aspect of engineering design is the ability to communicate your initial ideas, whether it is sharing your idea with another engineer or thinking through your design before modeling it on the computer. Students engage in free hand sketching activities in lab that teach them the importance of drawing views, line types, scale, proportioning, and other geometric sketching techniques.

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Software Skills Development

One major objective of this course is to teach students how to use popular engineering graphical software. The courses utilizes SolidProfessor and instructional lectures to train students in Solidworks and Autodesk AutoCAD. Many lab assignments are dedicated to giving students time within the software to practice and refine their skills, in addition to teaching them best engineering design practices such as utilizing symmetry, linear and circular patterns, order of operations, and general file management.

Term Project Design Experience

Teams of students spend a majority of the lab course completing a term project that utilizes all software and design skills learned throughout the quarter, in addition to special manufacturing equipment in the Envision Maker Studio. The overall objective of the project is to design a Rube Goldberg machine that performs the task at hand, within the constraints and limitations set forth. Teams are required to design, construct, and work together with other teams to complete the machine and practice to make sure it is fully functioning.

This project will not only instill the value of software programs and engineering drawings, but will teach students the iterative design process involved in designing a functioning product from start to end. At the end of the course, the Rube Goldberg machines will be tested in a competition while posters and engineering drawings will be displayed during a poster fair.

Featured here are some of the key components and phases of the project.

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Conceptual Design

Teams of students use their newly developed education and skills in free-hand sketching to visualize a design for their Rube Goldberg machine and communicate their ideas to the teaching team through sketches and meetings.

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Graphical Visualization & Modeling

After receiving feedback on their design ideas, students must virtually build their Rube Goldberg idea in Solidworks and generate a bill of materials in order to receive materials.

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Manufacturing Parts

There are requirements within the project to design and manufacture custom parts for the Rube Goldberg machine that must be printed on the 3D printers and cut from acrylic on the laser cutter equipment in Envision. Students learn the important of design intent and tolerances.

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Team Communication & Practice

Teams must learn how to effectively communicate their ideas to other teams, whether is written, verbal, or graphical. Rube Goldberg machines function as a collective group, where each machine is lined in series and expected to take energy from the neighboring team and instigate the next team.

Lab sessions give teams the opportunity to practice with one enough, debug and fix their structural and mechanical errors, in addition to participating in reviews with the teaching team.

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Engineering Drawings

The largest deliverable of the course is using Solidworks and AutoCAD to create a thorough and well executed set of engineering drawings.

The Solidworks drawing set must dimension and demonstrate how the Rube Goldberg machine is built and designed.

The AutoCAD drawing set must effectively exhibit the flow of the machine, how each part is energized and moves from start to end.

Students additionally learn how to create engineering title blocks, cover pages, and engineering general notes pages.

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Technical Poster Design & Presentations

Graphical communication is not just engineering drawings and power point presentations. This course shows students how to effectively compose a technical poster and give a short poster presentation.

At the end of the quarter, all teams participate in the large Rube Goldberg Competition and Poster Fair, where their machines are tested for speed and accuracy while posters and engineering drawings are on display.