A novel approach to integrating design into manufacturing and materials education through the fabrication of a scale model cannon

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Conference Proceeding

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Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE


Prior to 2001 the materials and manufacturing laboratories in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University were independent initiatives. Recently, these courses have been combined into one entity. It was proposed that if these two courses integrated fully under one project, that the students would better understand the place of materials and manufacturing in design. The proposed project was a 1/8th scale replica of a 12 lb. Civil War Napoleon in a field mount. Existing labs were modified so that each topic contributed to the production of the cannon. Assessment of the lab was performed using three student surveys and two open ended qualitative essays graded using analytic rubrics. Survey results indicate that the students are highly enthused by the new class and feel they have improved in the required subjects. Analysis of the essays shows that the students in cannon class have a better understanding of the role and application of materials selection and manufacturing in design.

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