Abstract

Microcomputer tools have been used in the Manufacturing and Plastics Engineering Technology programs at Western Washington University to support freshman through senior level design projects for the past three years. An additional sophomore level course, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools, has also been developed and added to the curriculum in the programs as a required course. These microcomputer tools range from solids modeling packages, first introduced in the freshman year, to finite element analysis and injection MoldFlow analysis, in the senior year. Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) packages are introduced in the sophomore year and are emphasized in the junior year. Since microcomputer tools have changed the way engineers and technologists perform their jobs, current engineering and engineering technology curricula must also evolve so that the students are prepared to face a very competitive world market place. This paper describes the applications of microcomputer tools that have been integrated into the curriculum at Western Washington University and also the application of those tools to support engineering design projects. Concurrent engineering is emphasized in these design projects in the engineering technology and industry design programs.

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