The mechanical engineering department at Washington State University has just completed a 6 year program in offering a modern sequence of design/manufacturing electives. Using theoretical foundations, site visits, guest lectures, IT based labs, and hands-on manufacturing exercises students learn about the role of information technology and electronic data in modern manufacturing enterprise systems, design for manufacture concepts, design automation, and also hands-on machining using advanced programming concepts of CNC code and CNC machines that are integrated with CAD/CAM systems. In this paper, two key courses of this sequence will be discussed and the innovations that they have enabled in engineering design education of the students will be presented. What is significant is that thru these courses we have achieved a dynamic interplay between the new and the old — we have been able to leapfrog into concepts of modern industry where IT and modern computing tools play a critical role in the manufacturing enterprise system and bring about considerable design and manufacturing automation; at the same time we have also retained and enhanced traditional concepts from before where design engineers had considerable hands-on knowledge with machining and manufacturing processes.

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