Abstract

Many institutes of higher education overlook a very important tool namely, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T). GD&T is the symbolic language used in manufacturing to communicate the design, production, and quality control requirements. Over the years, several employers have voiced concerns about the students’ lack of knowledge in identifying and applying GD&T concepts in engineering drawings. This has resulted in the employers spending time and money to bring the students up to company standards. Lack of GD&T knowledge adversely affects the design and engineering department, production line, and quality control and assurance department, three critical areas in every manufacturing company. In addition, senior level students typically encounter issues during their design/capstone project where they are unable properly define tolerances subsequently affecting manufacturing and jeopardizing deadlines. As part of continuous improvement, the mechanical engineering program decided to create and offer the GD&T course as an elective for the first time in Fall 2022. The three-credit elective consisted of a total of 14 sessions, and the culminating experience of the course was an extensive project which they completed over time. The project had students working in teams of four, and the requirement was making a gib and slide assembly which consisted of no more than 5 pieces. The course evaluations were highly positive, and the students described it as intellectually stimulating where they were able to finally learn techniques that they could implement at their workplace. A major recommendation was to improve organization such that students can break the final product into two or three subassemblies that are due during the midterms. Given the global importance of GD&T, it is recommended that such a course be made a prerequisite for students engaged in senior design projects.

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