Mechanical engineers design a wide variety of structures, devices, products, and systems. Through manufacturing classes and hands-on design/build projects, students learn all about the challenges of fabrication, the costs of production, and the importance of quality control. We educators reinforce these lessons by teaching students about “design for manufacturing” and the subsequent constraints that each manufacturing process places on how a part is designed, the surface finish that can be achieved, the tolerances that can be held, etc. We teach solid modeling and computer-aided design using conventional x, y, z coordinate systems with well-defined datum planes, and students learn design specification using standards for geometric dimensioning and tolerancing established for conventional manufacturing technology. Design tools and analysis methods have been developed based on years of experience and practice and provide engineers with the confidence they need to manufacture high-quality parts in high volumes.

Additive manufacturing...

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