Establishing CAD and PDM as Part of Engineering Education in Large Classes for Undergraduate Students

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Geier, Martin
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: KIT - Karlsruhe Institut of Technology, 2: IPEK - Institute of Product Engineering, PTC, 3: Parametric Technology GmbH
Section: Design Methods - Modelling
Page(s): 041-046
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Computer Aided Design and Product Data Management software has become a standard in almost all sectors of mechanical engineering. Therefore companies expect experience with such environments from potential employees. In order to meet that requirement, students of Mechanical Engineering learn using CAD systems, such as Pro/Engineer and PDM systems, e.g. PDMLink embedded in Problem Based Learning (PBL) at our Institute. An approach to teach over 600 students per semester in CAD/PDM classes is demonstrated in this paper. The students participate in Mechanical Design courses over two years. Starting with hands-on workshops in the first semester, the students work on engineering problems with increasing complexity over the second, third and fourth semester. It is described how CAD/PDM tasks are embedded in this PBL approach. This paper explains how student’s private laptops and workstations are integrated in the institutes PDM-infrastructure. Furthermore the technical aspect of the infrastructure is described briefly. As there are only a limited number of at most four CAD/PDM lectures per semester, numerous materials and support services are provided to assist autonomous learning. The setup of screencasts, manuscripts, task sheets, slides, office-hours, expert consulting, mail support, FAQs, newsletters and more is depicted in detail. This paper illustrates the ongoing evolution of the CAD/PDM education over the past years, with increasing numbers of students and changing IT-environments. The effects of the recent developments were evaluated by student surveys shown in this paper.

Keywords: CAD, PDM, mechanical engineering, problem based learning, PBL


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