Development of Functional Mock-Ups for Engineering Design Education
Engineering design courses are an essential part of the curricula of the Mechanical Engineering studies in Germany. Objective is the introduction of students to design, the dimensioning and application of machine parts. Traditionally this is done by theoretical lectures and accompanying exercises. Drawing exercises are likewise important to teach first year students to communicate in engineering language using technical drawings. In these exercises students acquire the ability to setup technical documentations by drawing existing objects. The quality of these exercises depends on the educational relevance of the objects that are drawn. Well-chosen objects with relevance for the later studies could be able to prepare students for the theoretical lectures as well as other challenging design exercises. Moreover, artifacts that are interesting for the students can motivate them for their studies and could be seen as a countertype to theoretical lectures. For that reason this contribution will investigate the requirements of artifacts for drawing exercises in order to improve the existing courses.
On the other hand an approach was presented on E&PDE10  conference, which aims to expand this traditional design education by hands-on experience with machine parts. The corner stone of this approach is the interactive machine part exhibition, which enables students to get in touch with a broad collection of machine parts. Nevertheless, it was discussed that integration into everyday teaching is needed to use the full potential of the exhibition. Thus, the idea of the combination of the machine part exhibition and the first year drawing experience came up.
This new contribution will follow up the presented approach of the interactive machine part exhibition and focus on the first year drawing exercises. The papers objective is to show a possible way how to enrich first year design exercise by the use of functional machine part mock-ups. First, the paper will discuss which properties engineering artifacts need to have in order to fulfill the requirements of these exercises. From a literature research about existing exercises and the used artifacts the concept of using special prepared functional mock-ups of typical machine part setups will be derived. The objective of the concept is not only to improve the teaching of drawing but also to increase students’ comprehension of the function of typical machine parts. Therefore, the mock-ups are designed to illustrate the function of the machine parts and represent typical setups.
The concept of using functional mock-ups in drawing exercises will be presented in detail with focus on the possible improvement in engineering design education. Furthermore, the possibility of connecting the machine part exhibition and drawing exercises in order to strengthen the early hands on element in the studies will be discussed. Not at least, the challenges of implementing the new concepts for about 700 Students per year will be covered.
 Authors removed for blind review process: Improving the Mechanical Design Education by Hands-on Experience with Machine Parts. 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education – E&PDE2010, Trondheim, Norway, 2010