Hands-On CAD and Manufacturing Experience
Mechanical Engineers design, develop, analyze, fabricate, and test new components and processes.
In the last two years, the ME Department has spent approximately $32,000 on manufacturing equipment to boost our students’ hands-on experience in design and fabrication. This includes the purchase of six (6) CNC desktop mills, six (6) desktop 3-D printers, and two (2) manual injection molding machines.
All of this fits into the junior year, when mechanical engineering students simultaneously take ME 380, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and ME 381, Manufacturing. In CAD, students learn how to make computer-based 3-D drawings of parts; this includes dimensioning and tolerancing. In Manufacturing, students learn about a variety of fabrication techniques and then are trained in the safe operation of our in-house machines. Finally, students are required to take designs they developed in CAD and then produce physical components in Manufacturing. Components are made using the tabletop mills, the 3-D printers, and the injection molders. Students have also taken their parts and tested them to see if they live up to the original design specifications. Through this practical design/manufacturing process, our students are equipped to be productive, job-ready engineers once they graduate.