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Comparing Component Functional Template Modeling Experimental Results in an Undergraduate Level Engineering Design Course

[+] Author Affiliations
Daniel Abbott, Katie Grantham Lough

Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO

Paper No. DETC2008-49349, pp. 265-272; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 20th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; Second International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Brooklyn, New York, USA, August 3–6, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4328-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3831-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Component functional templates are a foundational tool, for the functional modeling method, that novice users can implement to develop functional modeling skills and produce better results by not requiring the modeler to have extensive background knowledge in the method. The templates provide common function layouts of ordinary electromechanical components that are based on historic data collected from design information on a wide range of consumer products. A previous experiment has been performed on a sophomore level design class to assess the change in quality between functional modeling results with and without the use of component functional templates. To address further evaluation of the usefulness the templates, another experiment was performed on multiple sections of an undergraduate engineering design course, controlling the amount of time that the students are exposed to the templates, in order to eliminate any extended exposure biases in the models using the templates. Quality and accuracy of the resulting models were gauged using a metric consisting of function structure, number of functions, flow representation through a chain, and product representation (the same metric used in the previous experiment). The results show that the students using the component functional templates consistently made fewer mistakes in their models in all categories than those that did not use them and thus, produced better models in terms of quality and accuracy.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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