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Using Assistive Device Design to Implement Cornerstone Design in a Junior Level Machine Design II Course

[+] Author Affiliations
Wendy S. Reffeor

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI

Paper No. DETC2014-34131, pp. V003T04A016; 4 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Assistive device design was used in a Junior level Machine Design II course to reinforce design concepts while increasing student awareness of the specialized needs of individual product users. Since these projects addressed the needs of specific users and/or a group of specific users, they were externally funded. This provided an incentive for student groups to accomplish the task assigned with a greater level of attention to detail and need to satisfy the design constraints. In all cases, student teams provided a useable, deliverable device to the customer at the end of the semester. A survey of the customers was completed at the end of the semester to determine customer satisfaction with the process. Overall, customers were highly satisfied with the results, although many expressed frustration due to the project timeline being too long.

In all cases, a useable product was delivered at the end of the project. However, improvements were also possible in all cases and further work will be done on the products to better align them with user needs.

Student response to the project was as expected. The students felt this project was a very valuable learning experience and reinforced not only the course material, but also forced them to learn about technologies not discussed in class. However, many commented that the time required to complete the project as well as the traditional course work was far greater than the time required of their peers taking the course with a “paper” project.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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