Applied Research in Undergraduate Capstone Classes

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Conference Name

2020 ASEE North Central Section Conference


The objective of this paper is to discuss the different aspects of applied research carried in typical undergraduate capstone classes, and to what extent it helps students to meet their objectives and quality of their project work. An example of a project dealing with an automated bed clearing mechanism of a 3D printing machine will be presented. The students developed two ideas of this system. The design details of one of the systems was submitted for presentation at another conference. In this paper, the educational aspects and brief technical details of both mechanisms will be presented and discussed. The 3D printer in this example uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. Many automotive, aerospace and other sectors are focusing on using functional 3D printed parts to either reduce the weight or to replace metal parts that otherwise require complex processes and assemblies. The applied research component of the work presented in this paper is to design the systems that are user-friendly and be able to print multiple parts without human interaction. This saves time to load and unload one component at a time. The teaching and learning parts of undertaking this and other capstone projects will be briefly discussed in this paper.

Rights Statement

© American Society for Engineering Education, 2020