Use of Technology and Software in the Classroom - Active Learning and Projectbased Learning

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 2015 ASEE North Central Section Conference

Conference Name

ASEE2015 North Central Section Conference


The work presented in this paper is in continuation of an earlier paper presented at the ASEE2014 NCS Conference held at Oakland University, MI [1] in which analysis of a tile winding machine structure was considered. Math and CAE tools were used for this purpose. The main purpose of this work is to analyze the structure of the same machine to understand the factors contributing to the large deflection of the shaft during operation and to propose a new design. Using the active learning tools mainly in the form of discussions and questions and answers (Q&A) and project based learning, this real life application was assigned as a final project to one of the students group of finite element analysis (elective) course that the second author taught. The students are to analyze the cause of the problem, discuss it using the Q&A sessions and then to look for a solution to redesign the structure. Since cost is also important, they have to propose a low cost device although detailed cost analysis was not required. Some (trial and error) optimization was expected to be carried out. One-dimensional beam and frame models were used and the solution by direct stiffness method is carried out by MatLab, and NX CAE tools. Finally, preliminary calculations were done by mechanics approach using EXCEL. From an observation of the results, a design change of both the function and size of the structural elements is attempted. The learning experience of assigning this real life application as a final project to the senior undergraduate and graduate students is discussed briefly.

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Copyright © 2015, American Society for Engineering Education