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Modern Rapid Prototyping Techniques

This course is expected to run but has not yet been scheduled.

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the art of fabricating cast metal prototypes. Using three-dimensional computer aided design software, rapid prototyping equipment, and the undergraduate Materials Science lab to make metal castings, this course will demonstrate some of the basic ideas about how engineers go about designing and fabricating prototypes in the modern world.

Engineering has changed tremendously in the past few decades. Today, computers allow engineers to quickly develop and communicate ideas. Some of the greatest advances in Engineering have been made using Computer Aided Design (CAD). This powerful tool allows concepts to be represented in three-dimensional "cyber-space." By following simple instructions, basic two-dimensional sketches can be extruded into a third dimension, and then further shaped by the simulation of adding or removing material. In this class, we will create simple forms that will be assembled together to form more complex geometry.

The rapid proto-typing machine is another modern tool that has had a huge impact on how new designs are conceptualized and communicated. These three-dimensional printers can translate the complex models developed using CAD, and create real physical models from that information. This allows Engineers to avoid the long and costly processes traditionally used for prototyping. We will use the equipment in the Brown rapid prototyping facility to make parts from models we will develop, and then use this model for casting.

Traditional casting processes are very useful tools, even in the modern age. Basic metallurgy is still a fundamental process in modern Engineering. We will be using a forced air furnace to melt metal at over a 1000 degrees centigrade (around 1850 degrees Fahrenheit). Using the lost wax technique, we will cast the patterns that we initially created using the rapid proto-typing equipment during the first part of the course.

As a result of taking this course, students should expect to:

  • Understand the basic concepts of CAD
  • Be able to create three-dimensional models using CAD systems
  • Translate file formats for articulation between different systems
  • Understand basic casting concepts
  • Have an appreciation for basic metallurgy

Students should have a familiarity with Windows 7 and should know basic math skills. Also, they should have the ability to understand and utilize new information.

*Please Note: This course has a Supplemental Fee of $300.00.