Students construct bridge during MakingSTEM engineering workshop

Fundamentals of CAD – Part 1

Computer Aided Design

Students learn the fundamentals of computer aided design and manufacturing so they can be prepared for the future careers in STEM.  Students participated in engineering challenges, while learning to use design thinking.  For their first project, students built an underwater ROV and analyzed how it can be improved, and designed components to solve problems.  Combining design thinking with CAD allows students to quickly turn their ideas into reality.  Prototypes can be quickly built using 3D printers, and laser cutters.  Prototypes can be tested and improved to continue the design cycle.

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See additional pictures from this workshop

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Engineering Challenge:

At the start of every Making STEM workshop, students are faced with an engineering challenge. Before designing an ROV to go under water, they construct a bridge to go over it.  Their first challenge was to collaborate as team, to construct a parabolic bridge as quickly as they can. Two teams faced off in a tournament which a series of challenges that increased in difficulty.  After their competition, students work together to analyze and improve the strength of the bridge.

Students use design thinking to improve strength of bridge

Students working together to solve engineering challenge

Laser Printing

During a tour of MakerPlace, students learn about advanced manufacturing equipment including 3D printers, CNC mills, woodshop, and laser cutters.  Students worked together to set up the laser printer by aligning the X, Y, and Z, axis.   Students can be prepared for the future by learning how to safely use all the equipment during the Making STEM Engineering Mentorship Program.

Students set up laser printer to create nametags

Design Exercise:

Students collaborate and use design thinking to design an underwater ROV.  They create a hand sketch and reflect on lessons they have learned during previous ROV builds.

Students collaborate to design an underwater ROV

Student engineering drawing of ROV design


Fundamentals of CAD:

Students learn the fundamentals theory of CAD by building a block with a hole.  The block and hole project is a good start for any new CAD user and detailed instructions can be found on our Learning Stories.   Onshape is a professional grade parametric modeling software that is completely free for students.  They work together and learn about about sketching, planes and extrusions.

Students using CAD to design block with Hole

Student using OnShape to learn fundamentals of CAD

Continued Learning:

After an introduction to CAD, students can start to see the benefits and power of using CAD to design their ideas.  Learning the basics is simple, but mastering CAD takes dedication and practice just like any other skill.  Making STEM provides additional CAD classes as well as an advanced engineering mentorship with customized curriculum to meet students creativity and academic goals.

Check out upcoming Making STEM engineering workshops to continue your learning story

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