Starting fall 2015, students in ME 314: Manufacturing Fundamentals will have significantly more hands-on learning opportunities thanks to extensive lab equipment upgrades and a new instructional model.
The course covers many aspects of the manufacturing process and, through labs, students apply what they’ve learned on topics like CNC, control algorithms, motion control, automation with programmable logic controllers (PLCs, which are industrial computers used to automate machines on a factory floor), metrology and engineering economics. But growing enrollment and a limited quantity of each piece of equipment cut down on the time students had to actually use the equipment.
Faced with this challenge, the department saw an opportunity to integrate additive manufacturing into the core undergraduate curriculum while also greatly increasing students’ hands-on time in labs.
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