The instrument shop regularly offers an introductory seminar in Computer Aided Design/Solid Modeling. There are many flavors of Computer Aided Design covering a huge range of tools and techniques for the modeling and analysis of most every design discipline. This seminar provides an introduction to mechanical design using 3D solid modeling. This is the type of software tool that a mechanical engineer would use to design a machine or an industrial designer would use in creating a consumer product.
The focus is on the precise modeling of the physical shape of your parts, rather than on making a realistic-looking picture. Our goal is to design parts that will serve the intended function and, once the design is complete, can be easily made. An emphasis is placed on good modeling practices that will allow your models to "hang together" as they are edited through the design process. You will model individual parts, put those parts together, change and refine your design, and then produce drawings for fabrication. Check out the images for samples of the things we will model.
The software we use is Inventor by AutoDesk. AutoDesk makes the full version of this software available to students at no cost. Each participant may load the software onto their own computer for their educational use. Unfortunately, it is only available for Windows computers. We also have a lab computer available in the shop for those who cannot or chose not to load the software on their computer. Note that it is not necessary to be part of the seminar to get and use Inventor or any of the many tools that AutoDesk makes available. See the AutoDesk Student Community for more information.
The format of this seminar is a series of eight lectures/demonstrations followed by practice on your own. During the school year the sessions are weekly but during the summer the schedule may be compressed. Your success will depend almost entirely on how much you work with the software outside of class. This is an informal seminar and each participant is responsible for their own learning. Homework problems will be assigned, but they will not be collected or graded.
Topics covered are:
- System setup and file management
- Modeling of individual parts
- Making assemblies of parts
- Making drawings of parts and assemblies
The seminar is open to all current Carleton students, faculty and staff.