Rapid Prototyping Using Distance Collaboration in a Freshman Design Team Experience

  • Leifer, Jack (PI)
  • Jacob, Jamey (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The project develops and implements a freshman oriented multi-disciplinary team design experience using distance collaboration between the University of Kentucky Lexington and Paducah campuses. The project addresses the following issues pertaining to first-year engineering programs: a. There are few meaningful yet quantitative design experiences geared towards engineering freshmen. b. There is a need to introduce the concept of "distributed collaboration" to engineering students. Many engineers find themselves working as a member of a geographically distributed design team, despite the fact that they have not participated in such teams during college. c. There is a need to increase the number of students entering the engineering field from underrepresented groups. Teams of introductory engineering students from two campuses work on designing a mechanism or assembly using solid-modeling software that can then be prototyped using a 3-D printer. Group communication is facilitated using dedicated interactive video conferencing capabilities already in place at both locations, including web-based video and interactive television, and supplemented by telephone, email, and facsimile. Students from local high schools participate in full-day workshops to create a simple solid model, and see it fabricated by the 3-D printer. Each workshop includes tours of the engineering facilities, and a presentation outlining the career opportunities available in engineering.
Effective start/end date1/1/0312/31/04


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