DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Valentine, Rod; Matthews, Jason
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Bath, United Kingdom
Section: The potential of interdisciplinary activities to foster responsible innovation
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.13
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


The aim of this paper is to appraise the use of digital technologies in the teaching of design. The continuing growth of digital technology in industry is difficult to ignore with, for example, the growth of digital twins projected to reach $125 billion by 2030, so the inclusion of such technologies would clearly give currency to any mechanical engineering degree course. The focus here is on the design teaching in undergraduate mechanical engineering courses at two universities, to compare and contrast usage of digital technologies. However, whilst such technologies equip students with skills that are valuable in industry, and therefore, also on placement, they need to be carefully planned into the teaching delivery. recent enrolments are on the increase, so cohorts are into the hundred which also has financial implications. Furthermore, the current design curriculum is already challenging for the cohort to meet, because whilst the new intake is typically analytically skilled it is less so in design and technology, and this creates a steep learning curve. One of the current design group projects requires students to create a fully functioning mechanical assembly complete with CAD drawings, manufacturing data files and a bill of materials. So, this seems a natural place to consider digital technologies and how they how well they reflect in industrial practice particularly because the students’ machine is manufactured and assembled, and the manufacturing industry has high growth in this sector. That said, a wider view is proposed from a comparison across two universities teaching mechanical engineering design.

Keywords: design, CAD, digital twins


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