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Mechanical Engineering Technology

MEC 1011 Fall ‘05

MEC 1011 - Design Communication I
Mid-term Project 2005

Due by 6:00 Friday 10/7
Except T1 (M3-6) due Mon 10/17 at 6:00 after break because of Labor Day

Clarification added 10/6 in this color (below)


This project will emphasize one of the middle phases of a typical design process. Consider the photocopied example projects for the design of some simple machines. Many of these designs are just at the end of the conceptual design phase. Your job is to build a computer model of the machine, refine the design (considering fit, function, manufacturing, aesthetics etc.) and document the refined design.


        Produce a concept sketch (freehand pencil on plain 8 x 11) of modest refinements to the design of a simple machine.

        Produce a complete set of working drawings for the refined design using Autodesk Inventor. Set up and use an Inventor project file in V: /MEC/1011/Fall_05/Midterm/TXA/Your_Name/ that saves your models next to or below itself.

        Develop a design guide, using Word, to compile the rules of the design, ranging from aesthetics (ex. brushed stainless parts fastened with black socket-head cap screws) to manufacturing process plans and capabilities (capabilities include what tolerances are reasonable and what geometric restrictions apply, like draft for casting). Consider table and outline structures for your design guide (see example). Save your design guide (.doc or .htm) in your Mid-term project V: drive folder.

        Exchange feedback with a peer through marked-up paper plots. After making all necessary changes based on feedback, you must indicate who checked the drawings using the 'Checked by' iproperty.

        Plot at 1:1 and turn your set of A-size drawings (8 x 11) in to an Instructor.

        Also, turn in your peer’s set of drawings marked-up by you. Be sure to share the set with the author before turning it in.


        Start with one of the photocopied example projects for a simple machine,


        Develop your own comparably complex design. You may start with any existing design whose drawings don’t yet exist. As a test of complexity, consider that a typical design from the examples has 6 custom parts and some standard fasteners or components. Also, note that each example presents some mechanical motion.


  1. Completeness: Sketch(es), each working drawing, and the set of drawings must be complete.

        Sketch(es): Draw freehand with pencil on plain 8 x 11 paper. Include title at the top, notes that explain your ideas, refinements, and how the parts will be made, name of designer (you), your signature, and the date

        Set of Working Drawings (at least one assembly drawing and part drawings of each custom part):
Include formal (consider standard ANSI) title block and border. Confirm stated scale.

        Assembly Drawing(s): Include any combination of views (ortho, section, iso, exploded or assembled) necessary to clearly show what parts and how they go together. Also, include balloons, a parts list and trails for any explosion. The parts list should at least include Item number, Quantity, and a column to name custom parts and specify standard ones.

        Part Drawings: Include all views and dimensions necessary to define the part geometry. Tolerance all dimensions except stock sizes (including angles). Note material, units and projection system.

  1. Quality:

Challenge: Model and dimension in metric units.


        Avoid Contradictions: Never use the decimal places of the style (appearance) of a dimension (unfortunately Inventor calls this the ‘precision’ of the number) to round off a quantity. For example, if the length of a feature is 1.625, you should not allow its dimension to state 1.6.

        Dimension hole sizes and list characteristics using hole notes. This requires the also desirable use of hole features to model holes.

        Dimension a hole’s location by referencing a center mark or centerline.

        Place extension lines with visible ‘gaps’.

        Avoid multiple parts per drawing or multiple drawings per Inventor drawing file (.idw). Also, avoid multiple parts per Inventor part file (.ipt).

        Give meaningful names to your Inventor files.


        If you’re stuck designing in English units, think in simple decimal sizes when you design (like 1.6), and use fractional sizes for stock and standard components only. When you use fractional sizes (like 1.625), dimension them with a fractional style (like 1 5/8).

        Choose your sizes of stock or standard components by using the Inventor’s Content Center, PartsNow! (Inventor menu), a manufacturer’s catalog (list of Component suppliers on Dept page) or from among the preferred sizes on this list from Columbia University’s Mechanical Engineering Department. If you choose a component from a Manufacturer’s catalog, please include the relevant info (Company, part#, etc.) in your parts list.

        Follow dimensioning rules of Figure 12.48 like locating holes in view looking down hole.

        Place dimensions off the views (Figure 12.43).

        Avoid over dimensioning (saying the same thing twice).

        Apply geometric dimensions and tolerances where appropriate to lower manufacturing cost.

        Tolerance consistent with process capabilities as stated in your design guide.

        Delete unused Inventor sketches (it’s easiest to kill them immediately).

        Avoid unused projected geometry in sketches. This is most easily done by confirming the status of Tools/Application Options/Sketch/Automatically Project Face Boundaries.

        All work planes and axes exist for a good reason.

        Holes are placed on a 'Point, Hole Center' or solely as a feature (avoid extruding cut circles or placing hole features on sketched circles).

        Holes are tapped by modifying a hole feature (not by adding a thread feature).

        Specify part finish (using notes or symbols).

        Where a part is symmetrical, indicate symmetry with a centerline and tolerance the symmetry with a note.

  1. Complexity. Notice this is the LAST PRIORITY. Look up at Completeness. Before you make your design more complex, consider having a friend with a sharp eye look over your drawings. Your most insidious foe is the missing dimension.


        Add complexity only after you have completeness.


Links to Projects:

Landscape Views

Portrait Views