FROM MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CAPSTONE DESIGN TO DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION
AbstractTraditionally, mechanical engineering capstone courses focused on teaching students the application of fundamental engineering theory to complex mechanical designs. Recently, there has been a transition towards experiential learning initiatives, such as prototyping, in engineering design. This paper looks at the relationship between the mechanical engineering design capstone course and a course in product design and development, which provides students with the opportunity to build prototypes of their designs, at the University of Ottawa. The importance of the traditional capstone course is considered and the implications of implementing these designs are examined. Many capstone design projects would require extensive work so that they could be implemented. A large hurdle appears to exist between analytical design and design implementation, and the term time constraints limit the complexity of designs intended for prototyping. In fact, students require many design iterations before they can build full-scale functional prototypes of their design. Therefore, we have observed that simple products work best for teaching design implementation.