Engineering .. 3D design activity

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            Many engineering jobs require the design and creation of three dimensional objects.  Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools and rapid prototyping machines make this projects.  There are many different types of software tools including: AutoCAD, Solidworks, Sketchup, Inventor, and others. In this lab you will choose one of the software packages and explore how to make basic 3-D objects.  As engineers you need to be able to teach yourself new skills, so this will be a self-guided activity.  You are responsible for choosing the software package you want, finding tutorials or help files if you need them.  If you already know one or more of these software packages, I suggest you try a new one to diversify your skills.  You may get help from fellow students but there will be no assistance from the professor to complete this assignment. 

Relation to Engineering

            Mechanical, Biomedical and Manufacturing Engineers often employ 3-D modeling software to design parts, show heat/fluid transfer and mechanical properties.  These designs are often components in a larger system.  Industrial engineers can use 3-D modeling to plan out a factory or other production facilities.  Computer modeling of parts and systems saves time and money in the prototyping process, allowing design reviews of virtual objects so that changes can be made quickly and tested in simulation before any physical object is produced.

PreLab Activity

                If you have your own computer, you can download a free version of Sketchup (the older version Google sketch up version 8) from   You can get a free student version of AutoCAD ( but files you save have watermark on your plots that designate it as designed in the Student version.  Another recommended free CAD software is called DraftsSite ( which lets you save your work in the .dwg format.  All engineering computers in John Jay should have AutoCAD or Solidworks on them.   You will need verify that the software you chose can save a .stl file extension, or a .dwg that can be converted to an .stl format. 
Project Specificiations

            Use the software you have chosen to design a 3-D object.  The object must meet the following design requirements:

·         Its dimensions must not exceed 4in by 2in by 1inchs. 

·         Your name must be incorporated as text into the design (first, last, or both)

·         A 3-D shape other than the text of your name must be used in the design

·         Every piece of the design must be attached to allow for potential 3-D printing (no objects floating in space!)

·         Make sure you save your design in a 3-D format that can be reopened and edited when you are done 

Project Report Requirements

·         Name the Software you used, including manufacturer and version number

·         List any tutorials you used and summarize what you learned from them including a rating system of 5 stars, from 1 star being no help and 5 stars being very helpful.  You must find at least four tutorials for your software.  This can include the help file as one, and use other instructional websites or youtube videos.  Include the author of the tutorial (if known) full web address, description of the content of the tutorial and your rating of its helpfulness. 

·         Include images of your design (either from directly saved images or from screen shots).  You should have 4 images: Front view, side view, top view, and off-angle view.  One or more of the images should have measurement marks included for length, width and height to prove that you stayed within the size limitation

·         Describe how you will save your file as an .stl file for 3-D printing.  If your chosen software does not allow you to save in the .stl format, find a program that convert from your saved 3-D format to .stl and describe the process in your report.  You do not actually need to save as .stl unless your design is chosen for printing. 

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