New media designer and ITP master’s student Dhruv Damle recently wrote in to share a beautiful project he made using one of the Othermills at ITP’s Soft Lab: his oak and aluminum abstract map of Manhattan.
We specially designed a new lab experiment for Mechanical Engineering students who are required to take heat transfer courses as part of their major. The Heat Sink Experiment gives students a chance to gain practical experience with theories about heat transfer. This lesson teaches about extended surfaces and 1D steady-state conduction in finned surfaces by having students analyze, design, fabricate on a CNC mill, and test their own heat sinks. Students get a pragmatic, hands-on way to engage with engineering concepts, gain first-hand experience, and also get introduced to manufacturing processes, all of which provide an edge in the job market.
Teaching engineering is hard. It’s one thing to explain concepts, but most students require concrete, practical examples in order to fully understand those concepts. Practical examples cost money, and they also require time and effort to develop. That’s why we’ve started creating free educational content for Mechanical Engineering courses!
In many Engineering Mechanics and Materials classes, “dog bone” tensile test specimens are required at some point, as part of determining the yield strength and ultimate tensile strength of various materials. For each of these materials, the test specimens are often milled one at a time in the university’s machine shop by a certified lab technician, until there are enough for the entire class. What if there were an easier way that didn’t require a machine shop or certifications, and could even be used as a teaching tool?