Advanced, graduate level course on the design, modeling and assembly of precision mechanical devices. Topics covered include constraints, alignment mechanisms, precision bearings including air bearings and flexural bearings, kinematic couplings, error budgeting, instrumentation and measurement. A major component of this course is the design and fabrication of a precision desktop lathe. Students use precision engineering techniques to design, build, and assemble the desktop lathe and to measure its error motions. This machine design course is unique among graduate courses in that the project is run much like a group project at an engineering firm. The students are given specific milestones that they must achieve on specific dates, there are periodic meetings with the project supervisor where they have to present their work and justify their design decisions, and the product must go through at least one testing and improvement iteration before the project is complete. This project helps students prepare for their future careers while reinforcing the lessons taught in class and good engineering practices.
Years: 2015, 2016, 2017