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ME X50 Projects/Abstracts

The Michigan Engineering Design Expo is held concurrently with the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Symposium.

The Design Expo showcases the achievements of our students in engineering design and prototyping, and demonstrates applications of their studies that solve real-world problems.

Students in Mechanical Engineering Design and Manufacturing courses (ME 250, 350, 450, and 455), will present their projects for the Design Expo during the ME Undergraduate Symposium.

Mechanical Engineering Design and Manufacturing Courses

ME 250

In ME 250, the students learn engineering drawing; CAD and solid modeling; use of mechanical elements such as bearings, gears, and springs; engineering analysis; and manufacturing processes. They get hands-on experience using machine tools such as a milling machine, lathe, laser cutter, and water jet cutting machine, as well as a 3D printer.

In the course project, the students put their knowledge to use. They work in teams of four to design and build a remote-controlled machine that must move cubes through an obstacle course in a relay race with other teams. The students learn to choose a strategy, generate concepts for the design, perform analysis on their concept, and then design the individual components. They are given a kit of materials which they can use to manufacture the components using the student machine shop. They test and validate their designs before the competition at the ME Undergraduate Symposium.  

Come cheer them on in the BorgWarner Galleria.

ME 350

In ME 350, the emphasis is on the model-based design of mechanical and mechatronic systems. The students learn the design of mechanisms, the design of mechanical elements for strength, and mechatronics. Mechatronics is the synergistic integration of mechanics, electronics, control theory, and computer science within product design and manufacturing, in order to improve and/or optimize its functionality.

In the course project, students work in teams of four to design, build, and test a four-bar linkage to automatically position a cup to catch falling balls. The students use a motor and transmission to move the linkage, limit switches to calibrate the linkage position, and an encoder to keep track of the position. The students learn to program an Arduino microcontroller board (running a PID controller) to receive the signals from the sensors and make decisions based on these signals, and send the output to the motor driver to position the cup to catch the balls.  The Arduino also reads a color sensor to decide where to put each ball after it is caught.

You can view examples of student projects in the BorgWarner Galleria.

ME 450

ME 450 is the capstone in our unique design and manufacturing sequence. Students are taught to approach open-ended design challenges through processes, to manage and work in collaborative teams, and to synthesize and apply diverse engineering knowledge to the design and manufacturing of real mechanical systems. Teams of 4-5 students work together on a semester-long design problem, typically from industry, or faculty research, and present a working prototype at Design Expo. Students are exposed to the design process from eliciting user needs and generating concepts through to prototype validation.

ME 450 project abstracts can be viewed here.