Rapid Prototyping for Recovering Industries
a Board of Regents Academic Enhancement Grant
The goal of this project was to create an industrial design and rapid prototyping site where students can apply the advanced concepts they are learning to solving real problems for local and regional businesses and industries. Students enrolled in the existing Industrial Technology 492H - Honors Research and Development in Industrial Technology, could work with a local industry (under the supervision of a faculty member) to select and define a problem. Throughout the project, students would visit the job site and be required to submit regular progress reports giving written evidence of their learning as they design, draw, and build a prototype of the mechanical device needed by the industry. The industry standard equipment requested in this grant was to be used to build the prototype components. Students could draw upon the knowledge gained in all of their previous course work and utilize the Southeastern faculty as “consultants.”
After attending the Society of Manufacturing Engineering RAPID Conference in May, I was better able to discern ways that we could be of service to business and industry in our area. The Dean and Director of the NSF Rapid Technologies Center at Saddleback College in California were extremely helpful in providing direction and technical assistance. They have had a center like we are trying to develop for several years and encountered many of the same problems when they began. I will be spending a week during the August 2008 at Saddleback College learning even more about rapid technologies.