Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0812
2019-04-02

Evaluation of Ecosystem for Design Assessment and Verification by BAJA Dynamometer Capstone Team at the University of Nebraska 2019-01-0812

This paper summarizes the outcome of an evaluation by capstone design teams from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, of the Ecosystem for Team Design and Assessment. The Ecosystem is a design decision support tool whose main goal is to identify design oversights early in the design process, guide designers through the design process, and teach proper design techniques. It is capable of automatically assessing students’ design work against ABET compliant learning outcomes. The Ecosystem offers many additional features found useful by capstone design teams, such as automatic generation of formatted project reports as well as interfaces to tools for team communications (Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive) or development (e.g., SolidWorks, CATIA, NX Unigraphics or AutoCAD). The Ecosystem was recently evaluated by a capstone team working on an automated straw flattening machine and again during a following semester by a team designing a dynamometer used for measuring the engine power of a BAJA race car. The paper draws upon the improvements of the Ecosystem software completed during the aforementioned time period, identifies the features the capstone teams found most useful, and compares the design experience (productivity) of the BAJA Dynamometer team to that of the a team not using the Ecosystem, but with the same faculty adviser. Through comparison of two such teams, it was found that the team using the Ecosystem managed to stay on schedule a little better. This research is supported by NSF Awards 1447395 and 1632408.

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