Engineering Drafting & Design students in the Product Design class recently visited Modern Metals Foundry Inc. in Bloomington, Minn. The visit is part of a golf putter design project the students are working on.
Before the students visited the foundry, Dan Taylor, pattern maker and partial owner of Modern Metals, spent a day in the classroom working with 21 students to create golf putter designs and follow boards that could be easily cast in aluminum.
“At the foundry the students were able to watch the actual process of packing the sand into a core and cavity using one of their putter patterns and follow boards,” said Senior Instructor Andrew LeRoy. “The sand was hardened using a CO2 process. Finally the sprue and runners were cut into the mold and the liquid aluminum was poured into the mold by hand using a ladle. After a cooling period the part was removed and then brought into the grinding area to clean it up.”
When all the putter parts are complete they will be returned to the students to do the final machining of the putters striking faces and installation of the shaft and grip.
“This project makes the design process come to life from conception through final manufacturing of a part using required standards from industry. It is very realistic and mirrors what graduates will face in industry on a smaller scale,” LeRoy said. “Modern Metals has been integral to the MDES program for several years and they really make an invaluable contribution.”
For this project the students are required to ensure their putter meets United States Golf Association standards of weight and design. In mid to late November the students will host a putting contest for Dunwoody faculty, staff and students–who will be asked to vote for which putter they think is best. The winner will be listed on a trophy displayed in the Robotics & Manufacturing department.
Dunwoody’s Engineering Drafting & Design (MDES) and Interior Design students worked together to create eight unique pieces of furniture that will be on display in the Hub on campus this week.
The idea for collaborative project came when MDES faculty member Andrew LeRoy and Interior Design faculty member Nada Sarraf-Knowles were discussing how they both wanted to incorporate use of the College’s 3D printer into their curriculums.
“We decided to work together since product design and furniture design have many areas of overlap,” LeRoy said. “Others from the College got involved as well. This year the welding instructors and students were a big help to one of the projects. Tim Flugum has been helpful with suggestions for the students in the new woodshop. Design & Graphics Technology helped with a corrugated chair.”
Students were put into teams of three or four and asked to create an original chair using a minimum of two materials, with at least four points of contact with the ground, be fully functional, and hold 200 pounds. Each team was given a $100 budget, supplied by the College, to spend on materials. They were also required to determine costs for a manufacturing run of 500 chairs.
Students learned a lot about communication and collaboration through the project.
“Since the students come from different programs they have expertise in different areas and need to rely on one another’s skills in their areas of knowledge. It also teaches them about negotiation,” LeRoy said.
Students said the project was fun and challenging.
MDES student Chris Brenner said it was interesting getting input from someone in another profession, “who thinks differently from the way we think in manufacturing.”
MDES student Nicole Rodriguez said the larger scale project was more challenging than just printing out 3D prints.
“We learned about process and prototyping in general.”
Last spring LeRoy and Sarraf-Knowles won an academic innovation award from the College for the collaborative project.