Teaching CAD to new students

In addition to learning to use some CAD tool, some members of your team should learn to use other mechanical design tools (the JVN calculator or the AMB design spreadsheet from @AriMB) and some basic physics (simple machines such as levers, gears etc.) Otherwise, one could end up with a design that is pretty to look at but is doomed to fail. An example is the winches used in 2017. Quite a few teams could only climb half way up their ropes because they did not have sufficient torque to accomodate the rope wrapping in multiple layers.

My team actually created a Summer CAD Course to teach interested members CAD over the summer. The course is broken down like so:

  1. Members watch the tutorial videos that we made at gnsrobotics.com/cad
  2. Members complete the assignment(s) that correspond to each video
  3. Members submit the assignments through Google Classroom and our team’s CAD Server (we use this to share CAD files)
  4. Our team’s CAD leaders “grade” and give feedback on the members’ work

This past summer was our first time running this course, and it was a huge success. Part of it’s success was attributed to how closely we aligned our curriculum to what we do during the build season. For instance, the final assignment is to CAD the cargo mechanism that we used on our robot last year.

That being said, anyone else is welcome to participate in our course by watching the videos and/or completing the assignments (although we won’t be able to grade you or anything).


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