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Art Class and CAM Class Collaboration Project

david_kurtzdavid_kurtz Member Posts: 24 EDU
edited June 2019 in Educator Discussion

Course: Introduction to Computer Aided Modeling

Student Ages: Grades 9-12

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Our Art Department has a class called Innovative Product Design.  Over the last few years we have developed a collaboration between this class and our Computer Aided Modeling class.  The Art students are asked to come up with an idea for a product, the theme of which changes each year. They sketch their idea, write a design concept and make paper mock-ups.  

Next, the Art students are paired up with a CAM student.  The CAM student is tasked with designing the part using CAD.  This leads to conversations between the students about what can and cannot easily be designed and, later, 3D printed.  CAM students meet periodically with the Art students to share progress and get feedback on designs.

We typically do 2 and sometimes 3 3D prints of projects,  The first printing is used as a proof of concept and the final print is done at high quality.  We try to make more use of drawings and renderings during the early stages of the design process.   These are faster and usually lead to the same feedback.

The CAM teacher’s role is to facilitate.  They assign pairings based on each student’s strength with the software and suggest strategies and features that could be used to design the product.  

Teacher Reflection: The single greatest strength of this project is the way it encourages the design process.  I have found very few projects that work as successfully at getting students to brainstorm, prototype, evaluate, re-design, etc.


  • TimRiceTimRice Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 315
    Sounds like a really excellent project for encouraging collaboration and interdisciplinary design! In practice how do most students organize their projects to capture the iterative process? Do they create Branches to try different designs? Or duplicate the part studio? Or something else?
    Tim Rice | User Experience | Support 
    Onshape, Inc.
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