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2.875 Mechanical Assembly and Its Role in Product Development, Fall 2002

Drawing defining geometric terms used to describe peg-hole mates.
Geometry definitions used to describe peg-hole mates. (Courtesy of Prof. Daniel E. Whitney, Lecture 3: "Rigid Part Mating".)  

Highlights of this Course

While much is written about the design and manufacture of individual parts, there is surprisingly little information about how those parts go together into a product that actually does something. This course addresses the following question: What is a competently designed assembly, and how would we know one if we saw one? Specific objectives for students include:
  • Understand a systematic approach to analyzing assembly problems.
  • Appreciate the many ways assembly influences product development and manufacturing.
  • See a complete approach that includes technology, systems engineering, and economic analysis.
  • Get a feeling for what is technologically feasible.
  • Practice the systematic process on a semester-long project of your own.

Class exercises and homework include analyses of real assemblies, the mechanics of part mating, and a semester long project. Case studies and current research are included.

» View this course in Simplified Chinese courtesy of China Open Resources for Education (CORE).

Course Description

The course presents a systematic approach to design and assembly of mechanical assemblies, which should be of interest to engineering professionals, as well as post-baccalaureate students of mechanical, manufacturing and industrial engineering. It introduces mechanical and economic models of assemblies and assembly automation at two levels. "Assembly in the small" includes basic engineering models of part mating, and an explanation of the Remote Center Compliance. "Assembly in the large" takes a system view of assembly, including the notion of product architecture, feature-based design, and computer models of assemblies, analysis of mechanical constraint, assembly sequence analysis, tolerances, system-level design for assembly and JIT methods, and economics of assembly automation.



Prof. Daniel E. Whitney

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




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