Creating a materials library for mechanical engineering students
Author(s)Das, Patricia (Patricia Adalia); Mo. Roget
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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A material can enhance or distract from the end-user experience and is an important decision for designers. As such, material libraries exist to provide designers with a hands-on resource to understanding materials beyond just data sheets. When we took 2.009, a mechanical engineering capstone class, we found it difficult to decide which materials to use. Thus, in this work, we sought to create a materials library under an engineering context for student product designers to use. To understand how material libraries function and which materials would best suit the collection, we benchmarked three physical and one virtual material library. We also sought input from those involved in product design classes, such as past students, Professor Wallace who teaches 2.009, and Pappalardo shop staff who support the students in their creations. We also looked at past receipts to supplement our knowledge as well as looked at distributors and what they offered to expand our selection. Our six main categories of materials were: woods, metals, composites, polymers, fabrics, and Smooth-On products. The material libraries key criteria were to be well organized, portable, and useful. We went through several design sketches before deciding on utilizing a modular wire rack so we could place dividers and shelves as necessary. A coding system was also implemented that included main categories and subcategories with associated colors to help with the user experience of quickly locating, using, and returning. Each material comes attached with information and a more complete overview is located in an information packet. While this first version the materials library was met with excitement, it is by no means complete. As such, there are also a number of ways to improve the experience and the collection.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 47).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology