Assessing the utilization of virtual LEGO® blocks within a group design project

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2 Scopus citations


The practical application of the philosophies of concurrent engineering stresses the importance of geometric data within design processes. Three-dimensional data generated from computer-aided design (CAD) applications are shared within concurrent engineering models to facilitate design ideation, simulation, prototyping, and production. To help implement this approach to design, Product Data Management (PDM) applications are utilized to control the exchange of critical data. Product data management applications have the ability to manage CAD and other engineering data while facilitating design communication. This paper describes the integration of a PDM focused design project within a sophomore level CAD course. Within this design project, student groups utilized virtual LEGO® blocks to meet specific design requirements. Unlike the traditional use of LEGO toys, blocks were pre-modeled in a CAD system and stored in a PDM application. Groups fabricated their designs within the CAD system's assembly module. This virtual representation of LEGO blocks was implemented in this manner to simulate the electronic sharing of design data that is typically encountered within a manufacture/vendor relationship. Within the project, students were required to follow a defined design process to include problem identification, ideation, selection, modeling, and simulation. Topics covered within this paper will include: 1) principles of concurrent engineering, 2) PDM capabilities, 3) design project requirements, and 4) student feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalEngineering Design Graphics Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004


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