2019 Creative Design of Mechanical Systems

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Mechanical Engineering
Yagi Tohru  Akasaka Hiroki  Fushinobu Kazuyoshi  Sakamoto Hiraku  Saito Takushi  Omata Toru  Shinshi Tadahiko  Yanagida Yasuko  Murakami Yoichi  Sawada Tetsuo  Watanabe Hirotatu  Noguchi Yuki 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-4(石川台3号館201A,201B,201C号室 石川台3号館303号室)  Fri1-4(石川台3号館201A,201B,201C号室 石川台3号館303号室)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

Students in this course will work in groups to learn creative approaches through the experience of planning, designing, and manufacturing mechanical systems that conform to user needs. Students will form groups of 10 to essentially design and develop a "usable machine", as a new and original mechanical system. To that end, students will investigate users and the environment and actual conditions in which it will be used, and generate ideas. Next, students will create a prototype that gives shape to the ideas, extract points of concern in the design through the evaluation of the prototype by others, and repeat processes to improve, thus creating a highly thorough design proposal. Students will increase the sophistication of mechanical systems by working in groups to repeatedly brainstorm ideas produced by each group member at the planning and design stage. Students will develop the ability to lead the proposal and execution of concrete projects through this experience. As a result, students will add to the basic skills on machine design centered on design, drawing, and processing from before this course, learning in a practical manner creative approaches to achieve the required functions.
Through presentations using this prototype, students will also acquire the skills to accurately communicate the content to evaluators.

Student learning outcomes

Students will learn the following skills from taking this course.
1) Be able to draw up a plan, design, and think creatively in order to design an actual mechanical system.
2) Be able to think creatively for realizing required functions
3) Learn a type of design called design thinking for developing a "usable machine" from the user perspective
4) Be able to accurately communicate one's ideas to others through presentations


Planning・Designing, Creativity, Design thinking, Prototype, Group working, Processing technique, Control technology, Total Scholastic Ability

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course is centered on group work in groups of 10 people. Each group will propose a concept, manufacture a prototype, and give a presentation. Please work on concept proposal and prototype manufacturing assignments both during class and as homework. Students will manufacture the actual mechanical system in Creative Design Project of Mechanical Systems (MEC.Q311.A).

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Grouping and Introduction  - Checking tools and devices, Safety instruction, Announcement of Theme Propose a method to solve a problem every group. Investigate the existing items
Class 2 Team building activity Build up teamwork mind
Class 3 Proposal of Concept  - Ethnographical research and users observations in real life Draft a concept to solve a problem. Investigate real users and their life.
Class 4 Sketching  - sketches, storyboards Visualize the effect of advantage for the users.
Class 5 Quick and dirty prototyping Make mock-up with paper and old junk
Class 6 Poster preparation Prepare Poster preparation
Class 7 3 idea presentation Poster presentation
Class 8 Summerizing 3 idea presentation, Selecting 1 idea per section3 Note for function/specification/modules Summarizing 3 idea presentation, Selecting 1 idea per section3, Note for function/specification/modules
Class 9 Introduction to mechanisms and machines Prototyping -Made of wood and plastics Note for mechanisms. Build a prototype.
Class 10 Materials, Fastening and joining parts Prototyping -Made of wood and plastics Note for materials and binding. Build a prototype.
Class 11 Actuators Prototyping -Made of wood and plastics Note for actuators. Build a prototype.
Class 12 Pitch Present the current ideas and obtain feedback
Class 13 Bearings, couplers, gears, screws, and springs Prototyping -Made of wood and plastics Build a prototype.
Class 14 Design most critical module Prototyping -Made of wood and plastics Obrtain feedback from audience.
Class 15 Desing review #1 and clean-up 12 teams, discussion at table


Not specified. (The lecture materials will be distributed at beginning of this Course or can be downloaded on the web site of OCW.)

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Hoshino, Tadashi, Hassouhou Nyumon, Nikkei Bunko , ISBN-13: 978-4532110772,(Japanese)
Dustyn Roberts, Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists, ISBN-13: 978-0071741675,
Matsuoka et.al., M Method Design thinking on Multispace, Kindaino Kagakusha, ISBN-13: 978-4764904446,(Japanese)
Karl Ulrich, Steven Eppinger, Product Design and Development, McGraw Hill Higher Education; 5th Revised Ed, ISBN-13: 978-0072296471

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of Creative Design of Mechanical Systems and their ability to apply them to problems will be assessed.
Notebook and/or home work and Final Presentation.

Related courses

  • MEC.Q311 : Creative Design Project of Mechanical Systems
  • MEC.Q201 : Introduction to Mechanical Systems
  • GRD.R101 : Mechanical Engineering Literacy 1
  • GRD.R102 : Mechanical Engineering Literacy 2
  • GRD.R103 : Mechanical Engineering Literacy 3
  • GRD.R104 : Mechanical Engineering Literacy 4
  • MEC.Q310 : Machine tool and Safety training

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

Students are required to have taken Mechanical Engineering Literacy (GRD.R101, GRD.R102, GRD.R103, GRD.R104) and Introduction to Mechanical Systems (MEC.Q201.R), or have equivalent knowledge. As the number of practical training devices is limited, priority will be given to students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering if capacity is exceeded.

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