Precision Product Design

This course examines design, selection, and combination of machine elements to produce a robust precision system. It introduces process, philosophy and physics-based principles of design to improve/enable renewable power generation, energy efficiency, and manufacturing productivity.

Topics include linkages, power transmission, screws and gears, actuators, structures, joints, bearings, error apportionment, and error budgeting. Each topic is considered with respect to its physics of operation, mechanics (strength, deformation, thermal effects) and accuracy, repeatability, and resolution.

This course includes guest lectures from practicing industry and academic leaders. Students design, build, and test a small benchtop precision machine, such as a heliostat for positioning solar PV panels or a two or three axis machine.

Prior to each lecture, students review the pre-recorded detailed topic materials and then converge on what parts of the topic they want covered in extra depth in lecture. Students are assessed on their preparation for and participation in class sessions. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.