University of Cincinnati senior mechanical design projects with NX CAD

This article is a second part of a two-part series about the University of Cincinnati’s use of Siemens’ NX product engineering software in the classroom. Check out the first part, First-year engineering students learn reverse engineering with NX CAD.

Senior mechanical design course

As a part of the Siemens Digital Industries Software academic partner ecosystem, the University of Cincinnati incorporates Siemens software into coursework for engineering majors within the College of Engineering and Applied Science. During the mechanical engineering students’ first year, they are introduced to NX in their Engineering Design Graphics course. For their final project, they work in a team to reverse engineer and assemble a complex object of their choosing in NX.

As students go through their college careers, they are required to do multiple co-op rotations, where they may be introduced to and use other CAD and CAE software. However, in their fifth year, the mechanical engineering students revisit NX CAD in Senior Design with Dr. Thomas R. Huston. In the lecture portion of the class, they learn about general design topics such as constraints, tradeoffs, patents, intellectual property and ethics.

But of course, that’s not all. In the lab component of the Senior Design course with graduate assistants Karthik Ramesh and Nikhil Thomas, students get a refresher on how to use NX for Design tools and functionalities, and learn new functions including advanced assembly and animation tools. Similar to the first-year course, they are given weekly assignments to practice the lessons and then get introduced to their semester final project halfway through the semester.

This time, the project requires the students to work individually, instead of with a team, to reverse engineer any complex object of their choice. Many students chose to design things they are passionate about, rather than just products that meet the basic mechanical assembly requirements. They must design each individual component, complete the assembly, and if their design includes any moving parts or motion, show the animation utilizing the Sequence tool in NX.

In the Spring semester, the mechanical engineering students will take their culminating Senior Design Capstone course, where they will apply the lessons learned from the lecture and lab of Senior Design, as well as lessons learned throughout their entire collegiate academic and professional (co-op) career to design a new product.

UC senior Mechanical Engineering reverse engineering projects

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at