A comprehensive project utilizing spatial visualization skills

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



It has been shown that spatial visualization skills are a critical part of engineering education. Methods to improve these skills are varied, but in general contain activities that have students attempt to visualize objects when translated or rotated from their original orientation. At Michigan Technological University, students take a two-semester engineering course sequence (ENG1101 and ENG1102) during their first year. Both courses have activities that help develop spatial visualization skills through hand sketching and 3D modeling. This paper describes two culminating spatial visualization activities that combine all the skills learned by the students in their engineering coursework. In one case, students are provided with an object that has four or more distinct parts. Students measure, sketch, dimension, and model a single component and then combine their object with their team member's objects into a completed assembly in NX. A more advanced boot dryer project allows students flexibility in their final design. Students are provided with several components to the dryer, but not all. Based on their measurements and models of the given parts, they can design and model unique boot dryer systems. © 2011 IEEE.

Publication Title

Proceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE