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Age Range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics

CAD design project

Producing a CAD drawing of a design idea

This activity involves using CAD to design a modular product that could be made in batches using the casting process. Students will be tasked with creating a mould that could be used to make this product. The aim of this activity is to design a shape that can be tessellated, have a practical application, and would look aesthetically pleasing as a modular set of products that can lock together.

This project is part of a series of resources designed to challenge the students by requiring them to apply the knowledge and understanding of engineering materials through a ‘batch’ production experience. This activity should be followed by Investigating batch production. Also included in the series are Engineering design processes and Investigating cast products.

It’s one of a set of resources developed to aid the teaching of the secondary national curriculum, particularly KS3, supporting the teaching in engineering and design and technology (D&T).

Activity: Producing a CAD drawing of a design idea

In this activity students will design a modular product that could be made in batches using the casting process and create a mould that could be used to make this product.

Students will be asked to design a set of identical products that interlock (are modular). The products must be suitable for batch production made by casting and be made from PoP (plaster of Paris).

They’ll need to produce sketches of some design ideas and then choose one for modelling using CAD software. Students will next create a card model to test the interlocking feature and aesthetics of their design. After this they can make any necessary adjustments to their CAD drawing, and use use CAD/CAM to create an MDF mould.

Download our activity overview for a detailed lesson plan on CAD design.

The engineering context

Engineers will use CAD design as part of the process of making products. Items that have been designed this way are also ideal for batch production as they can be easily replicated. This links to industrial practices such as quality control, standardisation, and casting manufacture.

Suggested learning outcomes

This activity will teach students to analyse a design brief as well as generate ideas for a tessellated product that is suitable for batch manufacture. Students will also learn how to produce a CAD drawing of a design idea.

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

Download our classroom lesson plan and presentation below.

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