Module ICL-2017:
Computer Aided Design & Anal

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to build students’ confidence in the use of mechanical and electrical Computer Aided Design software which can be used at home or within industry. They will become aware of the importance of CAD for modelling, simulating products, increased sustainability and less environmental impact.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Create solid geometrical parts using a variety of fundamental construction techniques using industry standard solid modelling systems
  • Apply the principles of B-spline curve and surface creation and CAD modelling techniques to the generation of surface/solid geometry starting from a point data set and/or suitable mathematical formula
  • Use drafting tools to generate 2D drawings from 3D geometrical parts
  • Evaluate a CAE solid modelling tool in terms of the range of solid construction techniques offered
  • Identify analysis problems which are suitable for finite element or finite difference solution
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of numerical solution methods
  • Generate finite element analysis models by using geometry from a solid modeller
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how modern CAE Analysis tools are used
  • Use free mesh and mapped mesh generation techniques
  • Apply design for manufacture/construction/maintenance principles to the development of computer aided engineering models
  • Understand the role of simulation and analysis for static and dynamic contexts and how these are used for product operation and manufacturing process simulation
  • Create an optimisation model to solve a specified engineering design problem, including the use of FMEA (failure mode effect analysis)
  • Evaluate the features of a design optimisation and maturity model and how this aids design capability improvement
  • Understand the need for and standards associated with data exchange between systems, to assist the design optimisation process
  • Can generate solid model outputs suitable for different applications such as rapid prototyping, CNC machining, pattern and tooling manufacture
  • Communicate clearly in terms of written reports, project meetings and presentations to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Understand how organisations manage complex 3D visualisation and mock up and the application of configuration management and control to represent different product configurations
  • Understand the importance of verification and validation for modelling and simulation of products and processes

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.

Learning outcomes

  1. Use a CAD system to successfully produce a portfolio of 3D components and assembled components linked with their mechanical or electrical properties, failure mode effects analysis, stress and strain points, fluid flow.

  2. Use a CAD/CAM system to produce prototypes of components and cutter toolpaths for manufacturing these products.

  3. Produce work compliant with British standards for CAD drawings and generate 2D engineering drawings.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO 2D Drawings Portfolio

An e-portfolio of 2D drawings of the components and assembled products assessed in the 3D Products portfolio.

LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO 3D Products Portfolio

An e-portfolio of a range of 3D products comprising of single components, assembled components, Failure Mode Effects Analysis, Mechanical and Electrical properties and where available, fluid flow.


An e-portfolio of processed prototypes and of the cutter toolpaths and G&M codes generated from the components assessed in the 3D Products portfolio.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops

A series of interactive lectures, seminars, workshops, web-based learning, problem solving exercises, individual and group activities and linked tutorials. Consideration of case study materials, journals and guest speakers will form an important part of the delivery illustrating the application of themes to real-world situations.

Private study

Tutor-directed private study, including preparation.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Bring about improvement through quality control;
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the need to work safely and comply within relevant legislative and regulatory frameworks;

Courses including this module