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College of Engineering announces winners of E-Week competition

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Local high schools had the opportunity to compete virtually in Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s annual Engineers Week competition.

 

This year’s competition had the theme “Imagining Tomorrow.” Two teams were selected as winners including Collegiate High School’s Droid Rage 2 team and Miller Metro Prep School of Design’s Metro Bucs team.

 

Dr. Larry Peel, a professor in the mechanical and industrial engineering department, and Dr. Francisco Aguiniga, a professor in the civil and architectural engineering department, were responsible for planning for the project, testing the software and developing base models.

 

Peel said this year’s competition focused on Civil and Mechanical engineering, and will probably focus on another major next year. 

 

The competition is usually in-person, but because of COVID-19, accommodations were made.

 

“This project was specifically created due to COVID-19 effects, so high schools that participated could have their teams work fully online since the software is available for free and all work is done online. This way students did not need to be physically in the same location to create the project,” Dr. Aguiniga said.

 

According to the rules of the competition, students were required to create all the spaces for a house including a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and openings for doors and windows. They had to scale the model properly so the final 3D printed project would fit within the machine printing range of 12 inches by 8.5 inches. They also had to make the walls and other elements thick enough so they could be actually printed, while still maintaining real life proportions.

 

Participants also had to learn a new software called Tinkercad which is a free, online 3D modeling program that runs in a web browser. Peel said the program is very simple to use and download files for 3D printing.  

 

“This project greatly benefits students to learn more about engineering, so they can get a better idea of what elements are needed to make a house. They learned about scales, 3D printing advantages, and limitations,” Aguiniga said. “The whole experience is quite valuable for high school students because they can see that ideas can be turned into real 3D buildings, especially since some of the latest developments in Civil Engineering deal with construction of full size 3D printed concrete buildings.”

Category: General Univ , Engineering

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