Many studies have shown the importance of sketching skill in engineering design, more specifically in the conceptual design phase. Yet, engineering students today clearly have a preference when it comes to design and sketching is not often included in their visual documentation tool kit. The reasons may be that first, today’s contemporary engineering course plan does not include a sketch training course leaving students feeling inadequate to the task. Secondly in such a demanding fast passed global economy, time is of the essence and tools such as CAD, Pro-E, and Inventor offer quick solutions to design problems. Overall students do not appear to appreciate the value of sketching in the design process. This must be changed. This paper presents the results of a study to intervene with the purpose of influencing student use of sketching during design in a senior capstone course at The University of Maryland. The students sketches are reviewed pre and post a specific lesson based on the importance of sketching in mechanical design. This sketching importance lesson changed the content of the sketches when compared to a control group.

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