|| RcCad and Education
By Drex Hathaway
Airplane Design Teacher
School District 215
In order for me to get a good clear picture of how RcCad helped my
students in my class room, I needed to set up a simple experiment. I had a group of
students design and build their planes the same way that I have had them do for 7 years.
This was my control in this experiment.
|I then, for a variable, had a group of kids design and build their
planes using RcCad. The group of students that I used as my control designed their planes
on paper using T-squares protractors and rulers. Each student had to draw their side and
top views, wings, appendages, and bulk heads using standard drafting tools. This is tough
for kids that have never used the tools before.
||The hardest part for the students in this group was designing the bulk
heads for their fuselages. It is hard for the students to picture what shape the bulk head
must be created in order to give their fuselages the final shape that they want. This
process took 20 school days to get this accomplished. The group using RcCad went much
different. I had the students either find existing scale three view drawings to work from
or create their own. This only took 2 school days to accomplish. Then the students of this
group where scheduled to work on the computer.
|Each student took one day on the computer. In this time they were able to
put the measurements into RcCad from the side view and top view, create the wings and
appendages they wanted on their planes and see the results immediately rendered in 3D.
This allowed the student to see what was going to look like and helped them decide if
there needed to be any changes made. I also found that being able to see what their
finished product was going to look like made it easier for the students to stay motivated,
and gave them direction in their efforts.
||The greatest thing that RcCad did for the students is that after only
about 1hr. of use, they were able to produce the full sized plans for the plane along with
the bulk heads. RcCad saved these students more that 15 hours of work and produced a
higher quality of plans to build from. This gave them much more time to do quality
construction work. These students still had to add notches in the bulk heads for the
stringers and keels. On the plans they had to add the structural members for wings,
landing gear, and horizontal and vertical stabilizers.
true results came when we go to see the final products of both groups. The planes
designed by the first group looked like "first time" planes, with mostly square
bodies that only flew so . The planes from the RcCad group built much more complex planes
with rounded bodies and different shaped wings. These planes flew long and far. They also
flew multiple flights.