Note: This unit version is currently being edited and is subject to change!

MECH1400: Mechanical Construction (2020 - Semester 2)

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Unit: MECH1400: Mechanical Construction (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Junior
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Fiford, Rod
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Learn about selected historical machinery, research methods, analysis techniques, application of theory and analysis to real machinery, use of machine and hand tools.

This is a project based subject where the students will design, build and test their own designs.

Historical developments in the area of the project are researched and applied, research into relevant fields is required to fully understand and analyse the project problem.

The unit ties in with workshop component of MECH1560. Skills developed become relevant in MECH2400 Mechanical Design 1 and MECH2401 Human Centered Engineering Design.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Fiford, Rod
Timetable: MECH1400 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 3.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 3.00 13
T&L Activities: Laboratories/Tutorials: The workshop sessions allow the students to gain hands-on practical experience under the guidance of staff and also allow the students the opportunity to see how theory is turned into real hardware.

Independent Study: The unit requires at least 3 additional hours per week study and preparation.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Unassigned Outcomes
1. Ability to apply statics, dynamics and thermodynamics analysis methods to real design problems.
2. Ability to undertake a simple design and build project from conception to completion.
3. Ability to apply theory and analysis to real machinery, use of machine and hand tools.
4. Develop basic workshop skills, learning to use machine tools for production of complex parts.
5. Ability to undertake research into existing design as part of developing new design.
6. Ability to place the Mechanical Engineering profession in historical context.
7. 7. Ability to use self-reflection and critical thinking to improve student's learning skills.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Design Proposal* Yes 15.00 Week 4 1, 2, 5, 6,
2 Progress Report* Yes 10.00 Week 8 2, 7,
3 Final Report* Yes 20.00 Week 12 2, 3,
4 Project Outcome Yes 20.00 Week 13 2, 4,
5 Workshop Skills and Participation # No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 4,
6 Quiz - During Lecture* No 15.00 Week 12 1, 3, 4, 6,
7 Reflective learning report No 10.00 Week 13 2, 6, 7,
Assessment Description: * Indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration

# Students may only miss 2 workshop sessions in total; otherwise they will fail the unit. Students need to be at their workshop session by 2:10pm to have their attendance counted.

Proposal: Written proposal with historical background and preliminary design of device including basic drawings.

Progress Report : Record of progress on design and build to date, more detailed drawings required.

Final Report: Record of the research, design, and construction of completed device, full drawings and assembly drawing required.

Project: Project Outcome: Mark based on how well designed and machined/constructed the final device is, plus how well it performs.

Reflective Learning Report: Student to discuss their learning as related to the Unit of Study.

Workshop Skills: Evaluation of how well students perform in the workshop.

Quiz: In class closed book quiz.

Attendance penalty: Attendance is compulsory. Students will lose 5% of total mark for each workshop session they miss.


1. There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes.

2. Late penalties are generally 5% (of the maximum attainable mark per day including weekends) and are indicated on each assessment task handout.

3. Text based similarity detecting software (Turnitin) will be used for all text-based written assignments.

4. Individual student grades for group based tasks may vary; Sparkplus will be used to evaluate group contribution/performance.
Assessment Feedback: Feedback will aim to be generated and returned within 10 working days of the task due date.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction, design process
Week 2 Drawing methods.
Week 3 Design methods & mechanical components
Week 4 Design/Drawing/Review process
Assessment Due: Design Proposal*
Week 5 Materials selection
Week 6 Report writing refresher
Week 7 Surface finishes and tolerances
Week 8 Machining and workshops
Assessment Due: Progress Report*
Week 9 Advanced machining processes
Week 10 Case study
Week 11 Case study/course revision
Week 12 Assessment Due: Final Report*
Assessment Due: Quiz - During Lecture*
Week 13 No lecture
Assessment Due: Project Outcome
Assessment Due: Reflective learning report

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Mechanical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Mechanical 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Mechanical (Space) 2015, 2021
Mechanical (Space) Mid-Year 2021
Mechanical (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical (Space) (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 1) No 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 1) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.