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

MECH4460: Mechanical Design 3 (2020 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: MECH4460: Mechanical Design 3 (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Lozzi, Andrei
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: MECH2400 AND MECH3460.
Prohibitions: MECH5416.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit utilizes assumed theoretical knowledge and skills to elucidate the stresses and deformations that exit in the different categories of machine parts. It sets out to make the students familiar with the simplifications that are applied to arrive at the analytic expressions commonly used. These simplifications usually begin by assuming that only particular types of loads are carried by the parts in each category. The resulting analyses provide approximations to the real stresses. It is possible to have improved degree of simplification, requiring usually more work, but providing better estimates. Most of the analyses taught in this course are aimed at providing parts which will have a prescribed degree of safety, when subjected to particular fatigue loading. An important aspect is to make the student practiced in a range of modern concepts, computer techniques and tools, while being aware of their strengths and limitations. Options may be allowed to select students in the choice of the assignment that are to work on, provided the alternate topic is in the same field that the rest of the class is working on. Ultimately machine design is typical of all designs, except that here it begins with precise calculations. From there the size, shape and effectiveness of the final parts or assemblies can vary enormously, depending on the expertise, ingenuity and inventiveness of the designer. In this unit the students are given clear guidelines on how to achieve marks up to about credit level. Beyond that, the advice will be suggestive, because the student is expected to make themselves familiar with examples of the product, as provided in the lectures and found by private research. With this experience the student should develop a critical view of mechanical components that they may be examining, as to what is better or worse, how it may be improved and how it may be reinvented.
Assumed Knowledge: (AMME1802 OR ENGG1802) AND AMME2301 AND AMME2500 AND MECH3361.
Timetable: MECH4460 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 5.00 13
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Depending on the size of the class tutorials will be divided into 1 or 2 groups and each group allocated to 1 or 2 tutors.

Independent Study: The time that students will need to commit depends on the kind of results that they intend to achieve. For a pass, a students will need to spend an average 5-8 hours on independent study including assignment work. For higher grades, students will need to be prepared to spend significantly more than this.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Methods of analysis for the most common categories of machine components. (2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5)
Mental set and confidence to be able to rationalize and apply design analysis to a wider range of elements (4) Design (Level 4)
Advanced skills and knowledge in use of CAD software. (6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 4)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

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.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 4)
1. Ability to consider the range and evolution of CAD systems to aid in the selection of systems for particular duties, for today and in the near future.
2. Ability to use a modern kinematic and dynamic package that is integral with our solid modeler CAD system to simulate articulated machinery and determine joint loads between the parts.
(4) Design (Level 4)
3. Ability to analyze a simple mechanical assembly, using the FEA package included in our CAD package. To critically consider if the assembly can function as required and if the parts are of appropriate shapes. .
4. Ability to design and make a space frame to carry specified loads and meet dimensional and functional requirements, such that it may be compared with competing frames.
5. Ability to select a type then design, a brake system for one of a range of applications, such as taxi, crane, metro train or competition car.
6. Ability to design a bolted joint to carry shear loads.
7. To determine the appropriate parameters for a gear pair, and possibly a whole gear train, according to AGMA design guidelines. Arriving at those parameters using the numeric optimizing solver built into Excel, providing the means of arriving at the lightest or cheapest gear sets..
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5)
8. Ability to apply modern fatigue life predictions in general to component parts.
9. Ability to use a numerical solver to arrive at optimal design dimensions and material properties, provided the invention part of the design is completed and only the size and shape of the design has to be settled.
10. Ability to calculate the parameters that define a matched pair of spur gears, leading to the selection of multiple gear pairs in gearboxes.
11. Ability to apply considerations of geometrical and practical constraints in the design of parts and assemblies.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 No 25.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 3, 7, 9,
2 Assignment 2 No 25.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 4, 7,
3 Assignment 3 No 25.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3, 5, 10,
4 Assignment 4 No 25.00 Multiple Weeks 3, 5, 6, 8, 11,
Assessment Description: Assignment: There will be 4 assignments, all of which will be equally weighted. The assignments will be collected at the beginning of the tutorial session, when work on the next assignment will be due to start. A penalty will apply for failure to do so. Tutors will not discuss assignments that are due to be handed in.

The first assignment deals with the application of a modern CAD system, and its integrated Finite Element Analysis package, to the design of simple but diverse types of assemblies.

The second assignment examines the designs of a space 3D frame to meet a simplified but realistic application.

The third, is devoted to the design of the gear set for a speed reducing gear box.

The last will probably deal with the design of a clutch or brake for a train, truck or car.

Each assignment will be accompanied with example workings and a guide as to the requirements to achieve a pass and better.

Printed assignments must be submitted to the appropriate box, level 3 of J07, on the due date, by the start of the following lecture.

No assignments will be marked after that time, unless special consideration applies
Assessment Feedback: Each assignment will be accompanied with example workings and a guide as to the requirements to achieve a pass and better.
When the assignments are marked an overall view of the range of approaches taken will be discussed by th lecturer.
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.
Special Conditions to Pass UoS Marking guides provided with each assignment include a generalised step by step procedure for the particular type of design. The marks for each assignment are so graded that a pass may be easily achieved by the correct application of the basic principles. For marks above a pass, the students are challenged to do their own research and be creative The world requires from engineers firstly safety and utility but it also rewards inventiveness.
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.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
  • Mechanical Design 1 & 2 (MECH2400 & MECH3460)
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
  • Fundamentals of Machine Design
  • Machine Design an Integrated Approach
Note on Resources: Students are advised that the nominated text can be used as a complete reference to do all assignments.

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

Week Description
Week 1 Finite Element analysis as applied using a modern CAD system applied to assemblies.
Week 2 Review of fatigue failure mechanisms, the use of fatigue strengths data in a variety of applications
Week 3 Presentation of modern approaches in designing for a multitude or requirements. The writing of industrial standard reports.
Week 4 Presentation of the designs of frames in simple and complex industrial situations. The analysis of those frames using fundamental principles and FEA packlages
Week 5 Demonstration of similar frame requiremets showinf=g the multitudes of possible solutions and the opportunities for lateral thinking.
Week 6 Designs and applications of hydrodynamic bearings. Discussion of dseign solutions provided in the first problem.
Week 7 Analysis of welded joints for static and dynamic loads
Week 8 Introduction to the practices of gear applications hystories, current developments and applications.
Week 9 Presenation of a gear problem, typically for a multistage speed reducing gearbox
Week 10 Presentation on the varieties of brakes and clutches, advantages and uses.
Week 11 Presetation of brake problem, possibly for a train, truck or competition car.
Week 12 Presenation of an explicit FEA system. Applied to crushing and forming processes.
Week 13 discussion of variety of answers provided by students, discussing advantages and disadvantages of their approaches.

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Mechanical 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Commerce 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Medical Science 2015, 2016, 2017
Mechanical / Science 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical (Space) 2015
Mechanical (Space) / Arts 2015
Mechanical (Space) / Commerce 2015
Mechanical (Space) / Medical Science 2015
Mechanical (Space) / Science 2015
Mechanical (till 2014) 2014, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Commerce 2014, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Medical Science 2014, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering / Science 2014, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical (Space) (till 2014) 2014, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Arts 2014, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Commerce 2014
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Medical Science 2014, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Science 2014, 2011, 2012, 2013
Mechanical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Music Studies 2016, 2017
Mechanical / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Mechanical/Science(Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Law 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical (Space) / Project Management 2015
Mechanical Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical Engineering / Law 2014
Mechanical Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechanical/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 4) Yes 18.75%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 4) Yes 58.75%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5) Yes 22.5%

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.