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Augmented Reality Instruction for Manufacturing Analysis




2: Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

John Liu

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Project Description

Learning engineering analysis in higher education often faces major challenges in visualization and contextualization. Students must employ highly-developed visual and spatial thinking, however the teaching of engineering still often relies on an instructor’s ability to render drawings and videos that denote three-dimensional concepts on two-dimensional boards and screens. Students are often not afforded the opportunity to see or experience the context they are solving due to restrictions in cost. Finally, in certain scenarios, the danger of the scenario prohibits any physical engagement with the context outright. We are developing a smart-phone based AR app that provides scalable, interactive, scaffolded instruction to guide learners to study a product like a manufacturing expert through feature examination and manufacturing process analysis. We will use 2.008 (Design and Manufacturing II) as a testbed to develop and assess AR-enhanced instruction. 2.008 is the largest class in manufacturing at MIT and the core undergraduate MechE course encompassing manufacturing processes and systems. We hypothesize this cost-effective approach will increase accessibility for learners to engage manufacturing principles through 3D visualization and physical manipulation. This project aims to develop functionality in a smartphone-based app to record a user’s touch interactions and the orientation of the virtual model, and create a pathway to stream data to a central location. The smart-phone app would be developed as a testbed to collect data on how students learn manufacturing analysis.


1. An ideal candidate should be a junior/senior familiar with and have previous experience with developing VR/AR projects using Unity, preferably for smartphones. 2. Background in UI/UX design. 3. Preferably can continue the UROP position in Spring 2021. 4. Basic programming skills.