6657 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. Julie Linsey
  2. Associate Professor
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University
  1. Tracy Hammond
  2. http://srl.tamu.edu
  3. Professor
  5. Texas A&M University, Sketch Recognition Lab
  1. Ethan Hilton
  3. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Wayne Li
  2. Oliver Professor of Design and Engineering
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Blake Williford
  3. Texas A&M University

EXP: Collaborative Research: PerSketchTivity- Empowering and Inspiring Creati...

NSF Awards: 1441291, 1441331

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate, Informal / multi-age

A growing concern among engineering educators is that students are losing both the critical skill of sketched diagrams and the ability to take a real system and reduce it to an accurate but simplified free-body diagram (FBD), partially due to their discomfort with sketching. To remedy this, a sketch-recognition based tutoring system has been developed that guides students in developing their free hand sketching skills and increases their sketches confidence. Engineers use quick free-hand sketches to quickly and effectively communicate engineering design ideas, draw FBDs that are used as the basis for mathematical models and analysis, and in the process of generating design concepts. Sketching confidence and skill supports engineering design and innovation. 

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Discussion from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase (13 posts)
  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 14, 2017 | 08:26 p.m.

    Welcome all!

    We hope you enjoy our video featuring Sketchtivity, an online AI sketching tutor developed to help teach engineering students how to sketch in perspective. Our grant funding is coming to a close, but we plan to continue development of the program where we can and implementing the program into Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design courses at Georgia Tech.

    If you have any questions about the program or how it is implemented, let us know! I look forward to generating meaningful dialogue.

  • Icon for: Cary Sneider

    Cary Sneider

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2017 | 10:03 a.m.

    As an amateur artist I love perspective.  But engineers use almost entirely orthographic and isometric drawing. Do you do any work on teaching these other methods?  

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 16, 2017 | 11:32 a.m.

    Hi Cary!
    You're absolutely right, and most of the universities who do teach drawing in engineering courses only teach 2D views (like an engineering drawing for manufacturing) and if they do teach and 3D views it is almost strictly orthographic or maybe oblique.

    In the mechanical engineering course where we teach perspective views, we also teach orthographic and oblique and teach the students which view is appropriate for each situation. For conveying dimensions and other manufacturing concerns, orthographic and oblique views are preferred, but in this course, we are also introducing students to product-generation techniques and it has been shown that being able to generate effective drawings helps in this process. 

    Also, we have shown that teaching this method significantly improves sketching ability over teaching orthographic sketching alone and our preliminary data has shown that students taught perspective are more confident in their sketching ability and more likely to use it in the future.

  • Icon for: Deborah Silvis

    Deborah Silvis

    Graduate Student
    May 15, 2017 | 11:29 a.m.

    I've always wanted to learn how to sketch! Do you see applications of this beyond engineering fields, in for example, storytelling or story boarding writing projects?

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 16, 2017 | 11:39 a.m.

    Hey Deborah!

    Yes! The more we present this project, the more feedback we hear about how this could be used in so many different fields. While our initial focus was on teaching engineers to sketch, the program itself is not exclusive in any way. It uses a proven mastery-based pedagogy to help the user to master the basics and the graduate on to more complicated tasks all while returning immediate feedback to encourage improvement. This method is useful to anyone who would like to learn to sketch in perspective. 

    Moving forward, we definitely plan to continue using the program to teach student in engineering and industrial design, but we are also hoping we can start to implement the program in high school art classes or to anyone interested in bettering their sketching ability. 

  • Icon for: Jackie DeLisi

    Jackie DeLisi

    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2017 | 11:59 a.m.

    As a former middle school teacher, I can remember seeing how so many of my students were interested in sketching. I love the idea of connecting students natural interest in sketching to science. Can you say more about how students might come to understand sketching as a possible science career skill? 

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 18, 2017 | 07:12 a.m.

    Yes, excellent question!
    The benefit of learning sketching has been one of the things we have really tried to impart on the students. Overall, it's been a mixed bag. Some of the students see the benefit and thoroughly enjoy learning the skill while others are still requesting "less sketching, more CAD".

    There is definitely some progress to be made here, but there is still some positive feedback from the students as well.

  • Icon for: Robert Wallace

    Robert Wallace

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2017 | 11:44 p.m.

    I find this project to be fantastic.  I have both a question and a suggestion related to a sketching project I am challenged to do right in the present.  I am having to do the 'sketches' for a Provisional Patent Application (PPA) to the US Patent and Trademark Office. I would like to see your Sketching Project Collaborative directly incorporate PPA-focused sketching as part of your undergraduate mechanical engineering and industrial design sketching skills development objectives. It would provide an excellent additional context for the students to learn another reason 'why' they need to learn these skills. 

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 18, 2017 | 07:16 a.m.

    Thanks for the suggestion Robert!

    While we have been focused on the perspective view for Sketchtivity, we have recently started to implement other views and including exercises in creating sketches for something specific like a PPA is an excellent idea.

  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Director and Professor
    May 18, 2017 | 02:00 a.m.

    At the end of the video, you get into possible broad outcomes from becoming better at sketching, like tickling one's creativity. You mention that a study around that will start this year. Can you say something about the design of this study?  And do you have some initial results from your current work?

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 18, 2017 | 08:23 a.m.

    Sure thing!

    We have structured our study as a pre-and-post study and testing three groups. The "Traditional" group consists of students who learn traditional engineering drawing, the "Perspective" group who learn the industrial design-based sketching curriculum, and the "Sketchtivity" group who are a subset of the Perspective group that use the Sketchtivity program in place of some homework assignments. All students complete a spatial visualization quiz pre-and post-course to see the impacts of the group they are in. Spatial Visualization skills are one of the big benefits of sketching and have been linked to creativity and idea generation. We have also had the students complete design-self efficacy surveys and a paper sketching quiz.

    So far we have seen that all three of these groups are not significantly different in either Spatial Visualization skills or in Self-Efficacy. Preliminary studies have also found that sketching ability was significantly increased in the Perspective group when compared to the Traditional group.

    Essentially, We have included an extra skill for the students while maintaining the other crucial skills like spatial visualization.

    Sorry to plug our own work here, but the following paper explains the experiment pretty well:

    Hilton, E., Li, W., Newton, S. H., Alemdar, M., Pucha, R., & Linsey, J. (2016, August). The Development and Effects of Teaching Perspective Free-Hand Sketching in Engineering Design. In ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (pp. V003T04A013-V003T04A013). American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

  • Michael Helms

    May 18, 2017 | 10:52 a.m.

    Looks great! Good luck. When will this be available for my Surface Pro?

  • Icon for: Ethan Hilton

    Ethan Hilton

    May 18, 2017 | 12:49 p.m.

    Hopefully in the next couple of years! We are currently focused on researching the benefits of this kind of program so that we can create it to be as effective as possible, but hope to eventually focus on commercialization.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.