Project based learning and reflection in a manufacturing environment

Marijn Zwier*, Eric Lutters, Lisa Gommer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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In engineering education, many initiatives aim to close the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical/industrial application. The course depicted here focuses on the injection moulding of an elementary plastic product, and aims to address the full development cycle, ranging from product idea, via 3D modelling, simulation of injection moulding processes, mould design, process planning and milling of the mould, to the actual injection moulding. In this, continuously reflecting on the initial ideas, new acquired knowledge and information, provided limitations and intermediate steps by the students themselves drive the iterations in the overall cycle. The course has a specific focus on acquiring needed information, the students are assumed not to just study and apply existing (design) rules for injection moulding; they rather are challenged to deduce the design & manufacturing rules that bear relevance and give guidance for their development cycle. In this, basic knowledge is provided to the learners in short lectures, videos, and tutorials, albeit they are simultaneously challenged to obtain, digest, and apply additional knowledge on the various topics if and when needed. Over the past five years, over 100 injection moulds and products were created, for an equal number of student groups. This demonstrates that second year students (in this case Industrial Design Engineering students) can successfully associate with such a complex development process. Evaluation among the students indicates a high level of understanding and motivation linked to the creation of their own actual product. By means of the approach chosen, the course not only aligns the intended learning outcomes, the learning activities, and assessment tasks. It simultaneously triggers the learners to build expertise and experience at different levels of aggregation, in a self-propelled manner, with full ownership of the project.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18th CDIO International Conference, CDIO 2022
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings - Full Papers
EditorsMaria Sigridur Gudjonsdottir, Haraldur Audunsson, Arkaitz Manterola Donoso, Gudmundur Kristjansson, Ingunn Saemundsdottir, Joseph Timothy Foley, Marcel Kyas, Angkee Sripakagorn, Janne Roslof, Jens Bennedsen, Kristina Edstrom, Natha Kuptasthien, Reidar Lyng
Place of PublicationReykjavík
PublisherReykjavík University
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-9935-9655-6-1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event18th International CDIO conference 2022 - Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 13 Jun 202215 Jun 2022
Conference number: 18

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International CDIO Conference
ISSN (Electronic)2002-1593


Conference18th International CDIO conference 2022
Internet address


  • Project based learning
  • Plastic injection moulding
  • Development trajectory
  • Standards: 5-8


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