Post-graduate education in aircraft design needs to prepare students for their future roles as professional engineers in the aerospace industry. A key requirement from industry is for students to learn how to deal with realistic open ended design problems during their University education, and group design projects have been shown to provide an excellent means to develop these skills. Cranfield University has a long history of teaching aircraft design using group design projects. This paper describes a recent initiative to extend the scope of the group design projects at Cranfield to incorporate rapid prototyping activities and give students hands-on experience of translating a digital design into a physical prototype
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