Design Classroom Innovations

Incorporating Freehand Sketches and Mockups into Senior Design Capstone Course: Case Study with a Hand Cycle Vehicle Rack

  • Richard W Marklin Jr. (Marquette University)
  • Vikram Cariapa (Marquette University)
  • Peter Schneider (Marquette University)
  • Beau Backhaus (Marquette University)
  • Sam Dieckhaus (Marquette University)
  • Brandon Bork (Marquette University)
  • Adam Fettig (Marquette University)


From the students’ perspective, the project objective of this 2-semester senior design course was to design and build a storage device for a hand powered upright hand cycle that can be installed on the exterior of a wheelchair accessible Dodge-Chrysler minivan so that a person with paraplegia or quadriplegia can drive the vehicle independently (without a human aide) when the hand cycle is loaded on the vehicle.

The novelty of this paper is the pedagogy of blending traditional methods of engineering design (hand sketches, low resolution mockups, and prototypes) along with CAD design and modern computational analytics, including FEA, in a 2-semester design course. Students drew sketches of multiple ideas and made a full-size three dimensional mockup of the rear of a Chrysler minivan out of plywood and structural wood. They also made two mockups and two metal prototypes and analyzed the design with FEA.

Course evaluations from students revealed their appreciation for having the opportunity to hand sketch ideas and make low resolution mockups in the first semester to arrive at a general design. (The second semester was devoted to detailed design and making functional prototypes.) The students felt that they had a rich design experience that they could use for future design projects in their careers.

How to Cite:

Marklin, R. W., Jr. & Cariapa, V. & Schneider, P. & Backhaus, B. & Dieckhaus, S. & Bork, B. & Fettig, A., (2014) “Incorporating Freehand Sketches and Mockups into Senior Design Capstone Course: Case Study with a Hand Cycle Vehicle Rack”, 2014 ASEE North Midwest Section Conference 2014(1), 1-6. doi:

Rights: Copyright © 2014, Richard W. Marklin, Jr., Vikram Cariapa, Peter Schneider, Beau Backhaus, Sam Dieckhaus, Brandon Bork, and Adam Fettig

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Published on
17 Oct 2014
Peer Reviewed