Hands on experience enhances the learning process, especially for teaching engineering concepts. Unfortunately, one of the challenges for integrating a hands-on component in an engineering class is the cost. However, the advent of 3D solid modeling and 3D printing has opened up possibilities for incorporating hands-on education to most of the mechanical engineering classes at a lower cost. This paper presents the integration of hand-on learning for a Mechanics of Materials class. The RapidCast process’ adaptation of traditional casting techniques and 3D printing allows complex shape to be designed, produced, and tested in a matter of days as a demonstration technique. The hands-on component was added in the Mechanics of Materials class as a final project. Students were tasked to design, 3D print, and cast a lifting hook. Using Failure Theory and solid modeling simulation, students calculated the maximum force that will result in failure and the location of failure. The students then applies a tensile load to their lifting hook and obtained the actual force that caused failure. A comparative analysis of the theoretical failure value and actual value was then made by the students. Results from the survey of the students’ experience are expected to reveal that adding the hands-on component using the RapidCast process reinforced the learning experience of the students in Mechanics of Materials.
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