How and Why Machines Work

An animation of a partially revolved extrusion.
A SolidWorks® model of a partially revolved extrusion. (Image by Prof. Martin Culpepper.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2002



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course includes a wealth of materials, including lecture noteslab notesassignments, and useful software guides.

Course Description

Subject studies how and why machines work, how they are conceived, how they are developed (drawn), and how they are utilized. Students learn from the hands-on experiences of taking things apart mentally and physically, drawing (sketching, 3D CAD) what they envision and observe, taking occasional field trips, and completing an individual term project (concept, creation, and presentation). Emphasis on understanding the physics and history of machines.

Related Content

Joseph Smith Jr., and Martin Culpepper. 2.000 How and Why Machines Work. Spring 2002. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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