In this activity the students were each given a piece of clay and an orthographic drawing of a component which had to be sectioned. They were given basic modelling tools and a jar of slip (clay dissolved in water to serve as glue). After a few instructions about how to handle clay, the students eagerly started to produce the components according to their drawings.

Quality was not a top priority as long as the product looked approximately similar to the given drawing.

To produce fillets the students rolled beads of clay, placed them in the required corners and pressed  the fillets with either their fingers or by means of modelling tools. This action helped them understand the function of the fillets in a casting.

This exercise also helped the students to realize the importance of webs, ribs, bosses and bases in such components.

When the exercise was completed, it was split open according to the required cutting plane. When the students noticed the fragility of a web which had been sectioned along the axis they realized the reason why, in a drawing,  it is not shown sectioned.

After drying, the clay was fired in a kiln at 1000 degrees celcius to make it more durable. The students then marked  the suitable section lines with a pencil.

The students were very enthusiastic about this activity and undoubtledy it made them understand the topic much better than they normally do in a formal lesson.

Graphical Communication teachers are invited to send photographs of their students’ projects to to be included in this section.