Syllabus: ME 172 - Parametric Mechanical CAD

3 Credits (9-12 hrs per week)

Course Mission: This course is designed to help students develop employable and certifiable skills in parametric CAD modeling of mechanical components and assemblies. Students will work towards associate level and then professional certification in SolidWorks and have the opportunity to take the CSWA and CSWP Exams. The course focuses on training students to think parametrically and to strategically capture design intent within 3D CAD models and assemblies.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Modeling: Students will be able to create 3D parametric models of mechanical components in SolidWorks.
  2. Assemblies: Students will be able to create 3D parametric assemblies of mechanical systems in SolidWorks.
  3. Drafting: Students will be able to read, interpret, and create basic ANSI standard mechanical drawings.

Required Materials and Technology

System Requirements


Other hardware:

  • Using CAD software is much easier when you have a 3 button mouse where the middle button is also a scroll wheel.  Please obtain such a mouse.  It is nearly impossible to Navigate CAD systems using the touch pad on your laptop. 
  • Each unit contains several videos that you will be watching.  You may wish to obtain earbuds or headphones. If you are taking this course on campus, this is required in the computer labs.

Course Architecture

This course runs in fourteen one-week lessons with Lesson 01 at the beginning and Lesson 14 to wrap up. You will progress through the course by achieving competency in all course outcomes at a basic level, then again at an intermediate level for each outcome. Once the intermediate level is achieved you will pursue some advanced level of competency in each outcome. Each lesson is open from the beginning of the semester. However, you may not access a quiz until you have achieved a grade of 50% or higher on the each quiz in the previous unit, including the Pace Points quiz.

The Course Outline below shows the value of each unit and how it relates to the basic, intermediate, or advanced levels of each outcome.  It also shows how grades will be determined.  Your grade will start at 0% at the beginning of the semester and increase with each completed assignment.  For instance after completing unit 1.0 you could have a maximum grade of 3%; after completing unit 2 you could have built your grade to a maximum of 10.5%, if you receive a perfect score on everything in Units 1 and 2. An “A-Pacing” refers to a student completing one unit per week for the entire semester, therefore being eligible for an “A” grade.

The final assignment at the intermediate level is completion of the CSWA practice tests and certification exam (unit 11). At this point, if you are happy with your cumulative grade, you may choose to skip the final advanced units. However, the best grade you could achieve in the course by quitting at this point is an 82%, if you receive a perfect score on everything in units 01 through 11. If you choose, you may complete any or all of the advanced unit assignments to boost your grade. Each assignment will help you raise your grade toward an “A”. Once you have built your grade as high as you want, you are free to be finished with the class.

Course Outline and Grading

ME 172 Grading Strategy

Typical Unit Structure

There are 14 units. Within each unit there are typically 7 assignments.  The first four are considered the “Prepare” assignments where students are able to watch videos and learn concepts by watching and doing.  The next two are the “Ponder” assignments where students apply the concepts they have already learned in new ways. And the last one is the “Prove” assignment where students are assessed and can prove complete mastery of the unit. See the table below as an example:

Typical Unit Structure


#1 “Prepare” Activity (learn new concepts by video and practice)

#2 “Prepare” Activity (learn new concepts by video and practice)


#3 “Prepare” Activity (learn new concepts by video and practice)

#4 “Prepare” Activity (learn new concepts by video and practice)


#5 “Ponder” Activity (Apply learned concepts in new ways)


#6 “Ponder” Activity (Apply learned concepts in new ways)


#7 “Prove” Activity (Prove mastery of unit concepts)


The course is set up to require a score of at least 50% on each assignment before you will be able to move on to a subsequent assignment.  For instance, you would need to achieve at least 50% on “Unit-2.1 Prepare Quiz” before you will be able to work on “Unit-2.2 Prepare Quiz” and so forth.


You may work through the units at your own pace. However, you will receive a “Pacing” grade for each unit, to encourage you to keep up with the class and not fall behind.  A pacing grade is associated with units 2-11. You will report this pacing grade yourself in I-learn.  Once you complete all of the assignments in a specific unit with a 50% or higher, the pacing quiz for that unit will appear.  The pacing quiz will have you answer honestly one question, “I completed all of the prepare, ponder and prove assignments in {this unit}, with at least a 50%.”  If you have not finished all of the assignments by 1 week after the A-Pacing date, the pace quiz will not become available. 

Late Work Policy

Work can be completed and resubmitted at any time before the semester ends. However, you may only receive the pacing grade if you complete each unit no later than one week after the A-pacing date for a unit. Plan your weekly schedule wisely to set aside adequate study time and allow you to work at a healthy, steady pace throughout the course.

Keys to Success

BYU-Idaho Learning Model

All courses, including online courses, at BYU-Idaho follow a pattern of learning that enables students to take more responsibility for their own learning and for helping to teach one another. This pattern is called the Learning Model.  Here are two pages to help you better understand the Learning Model.

Take Charge of your education by applying the Learning ModelLearning Model interactive tutorial

Tips for Success in this Course

University Policies

Student Honor Code

Student Honor is following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ - learning to think, to feel, and to act more as He does. Following the Honor Code is of great importance as you strive to be a disciple of Christ. Academic honesty and integrity is expected of all BYU-I students.

By adhering to the Honor Code you will create a learning environment, “consistent with the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Honor Code webpage).

Student Policies

You are responsible for understand all university student policies. Read the Student Policies and Procedures which include Student Honor, Students with Disabilities, Sexual Harassment, Complaints and Grievances, etc. There is also a University Policies page in your course with helpful contact information.


This syllabus and the course schedule may be changed at any time prior to or during the semester as the need arises, based upon circumstances. Any changes will be available to view on the course documents.

Student Support

Tutoring and Academic Support

Tutoring options for online students are available through the Academic Support Centers. There are tutors available to help you with your writing questions and there might be course-specific tutoring available. Check the Online Tutoring page for more details.

Online Support Center

The Online Support Center provides many links and contact information for services such as: technology support, registration, academic support and other student resources.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.