Through the looking glass: Visualising design details with augmented reality (AR)

Nicholas Y. K. Tee, Hong S. Gan, Andy Huynh, Veronica Halupka, Jonathan Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Context: A consequence of the rapid growth of computation power and ubiquity of consumer mobile devices has been that the use of augmented reality (AR) application as educational tools to enhance the learning experience of students has become feasible (Henrysson, 2007) (Nesloney, 2013). In addition, with increasing number of students, the availability and storage space for physical equipment in hands-on laboratory sessions can be an issue for teaching delivery. We have developed an augmented reality application that can be used on student mobile devices to aid in the teaching of Geometric, Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD and T) in a laboratory session of a Mechanical Engineering Unit. The application package was developed to help students to bridge the gap between the theoretical understanding of GD and T and how it is applied in the manufacturing design process in the industry.

Purpose: The objective of this research is to evaluate the efficacy of an augmented reality application designed to create an active learning experience and demonstrate the significance of GD and T.

Approach: A specific GD and T laboratory session will include an additional task utilising the augmented reality application. Feedback from students that participate in the new laboratory session will be recorded and evaluated to determine the impact of augmented reality in connecting their experience with the pre-class learning materials and the learning outcomes. Results will be compared with past student cohort feedback on the non-augmented laboratory session.

Results: The majority students perceived that the additionally included exercise, incorporating the AR application was beneficial in reinforcing their knowledge on geometric tolerances.

Conclusions: The research study demonstrated the effectiveness of AR as an additional learning tool in providing students the opportunity to develop better understanding and visualisation with a hands-on experience in real-time. Indeed, students find this comparatively more engaging than the conventional teaching methods that involve the measurement of different dimensions of various mechanical parts to quantify manufacturing imperfections.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
EditorsNazmul Huda, David Inglis, Nicholas Tse, Graham Town
Place of PublicationSydney NSW Australia
PublisherAustralasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780646980263
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2017: Integrated Engineering - Manly Novotel, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Dec 2017
Conference number: 28th


ConferenceAAEE - Annual Conference of Australasian Association for Engineering Education 2017
Abbreviated titleAAEE 2017
Internet address

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