MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University engineering graphics and design students are manufacturing specialty wooden toys to be sold to the Murray State community.

The Association of Engineering Graphics and Design (AEGD) is a student organization on campus. The group plans trips to regional industries to explore current and new technology related to engineering graphics and design. To fund those trips, AEGD produces a student-designed product each year to sell.

AEGD has approximately 25 active student members — many of them are engineering graphics and design majors. The students designed a World War II jeep during the spring semester this year and began manufacturing it this semester. Plans are to have 150 jeeps finished by the first of December.

The process of designing the jeep began when students brought sketches to an AEGD meeting. Members collaborated and decided what parts would be most efficient for the jeep. The sketches were combined to make the finishing product that includes personalized elements. The jeep was designed in a 3D computer aided design (CAD) program called SolidWorks, where the sketched ideas were converted to a 3D model, giving a more realistic view of what the jeep would look like. Students created a detailed engineering drawing of each component. These drawings will be used during the production process to guide manufacturing specifications.

Once the 3D model looked accurate on the program, the product was 3D printed, piece by piece, to create a plastic prototype. The 3D printed prototype allowed students to verify size and location of components as well as identify assembly issues prior to production.

A schedule is created and a safety orientation takes place each year before production starts. The whole process mimics real-world engineering graphics and design and how it plays into production.

“Toy production provides an opportunity for engineering graphics and design students to apply skills learned in the classroom,” noted Rudy Ottway, lecturer in the engineering graphics and design program in the Murray State Institute of Engineering. “There are a number of variables that students must consider during design including materials, cost, manufacturability, tolerances, assembly, time and labor. Participation creates strong relationships, makes for a lot of fun and provides students with a glimpse of their future design careers.”

Every Monday and Tuesday from 4:30-9:30 p.m. wooden parts will be manufactured for the 150 toys. Most students have taken a class to help them understand the machines. Once everything has been cut and glued together, each toy will be dipped in oil for its finish.

“Students put in long hours and work extremely hard to make toy production a huge success,” Ottway said.

Plans are for the toys to be for sale during the early part of December in the Collins Center for Industry and Technology on MSU’s campus. The cost to purchase a jeep is $25. Anyone interested in buying one of toys should contact Ottway at

Toy Design
— MSU photos provided
Wooden Toy Design
Murray State University engineering graphics and design students design and produce parts to particular specifications for the manufacture of wooden toys sold by members each year as a fundraiser for the Association of Engineering Graphics and Design student organization. After design, the product is 3D printed to create a plastic prototype before the individual wooden pieces are cut. Shown with some of the parts are students Jeremy Lay (left) and Gavin Suver, both from Benton, Ill.
— MSU photos provided
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