A Study of Spatial Ability and 3D Modeling Capabilities

Jesse Edward Zahner, Purdue University


The nature of design is that it is always changing, new methods develop that are better or we learn how we are adapting to new challenges. In accordance with this, the study shown in this paper introduces a class of students at Purdue University to the Mental Cutting Test to judge their spatial ability. The students, then tasked with building three models from isometric views, timed themselves while completing the modeling task and provided their finished models back. The models were interrogated to attempt to find a link between spatial ability levels, time taken to do the task, steps taken to complete the task and unique steps taken to complete the task. The unique steps were calculated by looking at the specification container inside of CATIA and counting the number of unique geometrical alterations made to the model. The data was then paired with a Pearson Correlation to find a sample correlational value, a p-value and 95% confidence interval. The results show a negative correlation between MCT scores and average steps taken, along with average time taken to finish the modeling task.




Hartman, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Computer Engineering

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