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M E 270: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design

Guide to using library resources for students enrolled in ME270: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design.

What are standards?

Standard – A set of technical definitions, instructions, rules, guidelines, or characteristics set forth to provide consistent and comparable results, including:

  • Items manufactured uniformly, providing for interchangeability
  • Tests and analyses conducted reliably, minimizing the uncertainty of the results
  • Facilities designed and constructed for safe operation

Source: ASME Engineering Student Resources

In short, a standard is an agreed-upon way of doing things. Standards may or may not be voluntary. Some standards are adapted into law and become codes, for example the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. You can take a look at a copy of this code in Room 161 (Standards Center) at Parks Library.

More information on the different types of standards is available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Why search standards?

Locating relevant standards and making use of existing standards in your design project allows you to make use of existing best practices without spending a lot of time reinventing the wheel. It also helps to ensure that the product you design will be compatible with other existing products.

How to find standards

If you already have the standard number or title, you can search for it in Quick Search to see if the ISU Library already owns a copy. If there is a copy in our collection, use the call number and location information in Quick Search to find it in Parks Library. Feel free to contact me if you need help with this!

Online standards

The ISU Library provides online access to the full text of standards from a few organizations.

Other standards

You can use a standards search engine to find a standard. Once you've located the right standard, you'll want to check and see if it is available at ISU.

For more standards help...

For more standards help, including how to find standards in our print collection and how to request standards the Library doesn't own, check the information in the Library's Standards & Specifications guide, or contact your librarian.

Erin Thomas's picture
Erin Thomas
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
515 294-9886