In one semester, I built a Stirling heat engine in a machine shop course at Penn. Components were custom designed to within tolerances as high as 0.0001" based on an engine template. Pieces were custom machined, using milling, turning, and computer- controlled machining precision fabrication techniques. This class taught the analysis of the mechanics of machining, metrology & tolerances, and cutting-tool fundamentals.
After this class, I became a shop worker for a number of semesters, teaching new students good machining practices.
More information: Course Website
Aspects: Lathe, CNC mill, cutting parameters, metrology