2 The Design Process We’ve been using the design process already There is no one way to design.Has about 9 steps, according to John V-Neun, an Innovation First, Inc. Lead Mechanical Engineer.
3 The Design Process Step 1 – Define the Problem Step 2 – Generate SpecificationsStep 3 – Specification Ranking / WeightingStep 4 – Brainstorm Design ConceptsStep 5 – PrototypingStep 6 – Choose a ConceptStep 7 – Detailed DesignStep 8 – Manufacturing & ImplementationStep 9 – Analyze Results
4 The design process But design is an iterative process. The secret is to repeat the process or parts of the process to improve the final result.Jump back and forth through the Design Process, repeat steps as necessary.
5 The Real-ish Design Process Step 1 – Define the ProblemStep 2 – Generate SpecificationsStep 3 – Specification Ranking / WeightingStep 2a – Add more SpecificationsStep 3a – Re-rank SpecificationsStep 4 – Brainstorm Design ConceptsStep 5 – PrototypingStep 4a – Brainstorm more Design ConceptsStep 5a – More PrototypingStep 6 – Choose a ConceptStep 5b – More and More PrototypingStep 7 – Detailed DesignStep 5c – More PrototypingStep 4b – Determine more Design ConceptsStep 5d – More PrototypingStep 7a – More Detailed DesignStep 8 – Manufacturing & ImplementationStep 9 – Analyze ResultsStep 4c – Back to the Drawing Board… More Design ConceptsStep 5e – More PrototypingStep 7b – More Detailed DesignStep 8a – Build it again…Step 9a – Test it again….Etc.
6 The Design Process Step 1 – Define the problem! Single most important step.Without knowing the problem, how can we solve it?Define the “true” problem.Get to the “root of the issue”, don’t just fix symptoms.Avoid “perceived problems”
7 The Design Process Step 2 – Generate Specifications Specification – An explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by the final solution.Typically come from two places:Design ConstraintsFunctional Requirements
8 The Design Process Step 3 – Specification Ranking / Weighting All specs are not created equal.These are often ranked in some way.One ranking system:W = Wish(not that important, but would be nice if possible)P = Preferred(important, but the project won’t fail without it)D = Demand(Critical to the project, MUST be included)Sometimes related specifications will be created with different rankings.
9 The Engineering Design Process Step 4 – Generate Design ConceptsAlmost everyone does the same this when faced with a problem, often subconsciously. – Think of alternative courses of action.Formally documenting this intuitive action helps to solve complex engineering problems.Brainstorm Solutions - (more on this)Figure out the “how” for the “what” of the specifications.Two Words – Napkin Sketches!
10 Brainstorming Group creativity technique Generate a LARGE number of ideas.Focus on quantity not quality.Many ideas are generated in the hope that a few good ideas will develop.Critical part of solving any problem.Record EVERYTHING, no idea is too silly.You never know what will spark a GREAT idea.
11 The Design Process Step 5 – Prototyping Make your napkin sketches “real”…The goal here is to LEARN as much as you can about the concepts and how well each functions.Prototypes designed to be crude, but functional enough to be educational.See the concept interact with the real environment.
12 The Design Process Step 6 – Choose a Concept Take the lessons learned from prototyping and make a decision. Choose a concept to go forward with.Often the “right” solution just reveals itself. Find the elegant solution.“"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." - Buckminster FullerThere are more methodical ways to make a decision…“Vote” is a 4-letter word!
14 The Design Process Step 7 – Detailed Design Take the concept and make it into something more “real”.The goal at the end of this is to have a design or plan that can actually be implemented or constructed.CAD Models, Assembly Drawings, Manufacturing Plans
15 The Design Process Step 8 – Manufacturing & Implementation Depending on the design the implementation could be a manufactured product, a report, a PowerPoint presentation.Build it!Step 9 – Analyze ResultsReview how the implementation went.Learn what worked, what didn’t, what can be improved.Document the results.
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