Engineering design curriculum
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Engineering Design Curriculum. Course Objectives. Apply the engineering design process Define a problem (need) and develop alternatives for solving Build, test, evaluate prototypes Create and use engineering drawings Demonstrate drafting techniques. Engineering design is….

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Engineering Design Curriculum

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Engineering design curriculum

Engineering Design Curriculum

Course objectives

Course Objectives

  • Apply the engineering design process

  • Define a problem (need) and develop alternatives for solving

  • Build, test, evaluate prototypes

  • Create and use engineering drawings

  • Demonstrate drafting techniques

Engineering design is

Engineering design is…

  • the process of devising a system, component or process to meet needs

  • a decision-making process in which science and mathematics are applied to convert resources to meet objectives

  • establishing objectives & criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing, and evaluation

Problem characteristics

Engineering Problem

Problem statement incomplete, ambiguous

No readily identifiable closure

Solutions neither unique nor compact

Solution needs integration of many specialties

Science Problem

Succinct problem statement

Identifiable closure

Unique solution

Problem defined and solved with specialized knowledge

Problem Characteristics

Typical design problems

Typical Design Problems

“Design a system for lifting and moving loads of up to 5000 lb in a manufacturing facility. The facility has an unobstructed span of 50 ft. The lifting system should be inexpensive and satisfy all relevant safety standards.”

Studying engineering design

Studying Engineering Design

  • Develop student creativity

  • Use open-ended problems

  • Use design theory and methods

  • Formulate design problem statements and specifications

  • Consider alternative solutions

  • Consider feasibility

Studying engineering design1

Studying Engineering Design

  • Know and apply production processes

  • Understand concurrent engineering design

  • Create detailed system descriptions

  • Include realistic constraints such as…

    • Economic factors, safety, reliability

    • aesthetics, ethics, social impacts

Awesome engineers

“Awesome” Engineers…

  • Place ethics and morals above all else

  • Are team players

  • Follow a deterministic design process

  • Follow a schedule

  • Document their work

  • Never stop learning

Module organization the design process

Module Organization: The Design Process

  • Identify a need, who is the “customer”

  • Establish design criteria and constraints

  • Evaluate alternatives (systems or components)

  • Build a prototype

  • Test/evaluate prototype against criteria

  • Analyze, “tweak” (), redesign (), retest

  • Document specifications, drawings to build

Engineering design process backup chart

Engineering Design ProcessBackup Chart

  • Identify a need

  • Establish design criteria and constraints

  • Evaluate alternatives

  • Build prototype

  • Test/evaluate against design criteria

  • Analyze, redesign, retest

  • Communicate the design

The engineering design process

The Engineering Design Process

Design is an iterative process

Begins with a recognition of need for a product, service, or system

During the idea phase encourage a wide variety of solutions through brainstorming, literature search, and talking to users

Best solutions are selected for further refinement

Models or prototypes are made and problems that arise may require new ideas to solve and a return to an earlier stage in the process

Finally drawings are released to manufacturing for production

Design is an Iterative Process

Engineering design defined

Engineering Design Defined

The crux of the design process is creating a satisfactory solution to a needHarrisberger

Engineering design process

Problem Definition/


Data & Information


Development of

Alternative Designs

Evaluation of Designs/

Selection of Optimal Design

Implementation of

Optimal Design

Engineering Design Process

Customer Need

or Opportunity

Source: Accrediting Board For Engineering and Technology

Primary design features

Primary Design Features

  • Meets a need, has a “customer”

  • Design criteria and constraints

  • Evaluate alternatives (systems or components)

  • Build prototype (figuratively)

  • Test/evaluate against test plans (criteria)

  • Analyze, “tweak” (), redesign (), retest

  • Project book: record, analyses, decisions, specs

Step 1 need

Step 1: Need

  • Have a need, have a customer

  • External vs internal; Implied vs explicit

  • Often stated as functional requirement

  • Often stated as bigger, cheaper, faster, lighter

  • Boilerplate purpose: The design and construction of a (better____something)_____ for (kids, manufacturing, medicine) to do __________.

Step 2 criteria constraints

Step 2: Criteria & Constraints

“Design criteria are requirements you specify for your design that will be used to make decisions about how to build the product”



Physical Features



Use Environment



Some design constraints

Some Design Constraints

  • Cost

  • Time

  • Knowledge

  • Legal, ethical

  • Physical: size, weight, power, durability

  • Natural, topography, climate, resources

  • Company practices

Activity demonstration


  • Product index cards

  • Pair up as customer-designer

  • Variation on 20 questions

  • Identify some design criteria and constraints for sample products

  • Discuss

Step 3 evaluate alternatives

Step 3: Evaluate Alternatives

  • Needs best stated as function, not form

  • Likely to find good alternatives for cheapest, fastest, lightest, and encourage discovery

  • Research should reveal what has been done

  • Improve on what has been done

  • Play alternatives off criteria and constraints

  • Brainstorming helps



Best design

Best Design

  • Choose best design that meets criteria

  • Demonstrate tradeoff analyses (among criteria and constraints) are high quality

  • Cost (lifecycle) is always consideration

  • Resist overbuilding; drives complexity, cost, time, resources

A quality design meets customers expectations!

Step 4 prototype

Step 4: Prototype

  • Prototype is implementation of chosen design alternative

  • It is a proof of design, production and suitability

  • Prototypes are often cost prohibitive: Models and simulations may suffice

  • Quality design does not include redesigning a lot of prototypes




picture of 747

Step 5 test it well

Step 5: Test it Well

  • Test and optimize design against constraints and customer expectations.

  • Create a test plan showing how to test

  • Test in the conditions of use

  • Good test plan shows what test, expected results how to test, and what analyses will be. It relates to specification requirements

  • e.g. test plan for light bulb (activity)

Activity light bulb test

Activity: Light Bulb Test

Production assembly-time-demonstration

Robustness-vibration, temperature-test article

Life-hours-statistical sample

Duty cycle-count on/off-prototype


Packaging-drop test-do last

Base fit-yes/no-first article demo

Step 6 test and redesign

Step 6: Test and Redesign

Test results

Test Results

Successful Test:Satisfying

Test Failure:Priceless

Step 7 documentation

Step 7: Documentation

  • Project data book

A complete record

All key decisions

Good drawings

Test plans



Things learned

Draw a good picture

Draw a Good Picture

  • Drawings for project notebook, application, display

  • Photos, sketches, CAD 2-D or 3-D

  • Show assembly, components, materials

Product sketches

Product Sketches

Other drawings

Other Drawings

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