Engineering Design Process The engineering design process is a plan to help engineers build a product to fulfill a specific purpose. The process aims deter relying on old ideas and promotes creativity and innovative thinking. It may need to be repeated several times for completion and need not be completed in a particular order.
Engineering Design Process This is the process Don’t forget it is iterative
EDP in Action Engineering Design Process
EDP Overview • Define • Determine your problem or goal • Imagine • Imagine all possible solutions and inventions • Plan • Choose a favorite idea and plan how to make it • Create • Build your idea and try it out • Improve • Figure out ways to make your design better
IDEO Video (Example of EDP) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taJOV-YCieI YouTube Video: “IDEO Shopping Cart Project”
Define • Gather Information • About the competition • What resources do you have • What don’t you know • Write down what your goal is • Be very specific • How fast? (for example: cross the pool in 2 minutes) • How accurate (for example: pick up ring 9 of 10 times)
Define Activity • Write down what you have to do for the competition • Decide on a specific goal for your team • How are you going to win?
Imagine • Imagine as many solutions as possible • Remember to: • Defer judgment (that will come later) • Build on other’s ideas • One conversation at a time • Stay focused • Encourage wild ideas
Imagine Story In Canada heavy snowfall can accumulate on power lines and even snap them if the weight becomes too great. This problem is very expensive to repair and can also be very dangerous. A group of engineers working for the power company sat down to image solutions to this problem. After hours of struggling to imagine a promising solution, one of the engineers suggested they train the local bears to climb up the poles and shake the lines clean. Another engineer commented that the bears might get stuck up there. A third said that wouldn’t be a problem because the company could simply hire a helicopter to go rescue a stuck bear. All of this nonsense inspired one of the listening engineers to suggest using helicopters flying in paths above the lines to blow off snow after severe storms. The idea proved to be effective and affordable. This method is still used in parts of Canada to remove excess snow from power lines after severe storms. (This story illustrates that no idea should be discouraged in spite of how strange it sounds. It may end up inspiring a better solution.)
Imagine Activity • Take 10 minutes to scribble all the crazy ideas you can think of on scraps of paper • Make sure that these ideas will solve the problem definition you created in the first step of the process • Meet in a group and discuss all the ideas you came up with individually • Are there any similar ideas? • Can any ideas be combined? • Does this discussion inspire new ideas?
Plan • Planning involves first selecting the best ideas from those presented • Choose as a team • Make sure you choose the best solution, not necessarily the one you like the best • Make a drawing of what you will create • Be specific, list things like measurements or additional needed materials • Make a schedule for how you will work • Set sub-goals toward the final goal
Plan Activity • Vote as a team to select a final idea • Make a drawing of the final idea • Create a calendar for when sub-goals will be completed
Create • Build your project/idea/product • Here is where note taking and documentation is critical • Make sure you write down anything you learn while building. • What would you do differently if you could do it all over again.
Improve • This involves sitting down as a group and honestly analyzing the final product • First and foremost, does it solve the problem definition you defined first • If yes, how can it be improved • If no, what can you do so that it does • Go back as far as you need to to restart the process. This could involve going back to defining the problem if you find you didn’t do this correctly the first time. Typically you go back to planning and decide how you will modify your current project to improve it