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Prototyping. ME110 Spring 2003. Product Development Process. Concept Development. System-Level Design. Detail Design. Testing and Refinement. Production Ramp-Up. Planning. Prototyping is done throughout the development process. Spiral Model of Product Development.

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Spring 2003

Product development process
Product Development Process







Testing and





Prototyping is done throughout the development process.

Spiral model of product development
Spiral Model of Product Development

Determine objectives,

alternatives, constraints

Evaluate alternatives,

identify, resolve risks















Prototype 1

Simulations, models,










and test plan

Design Validation

and Verification

Final Code Implementation

and Test

Plan next phases

Develop, verify

Adapted from B. Boehm

Four uses of prototypes
Four Uses of Prototypes

  • Learning

    • answering questions about performance or feasibility

    • e.g., proof-of-concept model

  • Communication

    • demonstration of product for feedback: visual, tactile, functional

    • e.g., 3D physical models of style or function

  • Integration

    • combination of sub-systems into system model

    • e.g., alpha or beta test models

  • Milestones

    • goal for development team’s schedule

    • e.g., first testable hardware

Types of prototypes


Types of Prototypes










trackball mechanism

linked to circuit





of trackball






modeling ball



Physical vs analytical prototypes

Physical Prototypes

Tangible approximation of the product.

May exhibit unmodeled behavior.

Some behavior may be an artifact of the approximation.

Often best for communication.

Analytical Prototypes

Mathematical model of the product.

Can only exhibit behavior arising from explicitly modeled phenomena. (However, behavior is not always anticipated.

Some behavior may be an artifact of the analytical method.

Often allow more experimental freedom than physical models.

Physical vs. Analytical Prototypes

Focused vs comprehensive prototypes

Focused Prototypes

Implement one or a few attributes of the product.

Answer specific questions about the product design.

Generally several are required.

Comprehensive Prototypes

Implement many or all attributes of the product.

Offer opportunities for rigorous testing.

Often best for milestones and integration.

Focused vs. Comprehensive Prototypes

Concept prototypes can be communicated in multiple ways
Concept Prototypes Can Be Communicated in Multiple Ways:

  • Verbal descriptions

  • Sketches

  • Photos and renderings

  • Storyboards – a series of images that communicates a temporal sequence of actions involving the product

  • Videos – dynamic storyboards

  • Simulation

  • Interactive multimedia – combines the visual richness of video with the interactivity of simulation

  • Physical appearance models

  • Working prototypes

Traditional prototyping methods
Traditional Prototyping Methods

  • Model from clay

  • Carve from wood or styrofoam

  • Bend wire meshing

  • CNC machining (pastic or aluminum)

  • Rubber molding + urethane casting

  • Materials: wood, foam, plastics, etc.

  • Model making requires special skills.

Fidelity in prototyping

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Fidelity in Prototyping

  • Fidelity refers to the level of detail

  • High fidelity?

    • prototypes look like the final product

  • Low fidelity?

    • artists renditions with many details missing

Low fi storyboards for user interface interactions

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Low-fi Storyboards for User Interface Interactions

  • Where do storyboards come from?

    • film & animation

  • Give you a “script” of important events

    • leave out the details

    • concentrate on the important interactions

Why use low fi prototypes

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Why Use Low-fi Prototypes?

  • Traditional methods take too long

    • sketches -> prototype -> evaluate -> iterate

  • Can simulate the prototype

    • sketches -> evaluate -> iterate

    • sketches act as prototypes

      • designer “plays computer”

      • other design team members observe & record

  • Kindergarten implementation skills

    • allows non-programmers to participate

Hi fi prototypes warp

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Hi-fi Prototypes Warp

  • Perceptions of the customer/reviewer?

    • formal representation indicates “finished” nature

      • comments on color, fonts, and alignment

  • Time?

    • encourage precision

      • specifying details takes more time

  • Creativity?

    • lose track of the big picture

Wizard of oz technique

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Wizard of Oz Technique (?)

  • Faking the interaction. Comes from?

    • from the film “The Wizard of OZ”

      • “the man behind the curtain”

  • Long tradition in computer industry

    • prototype of a PC w/ a VAX behind the curtain

  • Much more important for hard to implement features

    • Speech & handwriting recognition

The basic materials for low fi prototyping of visual uis

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

The Basic Materials for Low-fi Prototyping of Visual UIs

  • Large, heavy, white paper (11 x 17)

  • 5x8 in. index cards

  • Tape, stick glue, correction tape

  • Pens & markers (many colors & sizes)

  • Overhead transparencies

  • Scissors, X-acto knives, etc.

Constructing the model

Profs. Jen Mankoff and James Landay, CS

Constructing the Model

  • Set a deadline

    • don’t think too long - build it!

  • Draw a window frame on large paper

  • Put different screen regions on cards

    • anything that moves, changes, appears/disappears

  • Ready response for any customer action

    • e.g., have those pull-down menus already made

  • Use photocopier to make many versions

High performance companies
High Performance Companies:

  • Not only verify that the final product meets customer expectations,

  • But involve potential customers directly in various stages of development and encourage partnerships

  • Which allows faster cycling for customer feedback

  • And creates better-suited products

Virtual prototyping
Virtual Prototyping

  • 3D CAD models enable many kinds of analysis:

    • Fit and assembly

    • Manufacturability

    • Form and style

    • Kinematics

    • Finite element analysis (stress, thermal)

    • Crash testing

    • more every year...

  • Simulation, Optimization

Boeing 777 testing
Boeing 777 Testing

  • Rapid design-build philosophy

  • 100% digital CAD & 3D modeling

  • Part Interference

  • Brakes Test

  • Minimum rotor thickness

  • Maximum takeoff weight

  • Maximum runway speed

  • Will the brakes ignite?

  • Wing Test

  • Maximum loading

  • When will it break?

  • Where will it break?

Catia cad modeling analysis
CATIA CAD Modeling & Analysis

  • 100% digital design on the Boeing 777

  • Used to discover tolerance error early in the design cycle

  • Greatly reduced the number of design changes and costs

Physical rapid prototyping methods
Physical Rapid Prototyping Methods

  • Build parts in layers based on CAD model.

    • Conceptually, like stacking many tailored pieces of cardboard on top of one another.

    • SLA=Stereolithography Apparatus (Cory Hall, Prof. Carlo Sequin)

    • Solid Imaging (Cory Hall, Prof. Carlo Sequin)

    • SLS=Selective Laser Sintering

    • FDM= Fused Deposition Modeling (Tour - Etcheverry Hall, Prof. Paul Wright)

    • Color/Mono 3D Printing (e.g., Z-Corp) (Tour - Etcheverry Hall)

  • Solid Injection Molding

  • Others every year...

Selective laser sintering
Selective Laser Sintering

  • Thermoplastic powder is spread by a roller over the surface of a build cylinder.

  • The piston in the cylinder moves down one object layer thickness to accommodate the new layer of powder.

  • A laser beam is traced over the surface of this tightly compacted powder to selectively melt and bond it to form a layer of the object.

  • Excess powder is brushed away and final manual finishing may be carried out.

Sla stereolithography apparatus
SLA=Stereolithography Apparatus

  • Builds plastic parts or objects a layer at a time by tracing a laser beam on the surface of a vat of a photosensitive liquid polymer.

  • Photopolymer quickly solidifies wherever the laser beam strikes the surface of the liquid.

  • Repeated by lowering a small distance into the vat and a second layer is traced right on top of the first.

  • Self-adhesive property of the material causes the layers to bond to one another and eventually form a complete, three-dimensional object after many such layers are formed.

Stereolithography sla

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Stereolithography (SLA)

SLA Machine by 3D Systems

  • Maximum build envelope: 350 x 350 x 400 mm in XYZ

  • Vertical resolution: 0.00177 mm

  • Position repeatability: ±0.005 mm

  • Maximum part weight: 56.8 kg

Stereolithography evaluation

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Stereolithography Evaluation

  • Can do intricate shapes with small holes

  • High precision

  • Moderately Fast

  • Photopolymer is expensive ($700/gallon)

  • Laser is expensive ($10’000),lasts only about 2000 hrs.

Model prototype mold part

Injection-Molded Housing for ST TouchChip

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Model  Prototype  Mold  Part

S quin s minimal saddle trefoil

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Séquin’s “Minimal Saddle Trefoil”

  • Stereo-lithography master

S quin s minimal saddle trefoil1

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Séquin’s “Minimal Saddle Trefoil”

  • bronze cast, gold plated

Solid imaging thermojet printing

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Solid Imaging: Thermojet Printing

  • Technology: Multi-Jet Modeling (MJM)

  • Uses plastic and wax.

  • Need to build a support structures where there are overhangs / bridges that must be removed manually.

  • Resolution (x,y,z): 300 x 400 x 600 DPI

  • Maximum Model Size: 10 x 7.5 x 8 in (13 lb)

Solid imaging example

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Solid Imaging Example

  • That’s how partsemerge from theThermojet printer

  • After partial removalof the supportingscaffolding

9 story intertwined double toroid

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

9-Story Intertwined Double Toroid

Bronze investment

casting from wax original made on 3D Systems’“Thermojet”

Solid imaging evaluation

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Solid Imaging Evaluation

  • An Informal Evaluation

  • Fast

  • Inexpensive

  • Reliable, robust

  • Good for investment casting

  • Support removal takes some care(refrigerate model beforehand)

  • Thermojet 88 parts are fragile

3d printing some key players

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing: Some Key Players

  • Soligen: and ceramic powdersfor operational prototypes.

  • Z Corporation: and starch powders for visualization models.

    • Needs no supports that must be removed!

    • Uniform bed of powder acts as support.

    • This powder gets selectively (locally) glued (or fused) together to create the solid portions of the desired part.

3d printing z corporation

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing:Z Corporation

The Z402 3D Printer

  • Speed: 1-2 vertical inches per hour

  • Build Volume: 8" x 10" x 8"

  • Thickness: 3 to 10 mils, selectable

Three dimensional printing
Three Dimensional Printing

  • A layer of powder object material is deposited at the top of a fabrication chamber.

  • Roller then distributes and compresses the powder at the top of the fabrication chamber.

  • Multi-channel jetting head subsequently deposits a liquid adhesive in a two dimensional pattern onto the layer of the powder which becomes bonded in the areas where the adhesive is deposited, to form a layer of the object.

3d printing z corporation1

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing:Z Corporation

3d printing z corporation2

Digging out

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing:Z Corporation

Optional curing 30 min @ 200 f

Keep some powder in place

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Optional Curing: 30 min. @ 200ºF

<-- Tray for transport

3d printing z corporation3

Cleaning up in the de-powdering station

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing:Z Corporation

3d printing z corporation4

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Printing:Z Corporation

The finished part

  • Zcorp,

  • 6” diam.,

  • 6hrs.

120 cell close up

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

120 Cell -- Close-up

3d color printing z corporation

Use compressed air to blow out central hollow space.

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Color Printing: Z Corporation

3d color printing z corporation1

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

3D Color Printing: Z Corporation

Infiltrate Alkyl Cyanoacrylane Ester = “super-glue” to harden parts and to intensify colors.

What can go wrong

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

What Can Go Wrong ?

  • Blocked glue lines

  • Crumbling parts

3d printing z corporation evaluation
3D Printing (Z Corporation) Evaluation

  • Fast !

  • Running expenses: moderate,(but overpriced powder)

  • Color print head and tubes need some care in maintenance.

  • Somewhat messy cleanup !

  • Lot’s of dust everywhere ...

Fused deposition modeling
Fused Deposition Modeling

  • ABS Plastic* is supplied (as beads or filament) to an extrusion nozzle.

  • The nozzle is heated to melt the plastic and has a mechanism which allows the flow of the melted plastic to be turned on and off.

  • As the nozzle is moved over the table in the required geometry, it deposits a thin bead of extruded plastic to form each layer.

  • The plastic hardens immediately after being squirted from the nozzle and bonds to the layer below.

* acrylonitrile-butadine-styrene

Fused deposition modeling1

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Fused Deposition Modeling


Looking into the fdm machine

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Looking into the FDM Machine

Layered fabrication of klein bottle

Support material

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Layered Fabrication of Klein Bottle

Klein bottle skeleton fdm

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Klein Bottle Skeleton (FDM)

Fused deposition modeling fdm evaluation

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Evaluation

  • Easy to use

  • Rugged and robust

  • Could have this in your office

  • Good transparent software (Quickslice)with multiple entry points: STL, SSL, SML

  • Inexpensive to operate

  • Slow

  • Think about support removal !

What can go wrong1

Black blobs

Toppled supports

Prof. Carlo Séquin, CS

What Can Go Wrong ?