Free Essay On The Engineering Design Process:
The Engineering Design Process (EDP) refers to a series of steps used by engineering teams to guide them in solving problems by creating new systems, products or technologies. The design process is cyclical which means that engineers can repeat the design steps as many times as required while making the necessary improvements in the process. It is also important to note that the process may be non-linear i.e. engineers will not always follow the design process steps one after the other, and it is very common that engineers will design a product, proceed to test it, identify a problem, then return to an earlier step to change or modify the design. The process described in this paper has nine steps that include:
Identifying/Defining the Problem:
This step involves identifying the problem/challenge which involves asking the following questions about the problem identified:
What is the problem/need?
Who is affected by the problem/need?
Why is the problem important to solve?
Conduct background research on the problem:
This involves learning from others’ experiences and looking to find out if the problem has been solved before, find out the solutions to similar problems, and how to improve on such solutions (if they exist) to avoid mistakes made in the past. The main areas of background research are therefore:
Requirements specification and identification of constraints:
This step involves specifying the requirements/criteria which are the important characteristics that the solution should meet in order for it to be successful. One way of identifying the design requirements for the proposed solution is by analyzing similar existing products and noting their key features. This step also involves identifying limitations on the design due to resource availability and environmental constraints.
Brainstorming all possible solutions:
This step involves identifying all the possibilities for solving the design problem and ensuring all possible alternatives are considered without overlooking a better solution in favor of another. The activities involved in brainstorming include:
Discussions on ways to solve the problem (in a team)
Sketching ideas using labels and flow diagrams to identify parts and how they might work. The diagrams should be concise and brief
Identify and choose the best solution:
Involves identifying the solution(s) that best meets the projects original requirements. The solutions that do not meet requirements should be eliminated. At this step, is important to document in a short statement why the chosen solution was picked in reference to the original criteria/requirements and constraints in step 3 above.
Develop the chosen solution and build a prototype:
The chosen solution should be refined and be improved by modeling the selected solution in two or three dimensions and constructing a scaled or full-sized model (prototype) based on the design drawings. The prototypes is a working version of the solution, can be built with different materials that the final product, and is generally not as polished as the final version. Prototypes are useful for testing how the solution works.
Test, Evaluate and Redesign:
The design process is highly iterative and may involve several testing, evaluation and redesign cycles to arrive to the final solution. Evaluation is done to check for the following basic requirements:
Does the solution work as required?
Does the solution meet all the specified requirements and constraints?
Testing also helps identify new problems, make changes and improvements, and test the new solutions before deciding on the final design.
Communicating the results/solution(s):
This steps involves communicating the project results/solution in final report or presentation which includes discussing how the solution best solves the initial problem, need or opportunity. It also involves documenting the solutions thoroughly so that they can be supported or manufacture d. The step also includes the impact of the solution to the society and the environment, and possible tradeoffs.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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