Engineering design process refers to criteria that engineers use to come up with a solution hence produce a functional product. It involves the application of engineering science and mathematics to meet a certain objective. The process is often repetitive. This process consists of coming up with a design, building and testing it. The following are the key component of engineering process:
Generation of an objective and criteria
This stage requires the identification of a problem in which the product will solve and the significance of solving the problem. The problem has to be well defined.
The engineer has to find more information about the problem and also see whether there are existing solutions that have been previously used hence avoid mistakes that were made earlier. Information can be obtained from relevant sources like bibliography, journals and internet.
Establish the design requirements
Design requirements can be hardware or software materials needed to produce a product. One has to consider the availability of the resources, there maintenance requirements and testability.
After defining the problem, brainstorming the solutions, coming up with the solution and knowing the requirements of coming up with the design one has to make sure that the design is indeed possible and it will the problem and within means. It involves the study of possibility of achieving the required solution. It also helps in key decision making like the capital needed and alternative means to solve the problem. It determines if the project can go to the design phase.
It’s a brainstorming stage whereby ideas are generated to come up with the advantages and disadvantages of the project. It takes into consideration the cost of implementation, the risks involved and possible success of the project. The ideas are evaluated and analyzed to come up with the best solution.
Designing a prototype
A prototype is an early sample that is used to test the functionality of a concept. The designer has to come up first with a preliminary design and then later on a detailed design. Preliminary design is basically a layout of the project in diagram form. This design is generalised. Detailed design involves obtaining the materials needed and their specifications. It’s a complete description of the project. By coming up with a prototype, the designer is able to see if the product will solve the problem identified. It enables the identification of errors in the project and making changes before settling on the final product.
Reporting of findings
Once the final changes have been made, the designer has to communicate to professional engineers by writing a detailed report about his/her product so as to gain support hence manufacture it.The report should be well documented.
Manufacturing and producing the product
A design that meets the required aspects is made for manufacturing purposes. The final design should be made in such a way that the manufacturing process would be easier. This is ensured by taking into consideration the reliability requirements, design life, packaging requirements and external dimensions. In the process of planning the production of the product, the designer has to select the materials, the processes that would be used in producing the product and tools.
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