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Design process- tips?

  1. Mar 4, 2005 #1
    Hi, I'm Irish and I'm doing my leaving cert and we have to compile a "design folio" on our project. I was just wondering what kind of chapters I should include after the first four which are: Introduction, Analysis of brief, Investigation of solutions and Criteria for selection of solutions. We have to design a lifting pump for marbles and I was just wondering what kind of chapters I should include?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2005 #2


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    "Criteria for selection of solutions" is just crying out for you to include a morphological analysis.

    A normal design project might normally include, (and you've already mentioned):

    Design Analysis
    Selection of Solutions

    The next sections usually depend more on the actual project, but often include things like:

    Final design drawings, artists' impressions, anything to do with the actual design.
    Manufacturers drawings and techniques, and supporting calculations.

    Then things like:
    Quantitative Evaluation
    Qualitative Evaluation

    I'll post more when I'm awake.
  4. Mar 5, 2005 #3
    Cool, that helps. I was just a bit stuck for ideas on what kind of chapters to put in.
  5. Mar 8, 2005 #4
    Here are a few items that you should include in many projects (may or may not apply to yours, but you can list them and mark "NA" for "Not Applicable" next to them):

    Cost estimates
    Energy Cost estimates
    Life cycle analysis
    Environmental impact reports
    Fire Marshal Review Required

    In your "Design Analysis" section you may want to include something like "Approaches Considered and Rejected." I've done this at times to show that some of the more obvious solutions are flawed and would not work for a project. A little brief description telling why, such as inefficient, high first cost, low cost but may fail under extreme loading, etc. Shows that you've thought out your final selection.
  6. Mar 8, 2005 #5


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    Even better than that, use a morphological analysis to rationalise the selection for your final design:

    - Make a table listing all your initial designs against desired and necessary qualities and features.

    - Give each desired or necessary feature or quality a score out of 100 in terms of importance, to provide an "importance" parameter.

    - Assess each design for how well it conforms to each of the desired or necessary qualities or features, to provide a "conformance" parameter.

    - Multiply the importance by the conformance to obtain a suitability parameter

    - Add up all the suitability parameters for each design, and choose the design with the highest overall score.

    Easy way to get you a shedload of marks, and to show you've actually thought it through.
  7. Mar 8, 2005 #6
    Of course it makes you actually think it through.
  8. Mar 8, 2005 #7


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    Well, it does the selection for you, so actually removes a lot of the thinking from the process.
  9. Mar 8, 2005 #8
    That's true.

    I had never heard the term "morphological analysis". Sounds like a great quantitative method for analysing design options.
  10. Mar 8, 2005 #9


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    Yeah, with a bit of imagination you can use it to make all sorts of choices for you, even decisions completely unrelated to engineering.
  11. Mar 8, 2005 #10


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    Either in addition to, or within specifications or introduction, a listing of assumptions and design parameters (basically restating the problem you've been given and the interpretion you've given to the problem) would be helpful.

    Also, it isn't uncommon to have an appendix or two providing background or detailed calculations of a side point, and a bibliography, if any substantial proportion of your project buildings on published prior works in the field.

    An example of a very big (group) design project for student engineers in a final capstone project at the U.S. Naval War College is found here: http://web.nps.navy.mil/~me/tsse/files/2001.htm [Broken] and may give you some presentation ideas (although an individual project would ordinarily be less polished). It had:

    Cover Page
    Table of Contents
    Executive Summary
    - Mission Needs Statement
    - Operational Requirements Document
    Analysis of Alternatives
    - Alternatives Under Review
    - Payload
    -- Definition
    -- Assumptions
    - Resulting Hull Sizes
    - Measures of Effectiveness
    - Recommendations and Alternative Selection
    - Faculty Decision for Design
    Concept Design
    - Broken down into eight subsystems and subsubsystems within them plus a section on the integration of the subsystems into the whole.
    Analysis and Trade Studies
    - Detailed re-examination of the elements identified in the concept with potential vendors.
    Appendixes A-D (Typical results of analytical tools used, detailed calculations for two subsystems and an extended discussion of assumptions used to generate the payload requirements in the mission statement)
    Initial Distribution List
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
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