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					                                        Engineering Design
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                                     GE121

                                             Finding
                                      Answers to the Problem
                                       Expanding the Design Space

                                                  Lecture 5B

                                              GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   1
                                              Generating Design Ideas:
                                                Expanding the Design Space
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                       Engineering creativity is goal-directed
                                        Goal may be External (usually the case in Design
                                         Firms) or Internal (Start-up company operating out of a
                                         garage)
                                       Creativity involves Work!
                                        Thomas Edison – “Invention is 99 percent perspiration
                                         and 1 percent inspiration”
                                       Expanding and Limiting the Design Space is
                                       essential to effective design
                                         During the early stages, it is desirable to expand the
                                         size of the Design Space
                                         At the conclusion, the design space should be
                                         contracted down to a good alternative

                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011           2
                                            Taking Advantage of Design
                                        Information that is Already Available
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Sources of Ideas
                                        Literature Search
                                          Identify Prior Work in the field
                                          Determine the State of the Art




                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   3
                                                  Sources of Ideas
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Some Sources for literature searches
                                        • www searches → thoughtful keyword
                                          selection
                                        • Studying previous solutions
                                        • Product advertising
                                        • Vendor literature
                                        • Compendia of material properties
                                        • Design and Legal codes
                                        • Thomas Register
                                          o Valuable Digest of product vendors
                                          www.thomasnet.com

                                                       GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   4
                                        Taking Advantage of Design Information that is
                                                 Already Available (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Benchmarking Competitive products
                                        • How WELL they perform certain functions

                                      Dissection and Reverse Engineering
                                        • Determine HOW functions are performed
                                        • Identify other ways of performing similar
                                          functions




                                                       GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   5
                                        Taking Advantage of Design Information that is
                                                 Already Available (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Good idea to look back at old notes at this
                                       point
                                        • Recapture old or premature ideas that were
                                          recorded earlier
                                           • May have set aside MEANS / SOLUTION IDEAS
                                             earlier during objective development phase – now is
                                             the time to revisit them
                                           • May have ideas from previous designs that are
                                             directly useful or helpful in thinking along a different
                                             solution path




                                                          GE 121 Engineering Design--2011          6
                                       Patents: Expanding the Design Space
                                          Without Reinventing the Wheel
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Patents
                                        • Intellectual Property
                                        • Holders of Patents are given credit for having
                                          discovered or invented a device or a new way of doing
                                          things
                                        • Can file for a Patent detailing what they believe to be
                                          the new art, or originality of their invention or discovery
                                        • Usually filed by country, but cooperative agreements
                                          exist




                                                          GE 121 Engineering Design--2011          7
                                        Patents: Expanding the Design Space Without
                                              Reinventing the Wheel (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Reasons why Patent Searches are important
                                        •   Re-inventing the wheel is not productive
                                        •   May already be patented
                                        •   May be able to licence technology / process
                                        •   May generate ideas (see what others have done)




                                                          GE 121 Engineering Design--2011    8
                                        Patents: Expanding the Design Space Without
                                              Reinventing the Wheel (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Two Kinds of Patents
                                        Design Patents
                                           • Granted on the Form or Appearance “Look and Feel” of an idea
                                           • Clearly relate to visual appearance – minor alterations can
                                             create a new product – relatively easy to “work around”
                                           • Relatively weak patents
                                        Utility Patents
                                            Granted for Functions - how to do something or make
                                             something happen
                                            Harder to “work around”
                                            Stronger patents




                                                           GE 121 Engineering Design--2011            9
                                         Patents: Expanding the Design Space Without
                                               Reinventing the Wheel (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      In both cases, the right to use the designs are
                                       limited
                                        Rights can be obtained from the inventor in many
                                         cases, usually through licensing agreements
                                      Patent information is available on the www
                                        One good source for information on Patent Searches:
                                         Patent Information Research Guide – Ryerson
                                         University website
                                         http://www.ryerson.ca/library/subjects/patents/print.html




                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011       10
                                       Group Activities for the Design Team
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Convergent and Divergent Thinking
                                        • Divergent Thinking
                                           Try to remove limits or barriers
                                           “Think Outside the Box”
                                           “Stretch” or “Push” “the Envelope”
                                           Expand the Design Space
                                        • Convergent Thinking
                                           Narrows the focus to the “Best” Designs
                                           Done later in the design process
                                      Think Outside the Box, but within the Physics
                                       and Logic!

                                                       GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   11
                                      Group Activities for the Design Team                (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Techniques to encourage Divergent thinking
                                        The 6-3-5 Method
                                          • 6 Individuals within a design team generate 3 ideas
                                            each, then circulate them for written comment (no
                                            verbal communication or cross-talk) to each of the
                                            remaining 5 group members, building on the
                                            feedback of others
                                          • Move to a common visual medium (e.g., blackboard)
                                            to record and discuss the results
                                          • Can be modified to the 4-3-3 Method for our groups
                                            of 4, versus a group of 6




                                                        GE 121 Engineering Design--2011           12
                                      Group Activities for the Design Team                 (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Techniques to encourage Divergent thinking
                                       (cont)
                                        The C-sketch Method
                                          • Similar to 6-3-5 method, but uses sketches as the
                                            communication medium
                                          • Becomes unwieldy with 6 or more participants – may
                                            work better with 4
                                          • Sketches are a natural way of thinking/visualizing in
                                            mechanical design




                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011           13
                                      Group Activities for the Design Team                 (continued)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Techniques to encourage Divergent thinking
                                       (cont)

                                         The Gallery Method
                                           • Can involve written and/or sketched proposals
                                             from each member
                                           • All are posted (to a wall, or “gallery”), and all are
                                             discussed at once
                                           • Process can be iterative, with number of cycles
                                             open-ended




                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011           14
                                               Ways to Think Divergently
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Other methods include the use of Synectics and
                                       other Analogy based tools
                                        Suggest that parallels or similarities exist between 2
                                         sets of circumstances
                                        Types of Analogies
                                          • Personal Analogies
                                              – What would it be like to be a …
                                          • Fantasy Analogies
                                              – Think outside of the box
                                              – Wild ideas can trigger feasible solution ideas




                                                         GE 121 Engineering Design--2011          15
                                           Ways to Think Divergently (cont)
Finding Answers to the Problem - II


                                      Analogical thinking has led to a number of
                                       inventions
                                        • Velcro – direct analogy to plant burrs (the kind
                                          that stick to your socks)
                                        • Heart stents – Extremely miniaturized version
                                          of construction scaffolding to expand human
                                          arteries




                                                       GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   16
                                                          Activity
Finding Answers to the Problem - II



                                      Develop questions for your meeting with
                                       your client.
                                      Start your Literature Search and Refining
                                       your Objectives, Constraints and Functions.

                                      Meetings with the “client” begin tomorrow




                                                     GE 121 Engineering Design--2011   17

				
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