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Engineering Design Process

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Engineering Design Process

Engineering Studies

The engineering design process taught in the ATAR course seeks to mimic what would be undertaken by a 'real world' engineer. When producing a solution for a client, the four distinct stages an engineer follows are;


During this stage, you work to create an understanding of what a final solution may be. This means analysing the design brief to make clear the parameters and objectives which your solution must address as well as analysing relevent components to greater understand how your final product will be composed.

Key Components of Investigating

  • Developing a design brief

This is a preliminary document which highlights the key information of a project including; requirements, restrictions, goals/objectives, budget and timeline.

  • Analyse existing solution or similar products

Engineering prototypes rarely exist in isolation. In order to build relevant and well functioning products, it is important to look at existing solutions with the purpose of analysing what works well and how can you apply it to your own project

  • Research and Critique Materials

Clear understanding of the available materials (and technology) and particularly their properties allows you to pick what materials are best suited for your purposes.

  • Consider sources of energy

Your choice of energy source/s depents on the goals and limitations of your project. When choosing an energy source, you should consider their; environmental impact, cost, practicality (e.g. an AC power supply would not be the best choice for a robot which moves around a lot), and whether they can supply a sufficient voltage supply.


The devising state is where the preliminary information gathered is consolidated into a few feasible ideas. While they do not need to be fully 'fleshed out', they explore different components, systems and applications which could be used to fulfill the given requirements. This stage encourages the exploration of differing ideas to ideally result in a more refined and useable product.

Key Components of Devising

  • Creating and annotating pictorial drawings of multiple ideas

Pictorial drawings are three-dimensional representations of an object. They show three faces and are useful in picturing how your project will look once completed

  • Creating and annotating orthographic drawings of multiple ideas

Orthographic drawings represent a three-dimensional object using multiple two-dimensional views. These often enable more information to be conveyed such as dimensioning and hidden details.

  • Selecting and justifying a final design

Once multiple ideas are developed and compared, you must select and justify which one you have decided to further develop. This should be backed with justifications. These could be in the form of a pro's and con's list, relevant calculations or in comparison with design criteria and limitations.



Key Components of Producing

  • Present specifications for decided solution

  • Create and use a timeline to construct the product

  • Construct the Product

  • Test the Product



Key Components of Evaluating

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