The Engineering Process

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The engineering process is the set of steps engineers use to design functional products and processes. It is a continuous process that can be used to create prototypes and improve on existing solutions. It is also a great method to develop problem-solving skills and create a mindset of “design under constraints”. The process of engineering design is similar to the scientific method, but differs in that scientists conduct experiments, while engineers work with the power of imagination and design.

Identify the Problem

Engineers first need to determine what the project needs in order to be successful. This requires a lot of thinking and the engineer should frequently consider limitations (e.g. available time, materials tools, etc.)) while generating potential solutions. This process requires an engineer to assess every possible solution by identifying weaknesses and strengths, and deciding on the most effective solution to reach the goal of the project.

Generate Ideas

Engineers can pick from a range of methods to generate solutions, ranging from brainstorming, discussions to 2D CAD modeling and animation. Visualizing and comparing the resulting solutions to the problem specifications will help determine the most effective solution.

Once the final solution is decided, it is time to design a prototype of the product. This can be as simple as a sketch on paper, or as intricate as a working model built using the CAD software. However, this process allows the engineer to test out the final product and check if it meets all of the intended goals.

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