The engineering design process is a basic progression of several steps that mimic the process used in almost any problem-solving scenario. The difference between a basic analytical problem and an engineered design problem is that an analytical problem has only one solution whereas a design problem can have many potential solutions. The job of an engineer or designer is to determine which solution is the best based upon what the most desirable outcome is.
The process begins by identifying a problem that requires an engineered solution. The first step is to identify and define what the problem is. Next, it is important to gather information, define any constraints that would impact the design and begin to imagine possible solutions to solve the problem.
Once you have generated a few solutions you can begin planning what you will need.
- What materials will be required?
- What manufactured products exist that can be implemented into the design?
- What are the most important criteria of the design?