What Is The Engineering Design Process? A Complete Guide

December 1, 2022

Engineering design is the creation of systems curated with human effort. It is the result of integrating multiple technologies to solve a problem or meet user needs. The engineering design process involves step-by-step methodology from describing the problem statement to providing its solution.

Solving design problems is an iterative process as the solution to the design problem evolves and requires continuous refinement. It is a decision-making process that applies basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering science to meet the stated objective. The key elements of the engineering design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria; synthesis; analysis; prototyping; testing; and post-analysis.

This blog specifically targets elaboration at every stage of the design process.

What Is The Engineering Design Process

Stages Of Engineering Design Process

  1. Defining problem

The design process starts with asking questions about the observed problems.

  • What is the need for design?
  • Who has this problem?
  • Why is it important to solve?
  • How will the design address the pain point?
  • What resources are needed to curate the solution?
  • How is the solution better than other solutions in the market?

This set of the right questions helps to justify the design solution in the first place. 

  1. Research

This includes interacting with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and expertise to assist in determining what products or solutions already exist or what technologies could be adapted to meet end needs. In the existing relevant literature, problems and successes associated with existing solutions, costs, and market demands should be considered. 

Here are some questions to consider.

  • Is the problem real and the statement accurate?
  • Is there a need for a solution?
  • What are the existing solutions to the problem?
  • What is the right way of solving the problem?
  • What are the economic factors revolving around the solution?
  • What are the important factors (e.g., safety, aesthetics, effect on the environment, etc.) to the solution?

The information source should be pertinent. If alternative solutions are commercially available, reverse engineering can be a useful technique. The Internet, local libraries, available government documents, personal organizations, trade journals, vendor catalogs, and available experts are additional sources of information.

  1. Design requirements

It is also termed “problem definition,” which includes establishing design requirements and analysis of the same. Throughout the engineering design process, the product or process being developed is designed in accordance with the design requirements. 

These include functions, attributes, and specifications, which are determined by analyzing user requirements. Hardware and software parameters, maintainability, availability, and testability are some of the design requirements.

  1. Feasibility

A feasibility study is an evaluation and analysis of a proposed project’s potential to support the decision-making process. It outlines and evaluates potential alternatives or methods for attaining the desired result. The feasibility study narrows the project’s scope in order to identify the optimal scenario.

The objective of feasibility analysis is to determine if the engineer’s project can proceed to the design phase. This is based on two criteria: the project must be based on a feasible concept, and it must be feasible financially. 

  1. Conceptualization

Here, the pros and cons of the proposed idea are weighed. This stage is important because it mitigates the risk of errors, odds, manages costs, assesses risk, and also evaluates the potential success of the project. It is always suggested to propose multiple solutions, and potential solutions must be identified.

The noted ones are different ways to approach different solutions.

  • Morphological analysis: In a chart, independent design characteristics are listed, and various engineering solutions are proposed for each solution. Typically, a preliminary sketch and brief report are presented alongside the morphological chart.
  • Brainstorming: This popular technique entails generating multiple ideas, typically in a small group, and adopting them in some form as a solution to a problem.
  1. Preliminary design

This stage bridges the gap between design conceptualization and detailed design. In this, the general project location and design concepts are determined. It involves preliminary engineering and analysis activities like-

  • Environmental assessments
  • Topographic surveys 
  • Meters and bonds surveys
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Hydrologic analysis
  • Hydraulic analysis
  • Utility engineering
  • Revenue estimations, etc.

Subsequently, the overall system configuration is defined in this task, and schematics, diagrams, and layouts of the project may provide early configuration information.

  1. Detailed design

This procedure entails conceptual design, embodiment design, and detail design, which, when executed professionally, results in a solution that is well-designed. This further involves the following stages-

  • Specifications checking
  • Defining subsystems, checking, and assembling parts
  • Finalizing individual parts and completing technical calculations
  • Conforming every part with standards
  • Documentation 

CAD programs can be used in a detailed design process that can provide optimization with greater accuracy.

  1. Building a prototype

A prototype is a functioning model of a solution. Generally, it is made with different materials than the final product and is less polished. Prototypes are crucial to the development of a final solution because they allow the designer to test the solution’s functionality.

  1. Testing and redesigning

The design process involves numerous redesigns and iterations of the final solution. Before settling on a final design, it is likely that you will test your proposed solution, discover new issues, make modifications, and test new solutions.

Final Thoughts

The engineering design process, when systematically executed, generates better products with the seamless integration of multiple technologies. The whole point behind performing detailed research, analysis, and documentation is to come up with a product that solves the problem and adds further value to existing products in the market.

As the whole process requires expertise, outsourcing engineering design becomes a preferable choice. To add value to that choice, Technosoft Engineering is here to process the design stage. Our expertise is but is not limited to-

  • General Arrangements & Layout preparation,
  • Intelligent part/sub-assembly/assembly/drawing creation
  • Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerance, Tolerance Stack-up
  • Hydraulic, Pneumatic Circuits & Piping Drawings
  • Machining, Fabrication, Weldment drawings for Manufacturing
  • BOM/Part list
  • Spare/Operation/Maintenance Manuals

So, wait for no further and contact us today. Let’s invent a revolutionary solution!