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Engineering Design Process
Design Process Vocabulary
44
Engineering
09/17/2010

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Term
Aesthetics
Definition
Pleasing in appearance.
Term
Annotate
Definition
A sketch on which notes are made to provide further information.
Term
Brainstorming
Definition
A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group spontaneously, and in an unrestrained discussion, generate ideas.
Term
Constraints
Definition
A limit to the design process. Constraints may be such things as appearance, funding, space, materials, and human capabilities
Term
Consumer
Definition
A person or household that purchases goods or services
Term
Criteria
Definition
Desired specifications (elements or features) of a product or system.
Term
Decision Matrix
Definition
A tool for systematically ranking alternatives according to a set of criteria.
Term
Design
Definition
An iterative decision-making process that produces plans by which resources are converted into products or systems that meet human needs and wants or solve problems.
Term
Design Brief
Definition
A written plan that identifies a problem to be solved, its criteria, and its constraints. The design brief is used to encourage thinking of all aspects of a problem before attempting a solution
Term
Design Elements
Definition
The factors (e.g., line, color, light, shadow, space, texture) that define a product and take into account the aesthetics and function of the product.
Term
Design Process
Definition
Design Process A systematic problem-solving strategy, with criteria and constraints, used to develop many possible solutions to a problem or to satisfy human needs and wants and winnow (narrow) down the possible solutions to one final choice.
Term
Designer
Definition
A person who designs any of a variety of things.
Term
Dimension
Definition
A measure in one direction.
Term
Engineer
Definition
A person who is trained in and uses technological and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.
Term
Ergonomics
Definition
The study of workplace equipment design or how to arrange and design devices, machines, or workspace so that people and things interact safely and most efficiently.
Term
Evaluate
Definition
To form an idea of the amount or value of; assess.
Term
Experimentation
Definition
The act of trying out a new procedure, idea, or activity.
Term
Exponentially
Definition
Extremely rapid increase.
Term
Investigate
Definition
To observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry.
Term
Model
Definition
A visual, mathematical, or three-dimensional representation in detail of an object or design, often smaller than the original. A model is often used to test ideas, make changes to a design, and to learn more about what would happen to a similar, real object.
Term
Modify
Definition
Change to ensure accuracy.
Term
Optimize
Definition
An act, process, or methodology used to make a design or system as effective or functional as possible within the given criteria and constraints.
Term
Problem Solving
Definition
The process of understanding a problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the plan in order to solve a problem or meet a need or want.
Term
Process
Definition
produce, control, maintain, and use products or systems; a sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output.
Term
Prototype
Definition
A full-scale working model used to test a design concept by making actual observations and necessary adjustments.
Term
Requirements
Definition
The parameters placed on the development of a product or system. The requirements include the safety needs, the physical laws that will limit the development of an idea, the available resources, the cultural norms, and the use of criteria and constraints.
Term
Research
Definition
Systematic, scientific, documented study.
Term
Specification
Definition
A detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.
Term
Testing
Definition
A method for collecting data.
Term
Texture
Definition
The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface, substance, or fabric.
Term
Trade-off
Definition
An exchange of one thing in return for another; especially relinquishment of one benefit or advantage for another regarded as more desirable.
Term
Visualization
Definition
Formation of mental visual images.
Term
Accuracy
Definition
The condition or quality of being true, correct, or exact; precision; exactness. The degree of correctness of a quantity or expression.
Term
Customary System
Definition
Also referred to as the English system of measuring. The measuring system based on the foot, second, and pound as units of length, time, weight, or mass.
Term
Denominator
Definition
Divisor; the number below the line in a fraction.
Term
Denominator
Definition
Divisor; the number below the line in a fraction.
Term
Caliper
Definition
A measuring tool with two usually adjustable jaws used especially to measure thickness or diameter.
Term
Diameter
Definition
A straight line passing from side to side through the center of a circle or sphere.
Term
Measurement
Definition
Collecting data in a quantifiable manner.
Term
Metric System
Definition
The decimal measuring system based on the meter, liter, and gram as units of length, capacity, and weight or mass.
Term
Micrometer
Definition
A gauge which measures small distances or thicknesses.
Term
Numerator
Definition
The number above the line in a fraction showing how many of the parts indicated by the denominator is taken.
Term
Precision
Definition
The degree to which several measurements or calculations show the same or similar results.
Term
Unit
Definition
A standard quantity in terms of which other quantities may be expressed.