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From Idea to Prototyping A Hands-on, Engaging Undergraduate Design Experience

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.631.1 - 24.631.17



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Raviv Florida Atlantic University

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Anthony Radzins Florida Atlantic University

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From Idea to Prototyping A hands-on engaging undergraduate design experience This paper describes an undergraduate-level problem-based design project that relates toeasing a real annoying experience for most drivers: the speed bump. It focuses on an engaging,mentoring-based learning process from inception to prototyping, while bearing in mind aspectsof commercialization. The process starts with observation – an essential first step in problem solving – of whatwe take for granted, in this case, the solid, static, annoying speed bump. The next step isdiscussing and thinking critically, identifying pros and cons of existing solutions. It is followedby a more broad definition of the problem as a “vehicular speed reducer” instead of “speedbump,” focusing on the real problem. This is followed by a re-representation of the problem,performing inquiry-based focused research, thinking divergently to generate multiplealternatives, experimenting, testing, and evaluating multiple relevant solutions. In addition, non-technical aspects of the project were considered such as sustainability, commercialization, aswell as political and environmental friendliness. The problem with existing speed bumps is multi-faceted: they cause vehicle damage,driver discomfort, and interfere with emergency response vehicles just to name a few. Mostimportantly, the design of the speed bump has remained unchanged for over half a century, andfor the most part it is an ad-hoc design. Redefining the problem allows for innovative ideas toflow, taking off from the current inside-the-box thinking. Students who have been involved inthis on-going project have gained experience in multiple non-technical soft skills such ascommunication, time management, problem-solving, and the ability to benefit from constructivecriticism. The status of the project sits in the middle of testing our latest prototype which utilizessprings as a mechanism to make the speed bump more dynamic. The idea is to have themechanism impact fast vehicles while having no impact on vehicles abiding by the speed limit.

Raviv, D., & Radzins, A. (2014, June), From Idea to Prototyping A Hands-on, Engaging Undergraduate Design Experience Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20522

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