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Tweaking Product Design and Development

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Design Tools & Methodology I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1556.1 - 22.1556.33



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Paper Authors


Bill Crockford P.E. Sam Houston State University

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He is a registered engineer in Texas. Work experience includes research on flexible pavement materials, design, manufacture and instrumentation of closed loop testing machines, remote sensing, aviation related positions, and a NASA/JSC Advanced Programs Office summer fellowship involving lunar base construction. He holds utility patents as sole inventor. His current work is with Industrial Technology students in construction, product design and manufacturing, and electronics programs.

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Bruce Hamby The Hamby Law Firm

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Bruce W. Hamby is a Registered Patent Attorney in the United States. He graduated from law school at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a J.D. and earned his B.S. in Professional Chemistry (with a Biology minor) at Sam Houston State University. Mr. Hamby has practiced law as both a transactional attorney and a litigation attorney in California and Texas; he can be reached at

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New faculty faced with preparation for a course in product design and development mustaddress a wide range of topics ranging from entrepreneurship to hard core engineering. Someresources available to the faculty are heavy on the business side of the problem and somewhatlighter on the technological and engineering side. To more effectively balance these topics,tweaking of available resources must be done. In general, these types of courses involve aproject that produces a 3D solid computer model of the product, or a physical prototype. Aninevitable consequence of this is that either existing products must be designed (actuallycopied) for the project, or intellectual property must be considered. This paper discusses threeareas of refinement to commonly available resources, two of which are technical in nature andone of which is entrepreneurial. They are: (1) enhancement of engineering considerations incomputer modeling, (2) emphasis on manufacturing with an eye toward restoring a competitiveNorth American manufacturing base, and (3) handling the issue of intellectual property wheninnovation is desired as part of the project.Students in Industrial Technology and Engineering Technology may not be exposed to the samelevel of mathematical rigor as straight discipline-specific Engineering majors. However, theyoften use the same tools as the Engineer once they are in the workforce. Industrial designstudents should understand some of the background and implications of their designs that cancome out of the design programs that their employer may require them to use in order to avoidthe problem of designing in a vacuum. We address this by going into some detail in two areasof usage of typical design programs such as SolidWorks: stress concentration and materialselection. While this can be done without the computer, it is most effective if a 3D program isavailable to all students and that program has the capability to do three things: modelassemblies, specify or select engineering material properties of the components, and performfinite element analyses.The North American manufacturing base was exported off-shore primarily in response torelatively short-sighted profit maximization considerations. This may actually turn out to havebeen a negative net present value approach when other factors of more long termconsequence are considered. Lean manufacturing (and modified versions thereof) andautomation are tools that can be used to help improve manufacturing competitiveness.In at least one well-known resource, the authors of the textbook say that they do not wish to bebound by the constraints of intellectual property management in a course. A key internalmotivator for students is that flicker of light when they have seen that they can do somethingthat is meaningful, possible, innovative and theirs. While one approach is to assign a project,and another is to limit the course to public domain prior art in an effort to avoid intellectualproperty issues, we find it to be a more effective student motivator to allow innovation thatcould result in valuable intellectual property for the student.

Crockford, B., & Hamby, B. (2011, June), Tweaking Product Design and Development Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18473

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