The complexity of the engineering design





The objective of this assignment is to develop an understanding and appreciation for the complexity of the engineering design process, and to experience the thinking processes required by the reverse engineering design process. is the practice of analyzing a product to gain an understanding of how the product was originally produced with an eye to finding new and more efficient ways of production. The Engineering Design process entails “Synthesis” (combining various elements into an integrated whole), and “Analysis” (using mathematics, science, and engineering techniques to quantify the performance of various options). It also entails “Communication” (writing, drawing, and oral presentations), and “Implementation” (actually executing the design). The design process as it is applied to engineering then is the systematic, intelligent generation and evaluation of specifications for artifacts (products) whose form and function achieve stated objectives and .




This assignment can be accomplished by a group (no more than 3) of students turning in a single set of documents (the content should reflect a group effort). Select a manufactured product that can easily be disassembled. The product will be carefully disassembled into sub-assemblies (unit systems) and finally into individual parts. By the end of the week of the reverse engineering exercise, the student/group will have developed:


1. An annotated/illustrated/numbered parts list. The illustrations will be each part of a sub-assembly.


2. A written description of the function of the sub-assembly depicted above.


3. A complete parts list using format attached.


Reverse Engineering Design Stages:


Stage 1: Evaluation and Verification


1. For non-destructive disassembly, you will have to find a way to measure the parts inside the device to determine size, shape, and material.


2. To be able to remove the parts inside the device(destructive disassembly), screws, offsets, and switches will need to be removed. It is not necessary that the device function at the end of this exercise.


Stage 2: Technical Data Generation


3. Each part will be given a name related to its function, i.e. Integrated Circuit, switch, power supply, sensor, etc. These names will be used on the parts list.


4. Divide the parts into three groups. Try to make these parts groups roughly equally complex, and closely related.


5. Each member of thegroup will select, either by choice or random drawing, a parts group to illustrate.


Stage 3: Design Verification


6. Each person will create anIsometric sketch of his or her parts with a ghost of the connecting parts – in exploded relation. The sketch will show the parts in proportion with dimensions. The sketched parts will be named and numbered to match the . Each drawing will also be numbered. There may be more than one part on each drawing.


7. Each group will create a parts list of the entire device. The list will include the part name, part number, drawing number, material, size, and cost.


8. Each group will write a one-paragraph description of the operation of the device using the part names and numbers listed in the parts list and on each drawing.


Stage 4 – Design Implementation


9. (No Prototype & Testing)









(sample) PARTS LIST (sample)


Company _______________________Prepared by_____________________________







No.NameNo.UnitMaterialSize Cost


1050Motor Shaft10001Mach. Screw8-32×1.0 0.12



2200Coupler10031Plastic1/16 ID 1.42

Nylon Tube


3250Propeller10051Aluminum12 ga x 2″ 0.18



3251Prop hub10001Aluminum14″dia 0.18



3252Hull10001Styrofoam9x4x3 0.24



3253DC Motor10001″See Drawing 1000″ 4.99



3254Solar Cell10091″See Drawing 1009″ 5.99

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