The 9 Step Engineering Process

The engineering process is the set of steps that engineers follow in order to design and build products. There are many different versions of the engineering process, with fewer or additional steps. However they all follow the same pattern. In this article we’ll review a 9-step engineering design process used by engineers to solve specific problems.

The first step in the engineering design process is to define the problem. This is a crucial step as failing to fully and clearly define the problem could result in delays later on in the design cycle. Often the solution to a particular issue will naturally appear in this stage. When students were asked to come up with a solution to attach their school lunch hooks to the bottoms of their desks, they came up a simple hook.

The next step is to perform an analysis of requirements to determine the specifics of the customer’s needs and the resources available. This allows you to prepare a clear list of the project’s requirements and limitations. For example when a client wants their new product to hold 20 pounds then the engineer will figure out how much weight the system can hold and what the hook’s size should be in order to ensure it can accommodate the entire student’s lunches.

The next step, also known as design synthesizing or design planning, is where the details are formulated and the specific design of the final product is designed. This stage involves the creation of the inputs and outputs of the various modules that make up the system, and their interconnections. Tools used in this phase include Gantt and Pert charts, resource loading spreadsheets sketchbooks, drawings, and prototype models.

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