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Prototype Design and Product Development:

Chapter 1
• Engineering design process
• Product prototyping
• New Product development
• Virtual and virtual reality prototyping
• Rapid prototyping
• Modelling of physical systems
Duties of a Designer….
• Plan out their creation, often to a high degree of detail, before starting to
make it. This approach gives them a roadmap to follow toward a clearly
defined goal.

• There may be changes made to the design as implementation progresses (in

fact, it’s almost inevitable), but by and large, their implementation efforts
follow the pre-defined plan.

• The end result is usually more refined, more robust, and better-suited to its
purpose than something that is simply “made.”

• Designers must know enough about what to do, how to do it, and what the
results are likely to be that they are able to chart their entire course before
setting off.
Duties of an Engineer….

• Engineers also plan beyond the implementation to consider mass

production and maintenance needs, stress, environmental effects and wear-
and-tear, cost to produce and to maintain, and a host of other factors that
may not affect form or function but do affect practicality.
• Evaluating the design against these factors takes both technical knowledge
and mathematical analysis.
• Should be trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of a
system or machine.
• Needs to be well experienced in language arts, as well as math and science.
• A series of steps that
engineers use to guide them
as they solve product’s
• It is cyclical process and
move back and forth between
Innovation vs. Invention

Invention Innovation
A device or process originated A new improvement to an
after study and experiment existing device or process



Improve problem
& goal

Create and test Research


Choose a Possible
solution solutions
Define problem and goal

• Identify and describe the

issue and the ultimate

• Consider:
– Are there any limitations?
– What are the requirements?
– What do you want to
– Who is the customer?
• Gather information and investigate existing technologies
related to the problem.
• Talk to individuals who share this problem and could benefit
from possible solutions.
Imagine possible solutions
• Be open-minded!
• Brainstorm ideas.
• Be creative and build upon the ideas of others.
• Explore and compare many possible designs within your group.
Choose a solution
• What materials and tools are needed?
• Consider environmental, cultural, time, and financial issues and
• Select the most feasible idea and assign team tasks.

Create & test prototype
• Build a prototype
Prototype - an operating/visual version of a solution. It is often
made with different materials (cheaper and easier to work with)
than the final version. They allow you to test your solution and
supply feedback.
• Push yourself for creativity, imagination, and excellence in

• Share results and continue to seek

how your team could make the
solution better.
• Iterate your design to make the
product the best it can be.
Repeat an already completed task
to incorporate new information
What is a prototype?
• For users to effectively evaluate the design of an interactive
product, designers must produce an interactive version of their
ideas, this activity is called prototyping.
• It can be in physical, animation or written/drawn form.
• In design fields, a prototype is a small-scale model:
– a miniature car
– a model of a building
• In interaction design, it can be
– a series of sketches
– a PowerPoint slide show
– a video simulating the use of a system
– a lump of wood
– a cardboard model
– a piece of software with limited functionality
Modes of prototyping
One-shot: The design team builds and tests only one prototype,
consistently with a “do it right the first time” philosophy.

Sequential: The design team builds and tests one prototype each
period, for as many periods as are necessary to achieve a “good
enough” design.

Parallel: The design team builds and tests multiple prototypes in a

single period, then chooses the most profitable one.

Hybrid: The design team builds and tests multiple prototypes each
period, for as many periods as are necessary to achieve a “good
enough” design.
Why prototype..?
• Evaluation and feedback:
Allows stakeholders to interact with a planned product, to gain some
experience of using it in realistic settings and to explore imagined

• Communication among team members:

Clarifies vague requirements

• Validation of design ideas:

Test out the technical feasibility of an idea

• Choosing between alternatives:

Provides multiple designs for the application
Impact of prototyping
• It helps in finding out the suitable material, manufacturing system
and thrust market for the finally manufactured part.
• It helps in design and force analysis before starting manufacturing.
• It helps in claiming how the new design or part is different and
superior to existing.
• It helps in collecting the viewpoints of the consumers.
• It helps in capturing the financial support from the banks and other
Product Prototyping
• Design fidelity refers to level of details and
functionality included in a Prototype.
• Fidelity can vary in interactivity, visuals,
contents and commands and other areas.
• There are two types of prototyping:
• Low-fidelity (Lo-Fi) Prototyping
• High-fidelity prototyping
Low-fidelity (Lo-Fi) Prototyping

• Does not look very much like the final product.

• Uses materials that are very different from the intended final
version, such as paper and cardboard rather than electronic screens
and metal.
• Used during early stages of development.
• Economic and easy to modify so they support the exploration of
alternative designs and ideas.
• It is never intended to be integrated into the final system. They are
for exploration only.
Examples of Low-fidelity prototyping

• Storyboards
• Sketching
• Index cards
• ‘Wizard of Oz’

▪ Originally from film, used to get the idea of a scene.

▪ Snapshots of the interface at particular points in the
▪ Series of sketches
▪ shows how a user can perform a task using the device
▪ Often used with scenarios
▪ brings more detail to the written scenario
▪ offers stakeholders a chance to role play with the prototype, by
stepping through the scenario
Storyboard example 1

• Drawing skills are not critical

– symbols to indicate tasks, activities, objects
– flowcharts for time-related issues
– block diagrams for functional components
Sketching example
Index cards

• Small cards (3×5 inches)

• Each card represents one screen
– multiple screens can be shown easily on a table or the wall
• Thread or lines can indicate relationships between
screens like
– sequence
– hyperlinks
• Often used in website development
Index card example (screen 1)
Screen 2 (next index card)
‘Wizard-of-Oz’ prototyping
• Simulated interaction
The user thinks they are interacting with a computer, but a
developer is providing output rather than the system.


>Do this
High-fidelity prototyping

• Choice of materials and methods..

– similar or identical to the ones in the final product
• Looks more like the final system..
– appearance, not functionality
• Common development environments..
– Manufacturing systems,
– Web development tools
• Misinformed user expectations..
– users may think they have a full system

Prototype Advantages Disadvantages

Low-fidelity - low developmental cost - limited error checking -
prototype - evaluate multiple design navigational and flow
concepts limitations

High-fidelity - fully interactive - more expensive to develop

prototype - look and feel of final - time consuming to build
product - developers are reluctant to
- clearly defines change something they have
navigational scheme crafted for hours
Before Production.…
• Creation of/or locating the manufacturing facilities for the final
– based on experiences and feedback gathered from the prototypes.
• Development philosophy:
– evolutionary prototyping: involves evolving a prototype into the
final product.
– throw-away prototyping: used as a stepping stone towards final
design. Prototypes are thrown away.
• Although prototypes have undergone extensive user evaluation the
final product still has to be subjected to rigorous quality testing for
the following:
– reliability, robustness, maintainability, integrity, transferability,
New Product Development (while
• Once prototype gets finalized, the production can be started.
• For the NPD process, four elements of the environment can be defined
to be more important, and these are:
Customers and their size,
Competitors and
• New product development cannot be managed successfully without a
clear understanding of customers and their changing needs
• Firms must become adept at not only identifying customer needs, but
also at anticipating needs that customers themselves find difficult
New Product Development (while
• Apart from understanding the customer, NPD teams need to stay up-to-
date of advances being made in technology and by competitors.
• Keeping a tab on research being conducted by competitors is one of the
mainstays of competitive intelligence. This can be tackled through
reverse engineering.
• And, finally, suppliers represent a strategic resource that should be
carefully integrated into the new product development process.
• Suppliers are valuable sources of input at all stages from idea
generation to designing and engineering.
New Product Development (while making)
• One of the many concerns that entrepreneurs face is whether to
outsource the production or complete the entire process in-house.
• If you can find suppliers who can manufacture the products to the exact
specifications, outsourcing the production can be a good idea.
• However, hiring multiple suppliers could create inconsistencies in the
quality of the product.
• The products may not be perfect the first time they are manufactured.
Therefore, it is important to test the products before launching those
in the market.
• You would need to find a unique selling differential for your product and
allow customers to try the products to find out whether the benefits you
think your product provides match their requirements.
• Conducting surveys on focus groups post their usage of the products can
help reveal more benefits of the products and identify a few issues with
• You can utilize this feedback to improve your product.
Virtual prototyping in product
• Industry’s adoption of virtual prototyping (VP), sometimes referred to
as ‘digital prototyping’ or ‘virtual modelling’, has been stimulated by
interest in simulation and computer modelling techniques.
• The convergence of technologies such as: simulation, computer aided
design (CAD) and virtual reality (VR) have enabled the development
of accessible, low cost, user-friendly VP systems.
• These VP tools are increasingly being viewed as the next generation
of computerized design systems.
• An evolution of CAD, they have proven themselves in applications
across a wide range of industries.
• Ultimately, discrete VP tools and CAD systems with integrated digital
prototyping capabilities serve to demonstrate that the technology is
Virtual prototyping in product development
Virtual prototyping is a software-based engineering discipline that
entails modelling a mechanical system, simulating and visualizing its
3D-motion behavior, and refining/optimizing the design through
iterative design studies prior to building the first physical prototype.
Virtual prototyping in product
• VP system examples:
Virtual reality in product development
• The term virtual reality is used to describe the simulation and
construction, through the use of computers, of virtual environments
in which users can immerse themselves and experience sensory
feedback: VR conveys a sense of ‘being-there’.
• There are essential three forms of VR technology – immersive,
projection and desktop VR.
• In the past few years, the use of large headsets within immersive VR
has given way to more portable and comfortable visors capable of
displaying the three dimensional information and continually falling
in cost.
• Operating alongside immersive VR is projection VR, which involves
displaying model/product data in computers.
• However, the biggest innovation has been in the area of desktop VR.
The growth of the personal computer industry and the phenomenal
increase in computer processing power has enabled desktop
computers to cope with the intensive mathematical calculations.
Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies in product
• Rapid prototyping is an automated process that quickly builds
physical prototypes from 3D CAD files composed of surface quality
or solid models.
• Any manufacturing process can be classified as either subtractive or
additive. Every manufacturing process either falls completely into
one of these categories, or is a hybrid process falling into more than
• These processes produce objects by addition of material on a layer-
by-layer basis while in case of conventional methods which do so by
removal of materials. Rapid prototyping develops in last few decades
and these can be classified in different processes some of which are
stereo lithography (SL), selective laser sintering (SLS), laminated
object manufacturing (LOM), fused deposition model (FDM), direct
shell production (DSP), 3D Printing.
• Using these technologies, manufacturing time for parts of virtually
any complexity is measured in hours instead of days, weeks, or
Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies in product
• There are several reasons for implementing rapid prototyping in
product development like rapid response to market demand and
market changes, reduced manufacturing lead time, reduced cost of
operation, customer satisfaction, improved business performance,
minimize sustaining changes, increased product lifetime etc.
• A concise review about some of these factors is being explained as
Time and cost saving
Reduced Waste
Rapid Prototyping allows corrections
Laboratory testing
Modelling of physical systems
• The purpose of the modelling is to achieve desired system behavior.
• A model can be a physical object such as an architectural model of
a building.
Procedure for modeling of physical systems