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An Engineer's Alphabet of Thoughts on Design

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Walter
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Silver
Aethetics
Walter   9/25/2012 7:00:15 PM
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I find that a design that looks better works better.  I don't know why but I suppose a good looking product is a sign of qualtiy

Greg M. Jung
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Platinum
ABC's
Greg M. Jung   5/18/2012 10:35:42 PM
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Great article.  Innovative memory tool to help us all remember 'what they don't teach you in school'.  (Pragmatic was a close second to Prototype on my list).

bobjengr
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An Engineer's Alphabet of Thoughts on Design
bobjengr   5/3/2012 8:12:18 PM
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These are excellent points and provide guidelines that serve as a checklist for engineers and designers.  I do think that we are aided today with solid modeling and computational methods that greatly shorten the design process, if used.   One of the most fascinating technologies now in practice is computational engineering.  This science combines engineering, mathematics and solid modeling to provide predictive solutions to designs that would generally require typical "cut and try" techniques.   If I were younger (maybe much younger) and had it to do all over again, I definitely would explore all of the options with this technology.  Bob Jackson, PE

Alexander Wolfe
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Blogger
Over-design
Alexander Wolfe   11/28/2011 2:43:38 PM
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I think the most salient definition is the one on over design: What overeating does to a person, over-designing does to a product.  The brilliance of Steve Jobs, who was not an engineer, is that he stood as a bulwark against overdesign. I suspect Apple's products will now suffer from overdesign as a consequence of his absence from the design process.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: R for REALITY
Charles Murray   11/18/2011 6:31:48 PM
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Ratsky: I couldn't agree more. Reality -- in the form of cost, longevity, reliability and ease of use -- are my keys to buying a product. In a sense, all of those could be traced back to cost, since unreliable products that wear out early tend to cost more in the long run.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Apple seems to meet this list well
Rob Spiegel   11/16/2011 2:42:42 PM
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The trick to Apple's success may be a simple as paying attention to the principles on this list. Apple's products pretty much tick off these considerations. Apple really hasn't come out with anything new, but they've done a great job of executing this list of engineering principles.

jmiller
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Platinum
Re: Importance of Appearance
jmiller   11/14/2011 10:40:10 PM
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I don't know if it counts toward looking attractive.  But often how tough a device looks has something to do as well.  The average consumer will shy away from a design that looks fragile, even if it can do the job.  If it looks flimsy it might now sell.

Ratsky
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Platinum
R for REALITY
Ratsky   11/11/2011 1:23:34 PM
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Reality is always at the very top of my list.  It includes so many of the other items as representing aspects of the real world of engineering and design.  Economics (costs and cost/benefit ratio), legal concerns, constraints of all kinds, recognition of the limits of models and simulations, market considerations, and so forth.  Dreaming is a starting point; implementation is where the rubber hits the road, and that will succeed only with an approach recognizing all of these real-world aspects.  This is one of the greatest shortcomings of engineering education today: students are not taught about the real world (neglect of so many fundamentals, especially physics and related areas like thermodynamics).

OhmsLaw
User Rank
Gold
S is for Standards and Specifications
OhmsLaw   11/10/2011 11:51:22 PM
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Although sketches are useful, it is perilous to begin a design with sketches before having created a full list of all the technical requirement Specifications. A design cannot be great unless it is Specified, Tested and validated against those Specs.  I would classify sketches under I for Imagination or R for Realization.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Over-design
William K.   11/10/2011 8:50:59 PM
Right On Baldrick. Neatness is certainly a sign of inability to do anything else worthwhile.

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