Product Outline/Timeline

:open_mouth: I’m and Industrial Design major about to start my Senior Project this spring. I need to get a good detailed outline/timeline for a project start to finish for about 14 weeks. Starting with research and ending with a few finished concepts. If anyone has a good idea of each individual step it takes to complete the process, please post! Thanks.

As a senior you should know this by now. No offense but you should, this is what you have been doing for the last 3-4 yrs.

Though I do agree with the above comments that you should already know what steps need to happen…just not so rudely stated.

I would first select the product or problem you want to design for. Then write a program brief describing the problem, and what the final deliverables will need to be. Think of it as you are a client writing a brief for a contracted design firm. Use what ever requirements are built into the class as the starting point for the deliverable. It also is beneficial to work into the process consumer/user based research, even if it is only a simple questionnaire.

Also think of it a s a full time job for the next 14 weeks, dedicate a set number of hours each week to the program. This will help reduce the last minute rush, and make for a much smoother program.

If you truely do not know what steps are required, perhapse you should talk to your professor and/or purchase the ROI (Return on Innovation). will have more info on the book in the book section.

You’re right, and I do know the process by now. But having a detailed outline/timeline for 14 weeks is compressed product design, and I thought that maybe some people who have experience in the field would be better to ask for the details of the outline, as well and the deadlines with such time constraints.

I have a product idea in mind that will involve some research. What I’m looking for is detail, detail and more detail of what should be included. The more detail, and the more professional it looks, the better it looks in my portfolio.

Our Senior Projects are really on our own, without much professor help. However I do wish I had some sort of outline to go by to keep myself organized. If you have anymore help without the rude comments I would greatly appreciate it.

I wish i had 14 weeks for some projects

no wait…

I wish i had 14 days for some projects

Exactly what I was thinking.

14 my clients would expect funtional prototypes for certification and testing (UL/CE)

Initial Research
Competitive products
Consumer Perception/desire
Target User demographic
Downselect (3-5 concepts work best)
Consumer Concept Research
Downslelect to final concept and features
Final Refinement
Manufacturing/Functionality verification
Final design development detailing
Model development
Final Renderings
Concept Spec
Presentation Prep

Are you required to find a professional mentor or thesis sponsor? If not I would highly recomend it, otherwise the point of a senior thesis is lost…as you will have no real world exposure. What school are you from? What general market is the product for? PM me these answers if you would prefer.

I go to Towson University near Baltimore, MD. I’m being sponsored by Black and Decker/DeWALT where I have an internship. Thanks for the posting of an outline. I appreciate someone actually responding to the actual post. :unamused:

for powertools you need to define the power first since they have a range.

for intance a regular drill:

anything from 500W to 800W.

1- once the engineering gives you the analysis on the weight, size, proportion, material you start getting an idea of the shape.

2- you can do an study on ergo, then start on some concept 2d sketches that define the space.

3- you can take it into cad or use model shop equipment and create some forms, so you get an idea of the volume.

4- then rework the sketches/cad and redesign until you get various parameters in focus and in relation to the functions requird. ie a drill could just have one function , drilling, or it can do other things like hammer drill, toggle left/right, speed control. also attachments could be configured here.

5- start working with engineering on mold design

6- create parts / assemblies. this could be done in cad or illustrator (like ortho drawing)

7- initial presentation where you define colors, textures and other visual elements worked out and review them

8- ECO, material / cost analysis, and other refinements (mostly done by engineering)

9- initial finished model or prototype.

10- if everything works and the product has successfully integrated innovative design ideas with function ideas, then its job done. otherwise you can start over from any stage depending on where you have detected the failing process.

Actually the ergo report should include the max allowed weight, and the ideal use weight. This is the number one mistake most power tool manufactures make. I have worked with Dewalt, Rigid, and B&D and they are beginning to understand that if they want their tools to be truly ergo they will have to use lighter more $ components.

Best bet would be to use the ergo data to develop the ideal grip posture, then utilize rough volumetrics to compose the internal components to accommodate ergo specs as close as possible.

Then utilizing the internal component CAD of that configuration as underlays either by hand, Alias Sketch, Pro/Concept, or Painter develop the styling, material breakup and so on. Again focus on speed, quality of thought, and volume of concepts. This is still in the ideation phase so at least 20 quick clean concept sketches. (Should take no more than 6 hours of time 8 if doing a side view as well which I would suggest for some reason marketing there interprets this view the best)

Now prepare a presentation and review the concepts with your sponsor. Review the concepts with them detailing the concepts describing why each concept is the way it is by backing up your thought process and decisions with the ergo facts, and consumer/user data. “Science of design” stuff. Then call out your 3 concepts that best fulfill the requirements of the program, while introducing some new flair. If there is a discussion pertaining to cut and past of features, entertain it. If the suggestions sound reasonable explain you will explore the option, however is they will not work explain why. From this meeting obtain all information you need to refine the final 3 concepts.

All functionality such as hammer drill, rt/lft handedness, speed control, etc should have already been decided as they all play major factors in the ergo report and proper grip architecture. Consult any biomech or ergo PHD and they will agree.

Once you have the 3 refined, and color rendered, with supporting rough sketch mock ups go back to the consumers/users and document their thoughts, opinions, and reactions. Take this data back to the client/sponsor from this information convey to them which is the final direction and what modifications refinements you will be making during the concept finalization.

You should always be thinking about manufacturability of the products you design, however if the project call for “Concepts” then this would be bonus work and be beneficial as a portfolio addition. However, no need to actually have the bosses, ribs and drafting added at this point. You are still in phase 2.

Yes definitely include an exploded view of the product. This will allow engineering to preform an initial part count, as well as possible part consolidation through creative engineering. But not your concern just yet, and in most cases in the real world you will be a consultant to the engineering team or firm during that decision making process anyhow. Only in small firm posing as engineering firms, or small freelance operations will you actually be working on the “Production CAD” generally you will provide the “Envelope/Surface CAD”.

Agree, but always helps to inject the option of using bio-based plastics (corn, soy, etc.) as well as design for disassembly ideas. Designed in ways of a consumer easily removing and separating the recyclable from non-recyclable materials. IE most new computer cases are designed for easy strip-down and recycling of the plastic, steel and aluminum components while throwing the solid-state circuits away.

Signfoam or preferably REN painted and textured. For added realism mount the real tool (bit, blade, etc.)

Leave 2 weeks of time for this. As a student this is were issues always arise. Paint not curing in time, runs, someone touched it, etc.

While finishing the model prepare the final presentation, and get the rest you lost over the last 12 weeks. Good Luck

Well ergonomics might not play such a big part in what I would be working on. However, I do really appreciate everything you have written. I will look it over in more detail.
Although I know what must be done, it’s a lot more organized when each step is written out, which will allow me to organize my time. Anything else you think might help, please post.

First things first.

Do a detailed plan, and gant chart. For timeline start with the final presentation date and work forward adding all hard deadlines and each step within each phase. Try to locate a computer either friend or on campus that has MS project it will go much quicker or simply use a calendar and a not pad. Then stick to it.

The only problem I have is that there are no hard dates from my professor. It’s all decided by me, except for our final critique. Other than that, all dates are dependant on what I think is feasable… which is hard to say since this isn’t the only thing I’ll have going on, but I would like and “idea” of what is possible within that time.