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THE MECHANICAL DESIGN PROCESS

The Mechanical Design Process has been used by thousands of engineering students and practitioners since 1992 to aid in developing quality, robust products. 

2019 by David G. Ullman

Mechanical Design Templates

In support of the text, The Mechanical Design Process, there are 25 templates.  Each is a Microsoft Word or Excel form that can be filled in to help fulfill a part of the product development process.

Many of these templates have form fields in them to make “filling in the blanks” easy. This includes Text Form Fields and Drop Down Form Fields.  You can edit and customize these fields to suit your needs..

Those templates marked with an asterisks (*) are Excel worksheets (5, 6, 13, 14, 18). They automatically calculate important design information.  Click on the template or example  to download it.

After you download what you want you have permission to share these with your students by any means you see fit.  You also have permission to modify them as long as you leave the attribution on each template. 

1. Product Decomposition

The goal is to dissect existing products to learn about how things are built. Additional rows can be added as needed. The example of the Irwin Clamp used here is also used in items 6 and 21 below. 

2. Team Contract

This is a blank form for teams to establish goals and performance expectations.

3. Meeting Minutes

This is a simple form for keeping meeting records. It has areas for the agenda, discussion, decisions made and action items.

4. Team Health Inventory

A questionnaire with seventeen questions to assess team health and room to add more items as needed.

5. * Design for Sustainability

This spreadsheet is based on the ECO-indicator 99 from FutureSME. There are four tabs. The first is an introduction with instructions. The second tab <Form> is the sustainability worksheet. . The third tab <Coffee pot> is an example. The remainder of the tabs are support information for the <Form>

6. * Plastics ID

This is an Excel spread sheet that can be used to identify the types of plastics used in products that are decomposed (see item 1).

7. Design Report

This is not a template but a guideline for an engineering design report with content borrowed from the EE Department at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

8. Product Proposal

This template has all the elements needed for the proposal for a new product. 

9.   Pro-Con Analysis

This template allows the easy listing Pro and Con factors for making a simple decision.

10. Project Planning

Project Planning requires the careful definition of tasks , their objectives, deliverables and assignment. This template encourages thinking each task through during the planning process.

11. SWOT

The “Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat” or SWOT analysis is widely used in business to evaluate situations. It is also useful in engineering design.

12. Technology Readiness

This is a simple analysis to determine the readiness of a technology for use in a product. A low “readiness” implies that the project is research and development rather than design.  A high readiness technology is product-ready.

13. *  Plastic part cost calculator

This spreadsheet allows the calculation of the cost to produce a plastic part. It is based on the combination of a number of models and includes such factors as material, size, complexity, surface finish, production volume, wall thickness and tolerance. It is fairly accurate and can give a good feel for the effect of design changes, but not intended for actual cost estimation.

14 .*  Machined part cost calculator

This spreadsheet allows the calculation of the cost to produce a machined metal part. It is based on the combination of a number of models and includes such factors as material, size, complexity, surface finish, production volume, tolerance, and machine tools needed. It is fairly accurate and can give a good feel for the effect of design changes, but not intended for actual cost estimation.

15. Morphology

A morphology is a basic method to develop new concepts from a basic understanding of the product functionality.

16. Voice of the Customer

This form helps in asking the right questions to understand what a customer might want in a product. It is a good starting place for QFD.

17. Reverse Engineering for Function Understanding

Reverse engineering is a method to understand how a product works. It is like product decomposition (Template 1) but with a focus on function.

18.* Personal Problem Solving Dimensions

This spreadsheet allows rapid identification of problem solving style

19. Test Report

This is a simple format to report the results of testing.

20. Make/Buy or Vendor Selection Decisions

This form can be used to help make decisions about which vendor to choose for a component or product. Alternatively "Vendor 1" and be the option to "Make" the item in-house and "Vendors 2-N" can be options to "Buy" the item from others.

21. DFAssy

This is a questionnaire that develops Design for Assembly (DFA) score. Since this is a relative score, it is only good for the comparison of two designs for the same product. The examples are for two designs for hand clamps.

22. FMEA

This Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) template helps organize the information needed for an FMEA study.

23. Bill of Materials (BOM)

This form is very useful in developing a BOM.

24. Engineering Change Notice (ECN)

This is a simple form for a change notice

25. Patent Specification

This form contains all the fields needed to write a patent prospectus.

26. System Design Assessment

Metrics for assessing the quality of systems engineering and development environment.