Using material exploration and model-making as an approach for the development of concepts in design project courses



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One of the most used methodologies for project development in engineering consists of starting with a market necessity, developing a concept, materializing it, and designing details in order to enter the productive phase. These stages go in hand with the selection of materials, which is done at the end of the design process phase. However, in some cases selecting the material at the beginning of the process can be a source of innovation in product development. This paper describes a methodology used in "Project II", a first-year Product Design Engineering (PDE) course at Universidad EAFIT in which students initially select and explore non-conventional materials for furniture and then, through scaled models, develop concepts, culminating in a final product. This exploration helps students approach materials intuitively, develop their own creativity and boost their learning process of the creation and development of new product concepts.


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