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Principles of Mechanical Design for the Developing World: A Case Study Approach

[+] Author Affiliations
Adam J. Andersen, Charles Kim

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Paper No. DETC2011-48245, pp. 445-452; 8 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 37th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5482-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Designing appropriate technology is becoming more prevalent as engineers have begun to focus more of their attention on the developing world. However, many efforts have failed or been relatively unsuccessful due to design processes that do not focus on sustainability. One author has provided a solid framework by outlining mechanical design basic principles including design for simplicity, analysis of load paths, and use of prototypes. Yet these principles were not presented in a way that makes them applicable to sustainable projects in the developing world. In this paper, these three principles are investigated through two design case studies. The goal was to analyze how well these principles apply to the developing world and whether several hypothesized changes would also be useful. With the principles in mind, a bicycle trailer and taxi were designed for an impoverished community in rural Africa. Based on these designs, it was determined that the three principles analyzed apply to the developing world but should be refocused and presented differently in order to be utilized effectively for sustainability.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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