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Prototype Partitioning Based on Requirement Flexibility

[+] Author Affiliations
R. E. Moe, Kristin L. Wood

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Daniel D. Jensen

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, CO

Paper No. DETC2004-57221, pp. 65-77; 13 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Prototype partitioning is an often-overlooked step in the product development process that has great potential for improving project success. This paper discusses the importance of applying a systematic prototype partitioning strategy to a product development project. Quite often, prototypes are chosen based on historical reasons, with the premise that requirements are rigid and inflexible. Alternatively, a method is proposed here for prescribing a partitioning strategy that is tailored to the specific characteristics of a project and is based upon the three components of requirement flexibility: cost, schedule, and performance. By considering the realistic flexibility in these requirements, strategic prototyping decisions may be made to promote the success of a development project. Three product development applications illustrate the proposed method: the Black & Decker SnakeLight™, a senior-level design project at the United State Air Force Academy, and the product development of a new umbrella concept based on compliant components.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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