Creating a design for your project should be seen as being much more than just sketching down and using the first solid idea that comes that comes to mind and satisfies the design brief.                                                                                                                                                               

Design should essentially be seen as a process in which the input is the problem and the output (in this case your modelled artefact) is the solution. This process involves breaking down thw brief and analysing it so that the parameters of the intended product can understood. Ideas are then formulated and constantly evaluated; being brought back to the drawing board so that the design may be in some way be improved; either in function, costs or aesthetics.

The following section looks at the design process as it applies to professional design teams but it is by no means irrelevent to Leaving Cert students.

The purpose of any design department is to ctreate a product that not only will function efficiently but will also be a financial success. It has been estimated that 70-80 percent of the cost of product development and manufacture is determined during the design stages. This means that it is during these stages that a project goes through the most evaluation.

1. Problem identification: First, a clear statement of the need for and objectives for the design design must be written.

2. Ideation: Technical sketches are often used to convey concepts to multidisciplinary teams.

3. Refinement/Analysis: Designs may be rethought, based on engineering analysis. CAD models and sketches are useful during the analysis and compromise stage. Accurate 2D or 3D CAD models and drawings are created to refine the design.

4. Implementation/documentation: Production and/or working drawings providing the details of manufacture and assembly are finalized and approved.

Throughout any of these stages though it might become neccesary to return to a previous stage and repeat the process. This can be due to new information, an unforseen fault that does not appear until prototyping or just a new request from the client. This is known as looping. From the point of view of the DCG Assignment "looping" can be very beneficial as it shows the examiner that you are willing to self-evaluate and refine your work in order to improve the overall product. That is why it is also important to catalogue all sketches as evidence of this looping. 

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