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Creative Design of Products and Systems

Creative Design of Products and Systems

Saeed B. Niku

ISBN: 978-0-470-47118-0

Feb 2009

608 pages


Product not available for purchase


This exciting, new text for is intended use in undergraduate engineering design methodology courses. Niku presents a cross-disciplinary approach to engineering design with a strong emphasis on creative thinking and problem-solving. Included are a large amount of end of chapter problems and numerous in-chapter creative problem-solving exercises. The material presented is appropriate for courses from the sophomore to senior level.

Topical coverage starts at the earliest step of ideation to the time the product will go to market. It introduces the designer to the practice of creative design by reviewing the mental barriers that prevent creative problem solving and design as well as ways to overcome these barriers. The text also covers design process, including Quality Function Deployment, Pugh matrix, and other related issues through mechanical, electrical, and architectural examples. By presenting a comprehensive, systematic approach to issues and factors that play a role in design, the text teaches the designer to understand the consequences of design decisions throughout the entire process, from when ideas are generated until the product or system goes to market. 

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Chapter 1: Creative Product and System Design.

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 What is Design?

1.3 What is a Creative Design?

1.4 Innovation versus Invention.

1.5 Globalization.

1.6 Teamwork.

1.7 That's Not My Job.

1.8 Project Scheduling and Management.



Part 1: Creativity and Design.

Chapter 2: Creative Mind.

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 Whole-Brain Thinking.

2.3 Creativity.

2.4 What Makes an Individual Creative?


Additional Reading.

Chapter 3: Reclaiming Your Creativity.

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Mental Barriers.

3.3 Types of Mental Barriers.

3.4 False Assumptions and Nonexistent Limitations.

3.5 Typical Solutions.

3.6 Making Things More Difficult Than They are: Being Overwhelmed.

3.7 Incomplete or Partial Information.

3.8 Information and Sensory Saturation.

3.9 Associative Thinking.

3.10 Misunderstandings.

3.11 Inability to Communicate Properly.

3.12 Emotions-, Culture-, and Environment-Related Barriers.

3.13 Fear of ... (You add the noun as you wish).

3.14 Orderly vs. Chaotic; Analysis vs. Synthesis.

3.15 Falling in Love With an Idea.

3.16 Improper Methods of Solution.

3.17 Overabundance of Resources.

3.18 Solutions and Related Mental Barriers for the Above-Mentioned Puzzles.


Design Projects.


Chapter 4: Creative Problem Solving Techniques.

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Brainstorming.

4.3 The 6-3-5 Method.

4.4 Morphological Attribute Lists (Menu Matrix).

4.5 List of Alternative Actions.

4.6 Analogy (Case-Based Reasoning) Method.

4.7 Random Attributes.

4.8 SCAMPER Method.

4.9 Create Your Own Slogans.

4.10 Asking Questions.

4.11 Incubation.

4.12 Synectics.

4.13 TRIZ.



Chapter 5: The Design Process.

5.1 Initial Benchmarking: A Design Project.

5.2 The Iterative Design Process.

5.3 Finding a Need or a Challenge.

5.4 Accepting the Challenge.

5.5 Initial Study: Analysis of the Requirements of a Design.

5.6 Quality Function Deployment (QFD), House of Quality.

5.7 Specifications and Design Requirements: Development of a Problem Statement.

5.8 Generation of Ideas.

5.9 Analysis and Selection of Ideas.

5.10 Analysis, Detail Design, and Planning of the Converged Solution.

5.11 Realization of the Ideas.

5.12 Assessment against Problem Statement and Verification.

5.13 Iterations.



Chapter 6: Imagination, Visualization, Graphical Representations and Communication.

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Imagination.

6.3 Drawing.

6.4 Engineering Drawings.

6.5 Realistic Drawings.

6.6 Perspectives and Location of Objects.

6.7 Determining Depth in Perspectives: Scale Factors.

6.8 Drawing Perspectives.

6.9 Sketching.

6.10 Put-it-in-the-Box Technique.

6.12 Answers.




Chapter 7: Design Considerations, Decisions, and Consequences.

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Cost.

7.3 Size.

7.4 Weight.

7.5 Material Selection.

7.6 Methods of Fabrication.

7.7 Physical and Structural Standards.

7.8 Functional Standards and Expectations.

7.9 Performance.

7.10 Efficiency.

7.11 Reliability.

7.12 Company Image and Mission.

7.13 Quality.

7.14 Serviceability.

7.15 Styling, Shape, Aesthetics, and Packaging.

7.16 Safety.

7.17 Human Factors.

7.18 Environmental Effects (On the Design and Caused by the Design).

7.19 Disposability.

7.20 Sustainability.

7.21 Assembly/Disassembly.

7.22 Life Expectancy.

7.23 Ethical Issues.

7.24 Patents and Other Intellectual Property.

7.25 Legal Matters.



Chapter 8: Human Factors in Design.

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Human-Machine Interface.

8.3 Anthropometric Data.

8.4 The Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR) Project.

8.5 Basic Applications of the Anthropometric Data.

8.6 Software-Based Application of the Anthropometric Data.

8.7 Inside-Out versus Outside-In Design.

8.8 Deficiencies and Shortcomings of Anthropometric Data.

8.9 What Can Be Done.

8.10 Left-Handed versus Right-Handed Users.

8.11 Sensory Information Exchange.

8.12 Human-Machine Interface.

8.13 Physical and Psychological Characteristics of Humans.

8.14 Visual Characteristics of Humans.

8.15 Auditory Characteristics of Humans.

8.16 Temperature and Humidity.

8.17 Acceleration Capabilities and Limitations.

8.18 Psychological Factors.

8.19 Human Factors and Safety.

8.20 Occupational Injuries.

8.21 Human Factors and Maintainability.



Chapter 9: Aesthetics of Design.

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Aesthetic Elements of Design.

9.3 Form and Function Relationship.

9.4 Lines.

9.5 Color.

9.6 Harmony, Unity.

9.7 Variety.

9.8 Balance.

9.9 Proportion.

9.10 Composition.

9.11 Style.

9.12 Art and Technology: A Reciprocal Relationship.



Chapter 10: Material Properties, Selection, and Processing.

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Material Properties.

10.3 Types of Materials.

10.4 Metals, Alloys.

10.5 Woods.

10.6 Plastics, Polymers, and Synthetic Materials.

10.7 Other Materials.

10.8 Material Selection.

10.9 Material Processing and Manufacturing.

10.10 Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA).

10.11 Design for Disassembly (DFD).

10.12 Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Computer Integrated (CTM).

10.13 Rapid Prototyping.

10.14 Lean Production.



Chapter 11: Economics of Design.

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 Value of a Product or System.

11.3 Global Economics Models.

11.4 Costs, Revenues, and Profits.

11.5 Cost Breakdown of Products and Systems.

11.6 Product Life Span.

11.7 Engineering Economy.



Chapter 12: Quality in Design.

12.1 Introduction.

12.2 Definition of Quality.

12.3 Historical Background.

12.4 Statistical Quality Control.

12.5 Tolerances.

12.6 What is Quality?

12.7 The Concept of Zero Defects.

12.8 Deming’s Principles.

12.9 Taguchi Methods.

12.10 Design of Experiments

12.11 Six-Sigma

12.12 Lean Production.



Chapter 13: Design and Product Liability.

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Product Liability: History and Background.

13.3 The Legal System of the United States.

13.4 Major Administrative Laws Related to Product Liability.

13.5 Some Basic Definitions of Terms.

13.6 Basic Theories of Product Liability Law.

13.7 Who May Be Held Liable.

13.8 Origins of Products Defects and Liability.

13.9 The Unreasonably Dangerous Product.

13.10 Reducing Product Liability Risk.

13.11 Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA).

13.12 Code of Ethics for Engineers.

13.13 Standards and Codes.

13.14 What Protection Does the Designer Have?



Chapter 14: Intellectual Property Protection: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights.

14.1 Introduction.

14.2 Patents.

14.3 What is a Patent?

14.4 Utility Patents.

14.5 Requirements for Utility Patents.

14.6 To Patent or not to Patent: That is the Question.

14.7 Process of Patenting.

14.8 Claims.

14.9 Application and Maintenance Fees.

14.10 Inference and Diligence.

14.11 Provisional Patent Application.

14.12 Infringement of Patents.

14.13 Patent Marking and Patent Pending.

14.14 International Patents.

14.15 Documentation and Record Keeping.

14.16 Licenses and Assignments.

14.17 Sample Patent.

14.18 Confidential Disclosure Statement.

14.19 Most Numerous Recent Patent Holders in the United States.

14.20 Bayh-Dole Act.

14.21 Design Patents.

14.22 Copyrights.

14.23 Trademarks.


Chapter 15: Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Innovation in a Global Business World.

15.3 Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur.

15.4 The Entrepreneurial Bridge.

15.5 Risks and Rewards.

15.6 Motivations and Objectives.

15.7 Should You Start a Business?

15.8 Market Research.

15.9 Business Plan.

15.10 Development of a Business Plan.

15.11 Presenting your Business Plan.

15.12 Legal Structure of a Business.

15.13 Financing your Entrepreneurship.

15.14 Execution of a Business Plan.

15.15 End Game Planning.



Chapter 16: Design Analysis of Machine Components.

16.1 Introduction.

16.2 Loads: Forces, Moments.

16.3 Free-Body Diagrams.

16.4 Stresses, Strains, Material Strengths.

16.5 Stress Analysis.

16.6 Stress vs. Strength: Safety Factors.

16.7 Design for Strength vs. Design for Strain.

16.8 Stress Concentrations.

16.9 Fatigue Analysis.

16.10 Selection of Power Sources and Actuators.

16.11 Selection of Actuators.

16.12 Design Project.




  • Comprehensive integration of all aspects of design into one volume without the need for multiple resources.
  • Covers creativity in design: creativity is an extremely important factor in the design of products and systems. The book covers creativity and the role of mental barriers in detail, demonstrated through puzzles, with many exercises and examples.
  • Covers all related subjects from ideation to market, including both subjective issues such as imagination and creativity as well as the important matters of safety, liability, intellectual property, quality, and economics
  • Multidisciplinary: assumes that the designer may be any type of engineering or non-engineering designer. Examples draw from engineering braches such as mechanical and electrical, but also from non-engineering fields such as architecture, and food science.
  • Can be used as undergraduate or graduate design textbook