Often a final design does not materialize in the first instance. It starts with basic idea generations and is carried forward for a detailed design and engineering at a later stage. At the forefront of preliminary designs is concept generation.
The preliminary design or basic design bridges the gap between conceptual ideas and the detailed design. Preliminary designs are necessary particularly in cases where the level of conceptualization achieved during ideation is not sufficient for a full evaluation. The preliminary design builds the basic platform on which further progress is made. They form the foundations based on the product brief and within the parameters of available resources.
The general guidelines to generate basic ideas may be based on the following:
1. Component Layout
Designs based on component layouts follow the adage “Form follows Function”. The enclosure is conceived around the component layout. Minor changes can be made from a human engineering point of view.
a. Layout based on functionality
b. Layout based on Functional Flow
Bag and Weigh Machine (IPA, Bangalore)
In this example, product design has followed the component layout. The chute height has been modified to suit the operator’s convenience.
c. Layout based on order of priority
In this case, loadcell is the most important part and is required to be centrally balanced. All other parts such as electronics, batteries are accommodated around the primary element.
d. Layout based on Visual Appeal
There are products sold mainly on visual appeal. It is the primary driving element in design. Industrial design explores this potential fully to promote the product.