Assembly/Product Architecture and Product Contract Review

Last updated: Oct 24, 2020 at 4:52pm

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The assembly review is an important step on the way to success in your technical review.

The goal of the assembly milestone is to help your team develop a clear, detailed, and shared view of your overall product and its architecture. The lack of a good assembly model very often leads to many errors and a high degree of stress as the technical review approaches.

However, even when the team is working on the assembly model, it is critical to continue exploring design options and performing physical tests for high risk aspects of the design. That is, you should be working towards resolving your key technical challenges, as described in the technical review deliverable, at the same time that you are working on your assembly and product architecture model. You may show physical models at the assembly review.

The in-class review is intended to provide design feedback. The review will be held during class on the date indicated in the course scheduleExamples from prior years are on the right. You can also view assemblies from other years in the gallery (select a project and then the assembly tab). If you compare the assembly model to the technical review or final presentation gallery entry, you can see how dramatic changes may be based upon input from the assembly review. There is also an annotated example of an assembly review presentation and Q&A.


There are two primary deliverables for this review.

  • an assembly/product architecture model for your team's design. This portion must include at least the following:
    • a CAD model of your assembly:
      • if using Fusion 360 (recommended), a link to your web-viewable assembly
      • if using SolidWorks, a zip file containing your CAD files
    • user interaction storyboard
    • file that lists who-did-what and who-designed-what. Everyone should be accountable for some aspect of this deliverable that helps define your design. There is a significant piece for everyone to work on and everyone should contribute in some way. You may also work in pairs. Everyone should be involved in the design and/or modeling of the assembly. Modeling includes not only CAD modeling, but also making physical models, electronics models, mathematical models, user interaction models (e.g., storyboards) or other types of models. Design may include brainstorming, making design documents/specifications (e.g., product contract, user needs documents) and providing feedback on models.
    • between one and ten images (.jpg or .png) of your assembly. Please include images that reflect chosen views of the assembly or component that are particularly informative. You may also include technical design variations and renderings that depict product vision variants.
    • In addition to the specified files above, you may also include up to 10 additional files that may include electronics design/schematics, product testing plans, physical tests to validate design details, or other digital materials that help to define the product.
  • A product contract document, consisting of:
    • header with
      • description
      • value proposition
      • updated user persona
      • market
    • body with:
      • user needs, product attributes, engineering specifications

The product contract will be used as a baseline to evaluate the performance of your prototype during the technical review.

There are two deadlines. Your assembly files, including product contract, must be uploaded through the dashboard by midnight before the in-class review, as specified by the instructions below. Your team's presentation of the assembly work product will be held during class on the date indicated in the course schedule.

The assembly review contributes to a portion of your shared team-wide grade and all course instructors will participate in the evaluation during an in-class review. Your assembly grade will be the average of the scores assigned by the reviewers. In order to receive the the team grade for this milestone, you need to meaningfully contribute to the team's effort for this milestone.

The assembly/product architecture model will be evaluated based upon completeness and quality of design details. Each team member will need to model at least one part of the assembly or be responsible for another aspect of this deliverable (e.g., user interaction storyboards, electronics design/schematics) as described above!

The product contract will be evaluated based upon relevance and correctness of needs, attributes, and specifications.

Pre-review logistics

The assignment will be uploaded to your dashboard on the due date specified in the course schedule, prior to the in-class reviews.

Required items: descriptive .jpg or .png images that show complete assemblies from an informative viewpoint and product vision images; all of your native CAD files; a list of who modeled the different parts in the assembly; and a pdf version of your product contract. Also, when informative, include images of other materials documenting the design, as listed in the key elements discussion. The image of your team's assembly and your product contract will be made available on the course web site. Please limit the number of images to a maximum of 10 (fewer is just fine).

Please follow the instructions below carefully:

  • Designate a team member to submit the materials.
  • Prepare the files to be submitted using the naming convention below for your files (o.k. if file extension/format is different from example):
    • assembly.png for assembly image (number files if there is more than one and put them in an file; other image formats o.k.)
    • contract.pdf for product contract (other document formats o.k.)
    • who_did_what.txt for list of parts and who modeled them (other document formats o.k.)
    • for zip file containing all the CAD files (other archive formats o.k.)
    • if using Fusion, provide an internet link to the web viewer for your assembly
    • For additional files, please use descriptive names.
  • Use the dashboard to submit your files/information.

Laptop A/V Testing

Each team should signup for a time slot to test their presentation computer in 10-250. Three teams (one at a time) will test from 2-2:15pm and three teams will test from 2:15-2:30pm.

Model Drop-off

Teams may drop-off models by 10-250 between 2:30-2:45pm. Pappalardo will be open between 2:15-2:30pm for model pick-up.

Day-of Review Logistics

The review will be in 10-250 from 3-5PM on the date indicated in the course schedule. You will use your own computer for the presentation, so please bring video adapters as needed. You may also check with the TAs to see if we already have the adapter you need. 10-250 has both VGA and HDMI connections.

Each team will have a maximum of 10 minutes to present relevant aspects of their product contract and product assembly in class, using materials from the assembly/product contract assignment. If your actual design changes after you have uploaded it to the dashboard, please present your most current materials. You are also encouraged to show physical models that you have been working on during this phase.

The team should focus on explaining their design to obtain feedback and suggestions from the rest of the class. Please expect the review to be interactive.

The presentation order is:

Team Cue to leave for 10-250
Pink   Starts in 10-250
Purple   When Pink starts presenting
Yellow   When Pink is finished
Red   When Purple is finished
Blue   When Yellow is finished
Green   When Red is finished

Presenters will be entering 10-250 from the north (Bldg 13 side) doors and exiting from the south (Lobby 10 side) doors. The first team, Pink Team, starts in 10-250. When each team's cue to go to 10-250 happens, your presenters and Q&A people may leave the classroom and walk to 10-250. Please don't forget your presentation laptop! Your TA will let you know when to go. There will be signs around 10-250 directing you to the staging area. You'll be able to watch the livestream of the presentations in the staging area. After your team has finished its presentation, please leave your models along the railing by Lobby 10 and walk back to your team's classroom. Green team presenters and Q&A people should stay in 10-250 for the closing remarks.

Immediately after the assembly review, please send representatives from each team to bring your models back to the Pappalardo Lab.

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