The project workflow is illustrated below! The abbreviated process this term leading to a functional alpha prototype is delineated by six major milestones: the ideas presentation; the sketch model review; final concept selection; the assembly drawing and product contract; the technical review; and the final presentation.
A team is comprised of two lab sections that initially work in cooperative competition to generate design alternatives. The team works in full cooperation only after the sketch model review. Cooperative competition means the two sections will work in parallel, sharing information and coordinating resources as appropriate, but they will also develop their initial ideas independently. This is an effective way to ensure that a diverse range of ideas are investigated – rigor in breadth. The approach increases the likelihood that there is a very strong single concept to select after the sketch model review, and it also allows students practice managing a smaller group (~8) before working as a larger team.