This paper presents a study conducted to investigate how structural design process performed by industrial design engineering trainees unfolds. The focus was specifically on structural design of industrial design engineering products, a class of consumer durables designed to endure short and long term regular usage by human beings. The study consisted of a questionnaire survey and interviews, as well as observation of structural design processes. One hundred and eighty two subjects participated in the questionnaire survey. The study gave us some clues on how structural design processes proceed in real life and on how a formal method for structural design may ideally be structured. Furthermore, the results of this study suggest that it is not always important to follow a strictly structured order in executing certain structural design activities. Specifically, sequential execution of the mid-way activities of materials selection, process selection and engineering analysis is somewhat impractical. A linear-cyclic structural design procedural process model is composed based on the findings of the investigation. However, since the study involved only a handful of selected structural design processes, we cannot draw out definitive conclusions regarding the applicability of the composed process model or suggest how strict the process steps must be adhered to. Further studies are needed to verify the validity of the findings of this investigation.

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