Abstract

Individual engineering design projects face different challenges depending on their scale. Instead of dealing with problems of complex multidisciplinary systems, small scale design must overcome issues of limited resources. The philosophy of agile software development has been highly successful in addressing similar issues in the software engineering realm over the past two decades. Through the design and prototyping of a low-budget desktop stereolithography printer, the application of agile principles to engineering design process is explored. The printer’s design is discussed in detail to provide examples of successes and failures when these agile principles are put into practice. The paper concludes with a discussion of how agile principles could be leveraged in engineering design. The approach taken in this paper is more of a longitudinal study of a single design process over a twelve-month period as opposed to rigorous experiments that engage multiple users in short design scenarios. Nonetheless, this case study demonstrates how the application of agile principles can inform, improve, and complement traditional engineering design processes.

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