Abstract

Demand is increasing for effective online tools to perform collaborative engineering design by geographically separated teams. In particular, tools that facilitate the concept ideation phase of the engineering design process are sought for immediate implementation in upcoming capstone engineering design courses. In this work researchers conducted a literature review, interviews with practicing engineers, and a thorough web search to identify available tools and the desired features and requirements. A set of 98 web-based collaborative tools were identified then filtered down to 18 candidates which met the minimum criteria. These 18 were systematically evaluated by the researchers who rated their satisfaction of eleven requirements. The five highest rated finalist platforms were more thoroughly tested by design teams who used the platforms in design sprint activities. Evaluator ratings and feedback were collected at multiple points and several best practices were discovered during testing. Conceptboard (www.conceptboard.com) received the highest evaluator ratings, with few negative comments, and is expected to be an effective tool for collaborative engineering design.

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