The new Higher Level Unit – Commercial Production and also the new elements of the project “Development of a detailed design” through the bullet points below can raise worries amongst us as teachers of the Design Technology syllabus simply because this level of analysis, know how and design regarding manufacture often comes much later in a students design understanding and knowledge. So to teach these areas well enough – to show the importance and level of detail necessary for design for manufacture can be daunting.

  • Develop the design to take into account the choice of materials, components and manufacturing techniques.
  • Use appropriate techniques and methods to finalize the details of the design (CAD, hand drawn, paper/card models)
  • Develop designs to sufficient detail for a third party to be able to interpret them correctly
  • Include details such as sizes, materials, components, assembly and production methods etc.

One way is to show examples of the process that a designer / design company goes through to get a product through from initial ideas all the way through  the process of design, beta testing and modelling to final designs and manufacture – and eventual marketing and sale. But finding these and contemporary examples is not always easy and often companies are unwilling to show too much of their process. So I have found Kickstarter a wonderful and rich resource for showing students a timeline of the process a company goes through. All kickstarter projects (some better than others) go through a process and timeline of showing their idea to selling and then developing their idea – often with amazing detail in the manufacturing area. Two examples are shown below –

LaMetric Customisable Ticker - Courtesy of Kickstarter

LaMetric Customisable Ticker


Aluminium Casting Sections

Aluminium Casting Sections

Have fun finding others – and as you know it is a great resource for students not only for this part of the project, but beyond in terms of ideas and creative thought. Who knows – your students may even Kickstart a project that becomes successful themselves. One of my ex students from the Lancaster School in Mexico – ddi just that with his Steamy Chums designs and products.