AQA Product Design PROD3

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Major Developments in Technology

How and Why do products change overtime?

Products change and adapt overtime in order to improve the current flows in the product. Also as time develops better methods and materials are developed. As well as materials chaging over time; desgin also changes.

- Market pull: higher demand

-Technological push: newer technologies

-Obsolesence: become outdated as trends change overtime/ break planned obsolesence.

- Orginality: seeng a gap in the market 

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The development of the radio

1930 (first radio)

  • devloped in the 1930's
  • handcrafted casing
  • electronic components
  • more components needed
  • larger space between them to avoid overheating
  • more needed due to high customer demand
  • expensive
  • heavy


  • newly developed plastics- bakelite (thermoset glossy plastics)
  • transistor cirucis need less power
  • reduction of size and mount of components
  • birth of printe circuit boards
  • ligher and more portable
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The development of the radio part 2


  • imitation materials- i.e. leatherette, wood veneers
  • improved sound qaulity 
  • thermoplastics- ABS used for casing
  • injection moulding was developed in the 1960's
  • ergonomic features improved- buttons easy to handle
  • aesthectics- intoduction of 'retro' and blcok colours
  • became smaller



  • Graphiclal user interfce (GUI screen)
  • LEDs and LCDs
  • adjusters- base, trebble
  • mulitfuntion- CD, MP3, recorder

The way we listen to music has changed: vinyl - cassette tapes- CD- file sharing- mini disc (not that popular)- downloads i.e. iTunes

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The impact of ICT

There are four aresas where information and cmmunication technology has had a mor impact:

1) change from mechanics and electronics

2) miniaturisation

3) digitalisation 

4) developments in software

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The impact of ICT: reasons 1 + 2

1) Change from mechanics to electronics

Moving parts have been replaced by soild state componentd i.e. phone now have pish buttons instead of rotating dials. This means that fewer parts have to be replaced as movng part are subject to wear and tear.

2) Miniatursation:

The creation of ever-smaller scales for mechanical, optical and electronic products and devices. Items which take up less space are more desires than items which are bigger and bulkier, because they are easier to carry, store and are more convient.

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The impact of ICT: reasons 3 + 4

3) Digitalisation

The switich from analogue sysytmes as made ICT products more efficent. Information is represented as a series of 0 and 1's. Microprocessors can read this information in a millionth of a second. It can be transmitted electronically and reassembled at its destination with no loss of data.

4) Software:

Spftware enables programs to be written to perfrom tasks for the user. These prorams can be modified to meet the needs of the individual user i.e. control software used in artifical limbs can be adjusted to alter speed and movement.

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The impact of ICT: reasons 3 + 4

3) Digitalisation

The switich from analogue sysytmes as made ICT products more efficent. Information is represented as a series of 0 and 1's. Microprocessors can read this information in a millionth of a second. It can be transmitted electronically and reassembled at its destination with no loss of data.

4) Software:

Spftware enables programs to be written to perfrom tasks for the user. These prorams can be modified to meet the needs of the individual user i.e. control software used in artifical limbs can be adjusted to alter speed and movement.

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Intelligent systems and interlinked products

Microchips in products has allowed them to be programmed and controlled. This is established in many products such as DVD recorders, washing machines. Appliances such as these can exchange information and respond. Wireless connection systems are used in phones via infra-red or bluetooth, can be used to transfer data or act as a GPS navigation aid.

Transactions can be made via the internet i.e. computers can send and recieve information via email, music and video can be downloaded played an edited.

Today many products are mulitfunctional. Mobiles now-a-days are not just just used for voice comminication, they are used to take photographers, play videos, games, text, email and have access to the internet. Wireless connection allows the phone to transmit data to and from computers can be used in public places on wireless networks. This advancements have created the freedom to work and exchange information anywhere, even on the move.

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ICT and The Internet

The internet was developed from US military research in the 1950/60's in order to devise a computer system that could maintain communication in the event of a nuclear missle attack. This early work enabled the development of email and confeencing systems. A source code that allows infromaton to be shared and has allowed the internet to become a source of mss communiction. 

The web is the 'public face' of the internet. The internet was invented by Sir Tim Berners- Lee in 1989 (british). He was working in Geneva at the time as hs role was to communcat with  a large nubmber of scientists working on different projects. They all needed to access complex informtion on a range of subjects and projects. He designed a searchable network that alowed any user to access data using searches, allowing documents to be found and stored on other severs/ neworks.

There are now over 600 million internet users worldwide.

There are 20 million users in th UK alone.

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Radio frequency identification tags (RFID)

They are electronic tags that can be attached to products, containing information about the product such as its ingredients, price,batch number, date manufacture and use by. RFID have three main components:

  • The tag contains an electronic circuit and antenna. The tag stores information and act as a transponder, sending information when scanned,
  • The reader sends a signal to the tag, recieving the information.
  • A compter databse receives the information from th reader and processes it.

They are available in two forms, active and passive. Active tags have their own power supply and the information they store can be modified and transmitted.

RIFD tags are commonly used for stock control. They are used to control the flow of components and products as they move through a factory to a store room and then on to dispatch. They are also used on smart shelvs to read tha tags as the porduct is taken from the shelf re-ordering the product when neccessary. 

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Advantages of RFID

  • They are more robust than barcodes
  • Can withstand rain
  • Hard to damage
  • Even when damaged they still function
  • Can be scanned from far way, does not have to be in direct sight.
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Fluidic Self Assembly

FSA is a new manuacturing technique developed to manufacture very smal inregrated circuits like those used for RFID's n a large scale low cost basis.

1) Nano blocks (tiny cirucits) are floated in suspension liquid.

2) The substrare is spread with the suspension liquid, the substrate has holes in which match the shape of the circuits.

3) These settle an self-allign into holes making the electricl connection.

This technique allows accurate placement onf nanoblocks. This is also a possible way to manufacture flat screens for TV's, PC's and ect.

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Nanotechnology is the manipulation and rearrangement of individual atoms to create useful materials, systems and devices.

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Design and Market influences - Glulam


  • Glued laminated timber- layers glued together
  • Small peices glued together = high strength
  • 2/3 weight of steel
  • 1/3 weight of concrete
  • structual usues - commerical public places
  • Very light
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Design and Market influences - Kevlar


  • Bulletproof material 
  • Absorbs the energy from the acting force i.e. like a football goal absorbs the energy from the football
  • high impact resistance
  • good weight to strength ratio
  • light weight
  • waterproof
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Design and Market influences - CRP + GRP


  • Both manufactured by using the process of laying up.


  • Used commonly in F1 cars and Tennis Rackets.


  • Used commonly for boats and airplanes.
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Design and Market influences - PCM

Precious Clay Metal (PCM):

  • Clay with small metal particles
  • Malleable - can be moulded by hand
  • Once fired in an oven clay turns into solid metal
  • Used to manufacture jewellery 
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Design and Market influences - Titanium


  • low density
  • strong- resists dents and fractures
  • corrosive resistant - dosnt react to bodily fluids
  • used for fixing plates and bones.
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Design and Market influences - Metal foam

Metal foam:

  • soild metal (noramally aluminium) containing large gas filled pores
  • Bone repairs- hole drilled into bone and metal foam inserted
  • Bone grows into the foam, forming a permenant connection
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Design and Market influences - Coated metals

Coated metals:

  • PET coated aluminium
  • used for drins cans
  • less risk of contamination
  • coats inside of can- prevents metallic taste.

Probelm:  cant be recycled- difficult to seperate

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Product Testing


  • Make sure the product meets its purpose
  • saftey of user and product

There are two types of testing:

1) Destructive

2) Non-destructive

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Destructive testing

Destructive testing:

  • Hardness
  • Tensile
  • Wear resistance
  • Fatigue
  • Impact

Hard- Resistance to abrasive wear, indentation and deformation

Strong- Can withstand blows

Tough- Resistance to fractures and wear and tear

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Hardness tests

Brunell test:

  • Hardened steel ball is forced into the materials surface, using the appropriate force
  • Indent is measures (diameter X height) to guve a hardness number
  • used to testing floors

Victers test:

  • Uses a diamond shaped pryrmid to indent material
  • Indent is measured to give a hardness number

Tensile testing:

  • rubber tyres
  • ropes attached to each end
  • firbres from fabrics 
  • tensile= stretching
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Hardness tests 2

Impact testing:

  • Measure toughness (resistance to fracture)

Wear resistance:

  • sample to be tested is weighed 
  • it is rubbed with an abrasive
  • then it is re-weighed to see how much has been erroded
  • used to test car brakes

Fatigue testing:

  • Tests for wear and tear
  • e.g. tyres spinning on a simualted road surface to check for damage
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Non-destructive testing

  • Surface crack detection
  • Magnetic testing
  • Acid pickling
  • Internal defect detection 
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Non-destructive tests

Surface crack detection:

  • sound and touch- a bell cannot ring is cracked
  • liquid penetrant - sprayed onto the surface of product, leaving penetrant showing in cracks. Used for testing car windscreens

Magnetic testing:

  • Tested by using iron particles
  • 'Breaks' in the prticles highlight defects
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Non-destructive tests 2

Internal surface detection:

  • xrays- checkin for bubbles in rubber products. Used to check for air bubbles in casting
  • Ultrasonic- prease detection for the defets in aircrafts and pipelines

Acid pickling:

  • used for metal products, which are pickled in a week solution to remvoe oxide layer
  • surafce cracks show more clearly.
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Design and Market influences - Client ,designer +


  • Individual/ group identifies gap in the market= product development
  • Will commission designer for design/ developed product


  • Individual/ group who works for a client
  • Develop breif and specification
  • Can include marketing
  • Will liaise with client and toher departments to manage the project 


  • Will design 'craft' workers i.e. costume makers, jewellery makers
  • small scale production
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Design and Market influences - Maker + User


  • Will manufacture product that has been designed 
  • could be apart of the clients company or independent set-up
  • Rise of internet= global maufacturing
  • Outsouring manufacture to other countries
  • Cheap raw materials
  • Cheap labour
  • Availibilty of equiptment 


  • End user of product
  • Target concumer set by marketing department within a large company
  • market research
  • Focus groups
  • Product testers
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The marketing mix- developing brief and specificat

  • product 
  • price
  • place
  • promotion
  • purchasing process
  • physical evidence
  • properties
  • pleasure
  • people
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How designing starts

  • Constructive discontent - James Dyson
  • Make money- Disposable razor
  • Help others- Trever Bayliss developed a wind up radio to spread awareness of HIV
  • Science and tecnology- laser was developed after ww2 and is used for CD players
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The design process

  • Problem
  • Design brief
  • Specification
  • Anaylysis
  • Research
  • Ideas
  • Development 
  • Manuacture 
  • Testing 
  • Evaluation
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Research techniques

  • Survey
  • Observation of people in their environment
  • usabilty labs- simulated evironment
  • Bodystorming- putting yourself into the users shoes
  • Exsiting designs analysis
  • Database searches - prices
  • Field Testing
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Generation of ideas

  • Chance - Cats eye, Velcro
  • Insight- bouncing bomb
  • bisocation 
  • Adoptation
  • Trasfer- laser and CD technology
  • Analogy- bird= planes
  • Combination 
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many spelling errors present and some inaccurate information

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