A Design Repository as a Resource for Biomedical Engineering Students
Robert Allen, Artin A. Shoukas, and William Tam, Johns Hopkins University
We report on the design and development of a design repository (DR) for use in a set of biomedical engineering design courses, which was initiated in the fall of 1998. Over the last six years, students have developed over forty projects, ranging from custom devices for the handicapped to patent-pending medical devices with clinical application. The DR system captures function, form, and rationale of existing project designs so future students have access to information concerning the projects of their predecessors. Similar to traditional databases, the system stores data and drawings of projects produced; however, in addition to this information, the DR also captures the rationale behind each of these design products. The DR has two main components, the database and the user interface. Students use the Web-enabled DR to search existing projects, and to search for similar functions in different projects. This serves as a resource for current projects, in addition to traditional resources such as library, outside experts, and lab facilities. Based on results to date, we conclude that such a tool has the potential to help students learn from past design experiences of others.
View the full paper here >> (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)