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Design Constraints

Design Constraints

There are many aspects of any design project that must be considered to determine the feasibility of a system. These aspects are considered to be the constraints of the project and include economic, environmental, sustainability, manufacturability, ethical, health and safety, social, political, and time. 

For illustrative purposes only, examples of possible constraints include accessibility, aesthetics, codes, constructability, cost, ergonomics, extensibility, functionality, interoperability, legal considerations, maintainability, manufacturability, marketability, policy, regulations, schedule, standards, sustainability, or usability.

Source: ABET 2022-2023 Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs

Design constraints are firm limits that must be met for the design to be acceptable. Examples of these are listed below. These can be specified by the customer or by the nature of the problem, limitations of the fabrication processes, or technology.

  • Must be delivered by June 30
  • Cost below 500 $
  • Carcinogen levels below 10 ppm
  • Surface temperature below 50°C
  • Cycle times below 1 second
  • Power levels above 1kW
  • A data transmission rate above 3 Mbaud

Note: The team must consider and categorically discuss the Design Constraints (Cost, Economic, Performance, Availability, Manufacturability, Assembly, Quality, Reliability, Logiststics, Transportation and Storage, Ethical, Social, Political, Health and Safety, Environmental, Sustainability, etc.) in the relevant sections of the report and appendix.

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