Ergonomic Analysis and CAD Tools in the Design Process

By Alvaro Diaz, Isabel Cristina Salazar and Sara Correal.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An important relationship exists during the design process between the industrial design (the object), the user, the context, the client, and the manufacturer. In this relationship, the designer act as coordinator, balancing both the needs and the constraints for proposing « the solution ». Before achieving the possible solution, the project requires numerous evaluations and verifications, including ergonomic analysis. Today, several tools are used to carry out these ergonomic-related evaluations and validations. In this process, models, sketches, prototypes and CAD tools might be used.

However, researchers and practitioners still look for better ways to integrate knowledge about ergonomic analysis and CAD tools into the design process. Advanced software and several tools for ergonomic simulation have been developed to give designers the opportunity to work with computer-generated manikins and body templates during the process of ergonomics analysis. Our research examines the effects of the use of CAD tools during the ergonomic analysis of the design processes. The study includes a review of literature and knowledge gained in the field, particularly focusing on the definitions of industrial design, ergonomics and CAD. Following this, the analysis of four cases studies is presented.

From the analysis of the literature and the case studies, it is possible to claim now that a full integration of CAD tools in the ergonomic analysis is not only possible but also beneficial for the design process.

Keywords: Industrial Design, Ergonomics, Sit-Stand Chair, Design Process, CAD-CAM-CA, ComputedAided Design, Computer-Aided Manufacturing, Computer-Aided Engineering

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.239-252. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.392MB).

Alvaro Diaz

Lecturer, Planning Faculty, Industrial Design School, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Alvaro Diaz has over 10 years of experience as an industrial designer. He specializes in human factors analysis, research analysis for new products, performs design research including problem analysis, user environment analysis and performs usability testing. He works as a consultant for a wide variety of clients in Latin, North America and some European countries in industries such as pharmaceuticals, health care and consumer products. Alvaro has participated in several research publications in human factors areas such as CAD tools to be use for ergonomics analysis, design for the disabled and designing for emerging countries. During 2006 and 2007, he presented some conferences in Mexico, Argentina, Canada, China and Colombia. Also, he’s a lecturer at the University of Montreal and invited professor at El Bosque University. Alvaro attended Universities in Montreal, Milan and Bogota. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design and a Science Master’s Degree in Computer Aid Design and Ergonomics, from University of Montreal.

Isabel Cristina Salazar

Lecturer and Researcher, Faculty of Engineering, EAFIT University, Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

Director of R&D Lara Dise Diseños. Product Designer Engineer, Lecturer and Researcher EAFIT University. Collaborate in research about new prosthetics design.

Sara Correal

Lecturer and Researcher, Faculty of Engineering, EAFIT University, Medellin, Antioquia, Colombia

Young researcher Colciencias 2008. Product design engineer EAFIT University. Marketing Director LARA Diseños. Researcher for a new prosthetics design for the Colombian population.

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