3.1 Core technical principles

In order to make effective design choices students will need a breadth of core technical knowledge and understanding that consists of:

  • new and emerging technologies
  • energy generation and storage
  • developments in new materials
  • systems approach to designing
  • mechanical devices
  • materials and their working properties.

All of this section must be taught and all will be assessed.

3.1.1 New and emerging technologies

Students must know and understand the impact of new and emerging technologies on contemporary and potential future scenarios in relation to the following areas:

Industry

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The impact of new and emerging technologies on:

  • the design and organisation of the workplace including automation and the use of robotics
  • buildings and the place of work
  • tools and equipment.
 

Enterprise

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Enterprise based on the development of an effective business innovation:

  • crowd funding
  • virtual marketing and retail
  • co-operatives
  • fair trade.
 

Sustainability

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The impact of resource consumption on the planet:
  • finite
  • non–finite
  • disposal of waste.

Taking into consideration the ecological and social footprint of materials.

People

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How technology push/market pull affects choice.

Changing job roles due to the emergence of new ways of working driven by technological change.

 

Culture

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Changes in fashion and trends in relation to new and emergent technologies.

Respecting people of different faiths and beliefs.

 

Society

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How products are designed and made to avoid having a negative impact on others:
  • design for disabled
  • elderly
  • different religious groups.
 

Environment

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Positive and negative impacts new products have on the environment:
  • continuous improvement
  • efficient working
  • pollution
  • global warming.
 

Production techniques and systems

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The contemporary and potential future use of:

  • automation
  • computer aided design (CAD)
  • computer aided manufacture (CAM)
  • flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)
  • just in time (JIT)
  • lean manufacturing.
 

How the critical evaluation of new and emerging technologies informs design decisions

Content

Potential links to maths and science

That it is important to consider scenarios from different perspectives and considering:

  • planned obsolescence
  • design for maintenance
  • ethics
  • the environment.

Ethical factors and consideration of ecological and social footprint.

3.1.2 Energy generation and storage

Students should understand how energy is generated and stored and how this is used as the basis for the selection of products and power systems.

Fossil fuels

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How power is generated from:

  • coal
  • gas
  • oil.

Arguments for and against the selection of fossil fuels.

How to choose appropriate energy sources.

Nuclear power

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How nuclear power is generated.

Arguments for and against the selection of nuclear power.

How to choose appropriate energy sources.

Renewable energy

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How power is generated from:

  • wind
  • solar
  • tidal
  • hydro-electrical
  • biomass.

Arguments for and against the selection of renewable energy.

How to choose appropriate energy sources.

Energy storage systems including batteries

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Kinetic pumped storage systems.

Alkaline and re-chargeable batteries.

How to choose appropriate energy sources.

3.1.3 Developments in new materials

Students should be aware of developments in new materials.

Modern materials

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Developments made through the invention of new or improved processes eg Graphene, Metal foams and Titanium.

Alterations to perform a particular function eg Coated metals, Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) and Nanomaterials.

Classification of the types of properties of a range of materials.

Selecting appropriate materials.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Smart materials

Content

Potential links to maths and science

That materials can have one or more properties that can be significantly changed in a controlled fashion by external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, moisture, or PH eg shape memory alloys, thermochromic pigments and photochromic pigments

Classification of the types of properties of a range of materials.

Selecting appropriate materials.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Composite materials

Content

Potential links to maths and science

That composite materials are produced by combining two or more different materials to create an enhanced material eg glass reinforced plastic (GRP) and carbonfibre reinforced plastic (CRP).

Classification of the types of properties of a range of materials.

Selecting appropriate materials.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Technical textiles

Content

Potential links to maths and science

How fibres can be spun to make enhanced fabrics eg conductive fabrics, fire resistant fabrics, kevlar and microfibres incorporating micro encapsulation.

Classification of the types of properties of a range of materials.

Selecting appropriate materials.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

3.1.4 Systems approach to designing

Students should consider electronic systems including programmable components to provide functionality to products and processes, and enhance and customise their operation.

Input s

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The use of light sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors and switches.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Component names, interaction and operation.

Processes

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The use of programming microcontrollers as counters, timers and for decision making, to provide functionality to products and processes.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Component names, interaction and operation.

Outputs

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The use of buzzers, speakers and lamps, to provide functionality to products and processes.

Extracting information from technical specifications.

Component names, interaction and operation.

3.1.5 Mechanical devices

Different types of movement

Content

Potential links to maths and science

The functions of mechanical devices to produce linear, rotary, reciprocating and oscillating movements.

Visualise and represent 2D and 3D objects including 2D diagrams of mechanisms/mechanical movement.

Changing magnitude and direction of force

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Levers:

  • first order
  • second order
  • third order

Linkages:

  • bell cranks
  • push/pull.

Rotary systems:

  • CAMs and followers
  • simple gear trains
  • pulleys and belts.

The action of forces and how levers and gears transmit and transform the effects of forces.

Arithmetic and numerical computation eg use ratios.

Use angular measures in degrees, visualise and represent 2D and 3D objects including 2D diagrams of mechanisms/ mechanical movement.

Knowledge of the function of mechanical devices to produce different sorts of movement, changing the magnitude and direction of forces.

3.1.6 Materials and their working properties

Students should know and understand the categorisation of the types and properties of the following materials.

3.1.6.1 Material categories

Papers and boards

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of papers and boards:

papers including:

  • bleed proof
  • cartridge paper
  • grid
  • layout paper
  • tracing paper

boards including:

  • corrugated card
  • duplex board
  • foil lined board
  • foam core board
  • ink jet card
  • solid white board.

Classification of the types and properties of a range of materials.

Physical properties of materials related to use and knowledge applied when designing and making.

Natural and manufactured timbers

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of natural and manufactured timbers:

hardwoods including:

  • ash
  • beech
  • mahogany
  • oak
  • balsa

softwoods including:

  • larch
  • pine
  • spruce

manufactured boards including:

  • medium density fibreboard (MDF)
  • plywood
  • chipboard.

Classification of the types and properties of a range of materials.

Physical properties of materials related to use and knowledge applied when designing and making.

Metals and alloys

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of metals and alloys:

ferrous metals including:

  • low carbon steel
  • cast Iron
  • high carbon/tool steel

non ferrous metals including:

  • aluminum
  • copper
  • tin
  • zinc

alloys including:

  • brass
  • stainless steel
  • high speed steel.

Classification of the types and properties of a range of materials.

Physical properties of materials related to use and knowledge applied when designing and making.

Polymers

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of polymers:

thermoforming including:

  • acrylic (PMMA)
  • high impact polystyrene (HIPS
  • high density polythene (HDPE)
  • polypropylene (PP)
  • polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

thermosetting including:

  • epoxy resin (ER)
  • melamine-formaldehyde (MF)
  • phenol formaldehyde (PF)
  • polyester resin (PR)
  • urea–formaldehyde (UF).

Classification of the types and properties of a range of materials.

Physical properties of materials related to use and knowledge applied when designing and making.

Textiles

Content

Potential links to maths and science

Students should have an overview of the main categories and types of textiles:

  • natural fibres, including cotton, wool and silk
  • synthetic fibres, including polyester, polyamide (nylon) and elastane (lycra)
  • blended and mixed fibres, including cotton/polyester
  • woven, including plain weave
  • non-woven, including bonded fabrics and felted fabrics
  • knitted textiles including knitted fabrics.

Classification of the types and properties of a range of materials.

Physical properties of materials related to use and knowledge applied when designing and making.

3.1.6.2 Material properties

Students should have an understanding of the working and physical properties of the materials in Material categories.

Material properties

Content

Potential links to maths and science

In relation to the main categories outlined above (not the specific materials identified), students should know and understand physical properties such as:
  • absorbency (resistance to moisture)
  • density
  • fusibility
  • electrical and thermal conductivity.
In relation to the main categories outlined above (not the specific materials identified), students should know and understand working properties such as:
  • strength
  • hardness
  • toughness
  • malleability
  • ductility and elasticity.

Scientific vocabulary eg metals/non-metals and physical and chemical differences between them eg types and properties across a range of materials.

Using materials eg composition of some important alloys eg selection of an alloy for enhanced durability in a particular design situation.