Unit 1: Written Paper

Materials and Components

Materials and Components

Candidates should have a knowledge and understanding of the processes and techniques which aid manufacture and of the commercial and industrial applications of a range of materials involved in manufacturing their products in quantity. It is expected that designing and making will address complete product issues and therefore deal with materials which would aid manufacture, such as moulds, cutting dies, printing blocks, jigs etc. as well as dealing with issues such as labelling, packaging etc. It will be important therefore that candidates can utilise a variety of suitable materials and components.

Whilst undertaking product analysis activities, it is expected that candidates will make detailed references to the materials used as well as the associated manufacturing issues. 

Classification and working properties

The following materials and components are considered to be suitable for candidates following this course of study. Candidates are not required to study all materials, but centres must provide opportunities for candidates to learn about a range of materials and to use them in practical contexts, during both the development and manufacture of products and during product analysis. As a minimum, candidates should study Paper/Card and one other material area. Those studying the electronic and control components are strongly advised to also study one other material area in addition to paper/Card.

Candidates may employ/use any necessary materials in the modelling, prototyping or manufacture of their products.

Candidates will be required to demonstrate their application of knowledge, understanding and skills in both assessment units.

Health and Safety factors should be a major consideration when working with any of the materials. 

Paper/card

When working with paper/card materials candidates should:

  • be able to identify common papers such as layout, cartridge, tracing, grid, card, corrugated card, duplex board, solid white board, foam core board;
  • understand the different properties and uses of such materials both as a media for communication and as a material for manufacturing products such as packaging;
  • understand the availability of common components e.g. to fasten, seal, hang, pour, join, bind, index;
  • understand that many paper based boards are laminated to other materials and that the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific purposes e.g. foil-backed for food packaging;
  • understand the stock forms for paper/card materials i.e. size, thickness, weight and colour;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of pulp and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Timber based materials

When working with timber based materials candidates should:

  • be able to identify common timbers such as pine, mahogany, teak, ash, beech used in the manufacture of products
  • be able to identify common manufactured boards i.e. MDF, plywood, chipboard, blockboard, hardboard;
  • understand the different properties and uses of such materials within commercial products;
  • understand that many timber-based materials are manufactured therefore the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific urposes;
  • understand the stock forms for timber based materials i.e. rough sawn, PSE, sheet sizes and mouldings;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of timber and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Ferrous and non ferrous metals

When working with metals candidates should:

  • be able to identify common metals i.e. silver, stainless steel, mild steel, cast iron, brass, copper, zinc, aluminium, pewter;
  • understand the different properties and uses of such materials within engineering and domestic products;
  • understand that many metals are alloys or have coated finishes therefore the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific purposes e.g. casting alloys, plated metals;
  • understand that the properties of metal can be changed by heat treatment;
  • have an understanding of the stock forms for metals i.e. sheet, rod, bar, tube;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of metals and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Plastics

When working with plastic materials candidates should:

  • be able to identify common thermoplastics i.e. high impact polystyrene, expanded polystyrene, acrylic, acetate, HDPE, PVC, PET;
  • be able to identify common thermosetting plastics i.e. GRP, Epoxy resin, UF, MF;
  • understand the difference between thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics;
  • understand the ways in which plastics can be formed, especially with regard to consumer products, i.e. vacuum forming, injection moulding, blow moulding, line bending, compression moulding, extrusion;
  • understand that most plastics are synthetic and that the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific purposes e.g. increase  rigidity, reduce weight, insulation;
  • understand the stock forms for plastic materials i.e. sheet, rod, powder, granules, foam;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of plastics and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Ceramics

When working with ceramic materials candidates should:

  • be able to identify common clays and related materials such as St Thomas', porcelain, plaster of Paris, concrete, glass;
  • understand that firing methods and temperatures affect both the material structure and the effect of applied glazes;
  • understand the different properties and uses of such materials particularly with regard to domestic pottery and the electrical industry;
  • understand that most ceramic products are combinations of clay and glaze and that the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific purposes
  • understand the stock forms for such materials i.e. slip, body, pigments, oxides;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of ceramic materials and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Textiles

When working with textile materials candidates should:

  • be able to identify common natural and synthetic fibres such as cotton, wool, silk, linen, polyester, Polyamide (nylon), Tactel, acrylic, elastane (Lycra);
  • understand the difference between woven, knitted and bonded fabrics and the different properties and uses of such fabrics;
  • understand the stock forms for yarns and fabrics i.e. fabric roll size, weight, ply;
  • understand that many textile fabrics are mixtures or blends of different fibres and that the composition can be adjusted to create different properties for specific purposes;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of textile fibres and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Food

When working with food materials candidates should:

  • be able to classify food materials as starch, sugar, protein, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals;
  • understand the working characteristics of food materials;
  • understand the way food components are specified i.e. by weight and volume;
  • understand that food components are available in a variety of forms i.e. fresh, frozen, dehydrated, liquid, canned;
  • understand that combining and processing materials can provide different working characteristics;
  • have a basic understanding of the source of basic foods and the primary processes involved in conversion to workable materials.

Electronic and Control components

When working with electronic and control components candidates should:

  • be able to identify common electronic and mechanical components and understand their functions and uses i.e. power cells, transistors, resistors, capacitors, switches, integrated circuits, buzzers, speakers, solenoids, gears, pulleys, linkages, levers, chain & sprockets, pneumatic cylinders;
  • understand the way in which such components are specified; e.g. volts, ohms, farads, teeth (spur gears)
  • have a basic understanding of how components can be combined to create systems with specified functions.

Manipulating and Combining Materials

Candidates should learn:

  • how materials can be combined and processed in order to create more useful, or desirable, properties;
  • how these properties are utilised in industrial contexts;
  • how a range of materials are prepared for manufacture, allowing for waste and fine finishing;
  • about a variety of self-finishing and applied-finishing processes, and appreciate their importance for aesthetic and functional reasons;
  • that to achieve the optimum use of materials and components, account needs to be taken of the complex inter-relationships between materials, form and manufacturing processes;
  • how pre-manufactured standard components are used to improve the effectiveness of the manufacturing process and be able to identify a small range appropriate to the material areas studied.

New Materials

Candidates should:

  • have a knowledge and understanding that the development of new and smart materials are allowing designers to meet a variety of user needs  in new and exciting ways e.g.
    • Precious Metal Clays (PMC) used in jewellery manufacture,
    • corn starch polymers used in packaging,
    • thermochromic pigments used for thermal warning patches
    • shape memory alloys
    • Quantum Tunnelling Composite (QTC) used to incorporate electronics into textiles,
  • have an awareness of the importance of the development of nanomaterials and integrated electronics in the area of Design and Technology.

 

Design and Market Influences

Design and Market Influences

Candidates should develop an understanding of the broad perspectives of the designed world. This will include the appreciation of line, shape, form, proportion, colour, movement and texture within a critical awareness of aesthetics and ergonomics. 

Evolution of Product Design

Candidates should:

  • identify ways in which products evolve over time because of developments in ideas, materials, manufacturing processes and technologies as well as because of social, political, cultural and environmental changes;
  • have a basic knowledge and understanding of major design movements since 1900 e.g. Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, Modernism, De Stijl, Memphis, Post Modernism;
  • recognise that design movements and cultural influences are still influencing new product development;
  • have a knowledge and understanding that manufacturing industries are involved in continuous improvement (CI) and this is a major influence in product evolution;
  • have a knowledge and understanding that sometimes new products are developed because of marketing pull and sometimes because of technological push. 

Product development

Candidates should:

  • respond creatively to briefs, developing their own proposals and producing specifications for products and associated services
  • discuss and analyse the situation/problem;
  • know how to gather and respond to research, evaluate and select information and data to support the design and manufacture of products;
  • consider the factors involved in the design of a product which is to be produced/manufactured in quantity;
  • consider a wide range of users and create designs which are inclusive;
  • determine the degree of accuracy required for the product to function as planned, taking account of critical dimensions and tolerances in determining methods of manufacture;
  • understand how graphic techniques, ICT equipment and software, particularly CAD, can be used in a variety of ways to model aspects of design proposals and assist in making decisions;
  • have a knowledge and understanding that design ideas are protected in law through copyright, patents and registered designs.

Communication and representation

Candidates should

  • use a range of graphical techniques such as annotated sketches, formal drawing conventions, CAD to communicate design details in a clear and appropriate manner;
  • develop a range of presentation techniques and media to portray materials, texture or finish such as mood boards, presentation drawings, digital photography, CAD;
  • use line, tone, colour rendering using a range of media;
  • use formal page layout techniques as an aid to planning and presenting drawings and information;
  • use a range of prototyping and modelling methods in order to explore design alternatives during the design process as well as a means of communicating proposals which can be used for evaluation purposes;
  • use a range of ICT equipment and software to communicate, model, develop and present ideas.

Design Methodology

Candidates should

  • understand that designing is not a linear exercise but is iterative. The traditional design cycle is just one of many methods for successful designing;
  • understand that empirical problem solving, a systems approach and intuitive designing are all valid approaches to designing;
  • experience a variety of design approaches.
  • Be able to use the following as starting points for designing and making:
    • natural form, pattern and structure
    • geometry and mathematics
    • the work of well known artists, designers, craftsmen and technologists
    • detailed product analysis
    • religious and cultural influences.

Packaging

Candidates should

  • have a knowledge and understanding of a variety of materials and processes used to package products and to be able to balance the likely impact upon the environment in terms of social responsibility and sustainability;
  • understand the different basic functions of packaging such as protect, inform, contain, transport, preserve and display;
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the need for product labelling and the common symbols used to indicated hazards, storage and handling, maintenance, disposal and design protection.

Product marketing

Candidates should:

  • have a knowledge and understanding of the power of branding and advertising and the effect that they have upon different consumer groups;
  • be able to promote their own products using a variety of techniques, e.g. leaflets, flyers, point of sale, packaging and digital media.

Human factors

Candidates should understand:

  • that for products to be effective, designers, manufacturers and craftsmen need to take account of a wide range of human factors in an attempt to produce inclusive rather than
    exclusive designs i.e. access, cultural values;
  • that anthropometrics and ergonomic considerations affect many design decisions;
  • that design decisions for large scale manufacturing often aim to cover the needs of the 5th–95th percentile;
  • the effect of colour used in product design to reinforce messages such as "danger" or to help to produce moods such as "warmth";
  • social, economic and ethnic groups of people often have specific values and needs which can be an aid to focused designing, i.e. disabled, elderly, religious groups;
  • that efficient manufacturing systems result from the layout of materials, equipment and controls, such as working triangles in the kitchen, production lines, assembly lines.

Safety

Candidates should understand:

  • the relevance of safety with regard to themselves, the manufacturer and the product user;
  • that designers and manufacturers have both a moral and legal responsibility for the products that they create;
  • how to undertake simple tests to ensure that the products they make are safe for the specific user group they are designed for;
  • the importance of risk assessment at all stages of designing and making.

Quality

Candidates should:

  • ensure that their products are of a suitable quality for their intended user;
  • understand that many judgements regarding quality are subjective and will be dependent upon various criteria e.g. cost, availability of resources and other social factors;
  • have a knowledge and understanding of commercial methods which are used to improve quality assurance e.g. quality circles, teamworking, BS EN ISO 9000;
  • be able to devise and apply test procedures to check the quality of their work at critical points during development and manufacture, and to indicate ways of improving it.

Ethical, Environmental and

Candidates should

  • take into consideration the ethical , environmental and sustainability issues relating to the design and manufacture of products i.e. fair trade, product miles, carbon footprint, product disposal, and the following related principles: re-use, recycle, repair, reduce, rethink, refuse, etc.
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the main factors governing environmentally friendly products, or "Green Designs" and be able to identify a range of these;
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the main factors relating to recycling and/or reusing materials or products i.e. material identification, material separation, collection, processing, energy costs, subsequent usage, wastage.

Consumer issues

  • have a knowledge and understanding of the work of consumer groups and pressure groups and the way products are evaluated – e.g. Which? reports;
  • have a knowledge and understanding of the work of standards agencies (BSI, ISO etc) and how these standards affect product design and manufacture and  subsequent testing;
  • have a knowledge and understanding that a wide range of legislation exists to protect consumers and that designers and manufacturers need to conform to it.

Processes and Manufacture

Product Manufacture

Candidates should learn:

  • how a range of materials are cut, shaped and formed to designated tolerances;
  • the difference between quality control and quality assurance techniques;
  • to produce detailed working schedules, e.g. flow charts, production plans, identifying critical points, i.e. QA and QC, in the making process and providing solutions to possible
    problems;
  • to evaluate the quality of their personal project work and to devise modifications that will improve their products.

Methods of production

Candidates should:

  • understand that products are manufactured to different scales of production i.e. one-offs, batch, mass, continuous, just in time (JIT);
  • design and make for one-off, batch and mass production;
  • work as part of a team on the batch production of products and/or components;
  • work as part of a team and experience different functions within simple batch production systems;
  • use a range of procedures including CAD/CAM, where appropriate, to ensure consistency in the production of their products;
  • use both hand and machine methods of cutting and shaping materials appropriate to the scale of production.

Manufacturing systems

  • understand that commercial manufacturing is a system, or group of sub-systems which requires:
    • special buildings or places of work;
    • the organisation of people;
    • the organisation of tools and equipment;
    • risk assessment and compliance with health and safety regulations;
    • the organisation of materials;
    • information systems to help people communicate with each other reliably;
    • ways of changing the shape and form of materials to increase their usefulness;
    • ways of using tools and equipment to transform the materials into products;
    • the design and production of many products in a systematic way;
    • quality assurance procedures and quality checks to be made;
    • efficient working methods;
      ways of safely taking care of the unwanted;
    • outputs of manufacturing i.e. disposing or recycling of waste materials, and ways of looking after the environment.

Use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

Candidates should

  • understand how ICT facilitates a wide range of manufacturing functions, e.g. just in time (JIT), video conferencing, software sharing, stock control, data transfer and remote
    manufacturing;
  • have an understanding of the application of CNC (Computer Numeric Control) in modern manufacturing as appropriate to a specific material area;
  • understand how computer-aided manufacture (CAM) is used both in manufacturing in quantity and in the production of single items and small batches;
  • understand how CAD/CAM allows for higher levels of accuracy, repeatability and efficiency.