Unit 1: Written Paper


Materials and Components

Materials and Components

Candidates should be aware of the processes and techniques which aid manufacture and of the commercial application of a range of materials used in manufacturing their products in quantity.

It is expected that designing and making will address complete product issues and therefore deal with materials associated with the making of production aids, e.g. jigs, moulds, templates 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. 

Materials: Metals, timber, plastics, composites, smart and nanomaterials

Candidates should:

  • be aware of the source of a range of materials, understand they are processed for use, and how they can be reused, recycled or disposed of, and the environmental consequences of their use;
  • recognise the properties, working characteristics and combinations of metal, plastics, wood, composites and smart materials and nanomaterials.
  •  recognise the working characteristics of the common forms of metals; understand the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals and how they are used; know that the properties of metals can be changed by heat treatments; know that metals can be combined to form alloys;
  • recognise the working characteristics of common forms of plastics; understand the difference between thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics and how this affects the way they are used;

  • know that smart materials have a reactive capacity;

  • know that different materials can be combined to change their characteristics;

  • recognise the working characteristics of the common forms of wood; know the difference between hardwoods and softwoods, and between natural timber and manufactured boards.

  • know that nanomaterials can change the characteristics of a material when used to form a nanocomposite.

Components, Adhesives and Applied Finishes

Candidates should:

  • know about the selection of suitable components, pre-manufactured components adhesives and finishes;
  • know about and use appropriate adhesives and finishes for a variety of materials and conditions;
  • know about the use and application of a variety of components including fixings. 

Design and Market Influences

Design and Market Influences

Candidates should be taught how to analyse products and processes.

They should consider how design and technology affect the manufacturer, user and environment, and the importance of health and safety issues.

They should consider the advantages of working collaboratively as a member of a design team to design and make products.

Task analysis

Candidates should:

  • analyse a task identifying factors that might influence the design;
  • consider the needs of the client and the user;
  • understand the implication of "market-pull, technology-push".

Research and analysis

Candidates should:

  • use a range of relevant sources of information to inform decision making when designing;
  • use product analysis techniques to make critical judgements about the design and manufacture of resistant materials products produced in school or commercially;
  • take into consideration form, function, shape, colour, materials, texture, component parts, decoration and aesthetic appeal to evaluate suitability for purpose;
  • consider ergonomics and anthropometric data;
  • use the information above to review and modify own designs; 
  • analyse aesthetic and functional requirements in relation to cultural diversity; 
  • consider the work of successful designers; use these influences to inform own designs.

Sustainability of design

Candidates should consider the choices of materials and processes and how they would impact on the life cycle of the product and its sustainability.

Product specification

Candidates should: 

  • generate a product specification influenced by analysis of initial research; 
  • understand how the criteria of the design specification influence the quality of designing.


Candidates should be able to use a range of 2D/3D techniques to communicate ideas.


Candidates should:

  • generate a wide variety of ideas taking into consideration different possibilities of materials and processes;
  • look to be creative, innovative and adventurous in these ideas.

Evaluation of ideas

Candidates should:

  • check design proposals against design specification;
  • be able to consider modifying the specification in the light of design ideas and evaluation of them;
  • review the design with the intention of reducing parts in order to simplify its construction or manufacture in quantity.

Development of ideas

Candidates should:

Clarify the final design through decisions made through:

  • modelling e.g. virtual, rapid prototype, modelling materials, constructional kits;
  • client testing;
  • consideration and selection materials
  • consideration and selection of constructional details
  • formal/CAD drawings.

Use simple tests to check the effectiveness of designs and evaluate against the specification criteria.

Planning for manufacture

Candidates should:

  • select and specify appropriate materials, quantities, sizes, tolerances;
  • produce a sequence of instructions that would allow a competent third party or machine to manufacture the product;
  • identify critical points for quality control, and time scales in the manufacturing process;
  • develop methods to aid accuracy and repetition in manufacture. 

Selection of appropriate processes and techniques for own product

Candidates should select and use the most appropriate technique(s) and process(es) to make their own product.

Evaluation of own product

Candidates should consider other people's views (client, designer, manufacturer, user/ consumer) when refining product designs; ensure that own product(s) are of suitable quality for intended users; test against original specification and against quality of similar commercial products. 

Social, cultural, moral, environmental, sustainability, econonic issues

Social and cultural influences on the consumer market

Candidates should:

  • understand that designing and making reflect and influence cultures and societies;
  • recognise that products have an impact on lifestyle; 

Consumer choice

Candidates should identify the factors involved in consumer choice; carry out market research to establish consumer preferences of target market(s) and use this information to influence the design. 

Consumer rights legislation, product maintenance and codes of practice

Candidates should take legal requirements concerning consumer rights and codes of practice relating to safety into account when designing products.

Sustainability and environmental issues

Candidates should:

  • understand the sustainability and environmental issues associated with the designing and making of products;
  • 6 Rs: repair, reduce, recycle, reuse, rethink, refuse.

Moral, ethical and economical issues

Candidates should be aware of the financial and human costs involved in designing and making products. 

Health and Safety Issues

Safety in the working environment

Candidates should:

  • recognise that safety of the individual is essential; take responsibility to ensure that hazards are minimised and the working environment is safe to use;
  • observe health and safety regulations when working with tools, equipment, components and materials including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Safety for the consumer

Candidates should ensure that the end product is safe for the consumer. 

Processes and Manufacture

Processes and Manufacture

Candidates should be aware of and use as appropriate, manufacturing processes and techniques including CAD and CAM.

They should have an industrial and commercial awareness and be familiar with the processes involved in manufacturing in quantity.

Techniques and Processes

Candidates should be aware of the selection and usage of appropriate tools and equipment, including CAD and CAM, for metal, plastics, wood, smart materials and composites. 


Candidates should be aware of the importance of preparing materials for use by techniques including degreasing, planing, sawing, cutting etc.

Marking out

Candidates should:

  • have knowledge of, and be able to use marking out tools, equipment and processes including use of templates;
  • use measurement systems with accuracy and have an understanding of the need to work within tolerance; 
  • understand the use of x, y, z co-ordinates in CAD and CAM systems.


Candidates should be familiar with and able to use tools and equipment that are used for cutting commonly used materials.


Candidates should be familiar with and able to use a range of tools and equipment that are used for shaping commonly used materials.

Forming and bending

Candidates should be familiar with and able to use a range of equipment that is used for forming and bending commonly used materials.

Casting and Moulding

Candidates should be familiar with and able to use a range of tools and equipment that are used for casting and moulding commonly used materials.  

Joining techniques

Candidates should have knowledge of permanent and non-permanent methods of joining materials together.

Cleaning and finishing

Candidates should:

  • have knowledge of/be able to use methods of cleaning preparing materials;
  • have a knowledge of/be able to use different finishing products and their applications;
  • have a knowledge of/be able to use different methods of applying a finish.

CAM Systems

Candidates should have knowledge of how CAM systems can be used for subtractive and additive processes. 

Systems and Control

Mechanical systems

Candidates should have knowledge of basic mechanisms.

Electrical systems

Candidates should have knowledge of basic electrical systems.

Quality control systems

Candidates should:

  • understand and incorporate quality checks during the making of a product;
  • implement quality control procedures using devices to ensure the consistent production of products.

Information and Communication Technology

Computer technology and communication techniques

Candidates should use ICT as appropriate to research, record, gather, sort and present relevant material for the planning of tasks and generation of solutions.

Use of CAD for graphical techniques

Candidates should:

  • use CAD to generate, develop, model and communicate design ideas;
  • use CAD to present accurate drawings with sizes, using 3D and 3rd angle orthographic projections and consider alternative forms and colours when developing ideas.

Industrial use of CAD and CAM

Candidates should:

  • be familiar with the latest technologies in designing and making products;
  • recognise the economic importance and benefits of using CAD/CAM in the production of products; have knowledge of CAM for manufacturing in quantity. 

Industrial Practices

Manufacturing Systems

Candidates should understand how products are produced for various markets and the types of production systems used, including one-off, batch and continuous production.

Industrial and market awareness

Candidates should understand the roles of client, designer, manufacturer and user in the development of products for industrial manufacture.

Industrial systems for batch or volume production

Candidates should understand the commercial implications of manufacturing in quantity and the effects of introducing new technologies.