Engineering Design Principles All Engineers Should Know

Engineering is a process learned over years of experience. These basic principles are intended to give you some basic concepts and ground to start thinking like an engineer.

Dr. Akin has the set of Akin's Laws for Spacecraft Design on his website. Of course, they aren't all applicable to FIRST robotics, but they're linked as a reference for further reading.


Safety Factors and Reserves

In formal engineering, allow for safety margins in case your design behaves differently than you expected when you designed it.

For example, if you choose a safety factor of 2 and you expect to lift a load of 200 lbs, then you design to lift 400 lbs, so that if your design is inefficient, or other issues pop up, you have some room to work with.

Reserves are allocations that are not allocated. (Right, useful...) They serve as backups and margins to give you breathing room later. If you want a 120 lb robot, design a 90 lb one. If You have 250 of horizontal space, allocate 200

The key idea is to not use up all your technical resources at the initial designs.




Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on Feb 11, 2018, 5:30:15 PM