General Engineering Projects/Documentation

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Example project body documentation is here. This describes the outline.

At a minimum, there must be a Problem, a short presentation or video in Demo, and least three Next Steps in order to be placed into the General Engineering Category. Otherwise the project should remain in user space.

The exact content in Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate can vary widely. The initial content of Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate can be almost anything.


Conceive is dominated by Requirements and Planning. Planning starts off with separating the client from the customer. A video may be found that is close to what is needed. The double binds of materials and scaffolding and materials(hands on) are worked through. Storage space, bench space and tool needs are visualized. There is more detail here. What follows is a list of words that may inspire Conceive activities:

  • Decisions
  • Estimation
  • Find Starting Point
  • Form/Function Goals
  • Requirements
  • Knowledge Base Needs
  • Research
  • Risks
  • Scale
  • Scope
  • Site Inspection
  • Standards
  • Story Board
  • TradeOffs

The CDIO Conceive syllabus is a more precise, complete version of these activities.


Design is thinking about, drawing, sketching, brainstorming, exploring alternatives. It is figuring out what is known or can be known and what the difficult, the unknown parts of the project are going to be. Design in a larger context can be used to describe all of engineering's activities. Here it is a category of project documentation that preserves the history of previous attempts and describes the current. What follows below are some short phrases or words that can be used to stimulate design.

  • Analytical Analysis
  • Brainstorm
  • Model
  • Calibrate
  • Decisions
  • Drawings
  • Possible Failure Modes
  • Instrument
  • Materials
  • Programming .. hack,mod,mash Reuse
  • Reverse Engineer
  • Safety Simulation
  • Testing
  • Theory of Operation
  • Validation

The CDIO Design syllabus is a more precise, complete version of these activities.


Implement is full of pictures of the latest attempt to get a demonstration to work. These pictures may document failure. When a new attempt is made, then these pictures are moved up into design or conceive to show how the failures helped modify the conceive or design of the project. Operate may be empty for a long time.

Implement can be very different in different engineering project contexts. Here are some phrases that may stimulate implement in this context:

  • Assembly
  • Decisions
  • Integration
  • Programming
  • Sourcing
  • Staging
  • Storage
  • Testing
  • WorkFlow

The CDIO implement syllabus is a more precise, complete version of these activities.


The best engineered object can fall apart because nobody knows how to change the knock pattern, backup the database, add another monitor, repair with unknown glue, or explain exactly what it was for. Manuals become outdated because everything is constantly changed. Well designed and constantly revised operation guides keep a demonstration alive to the point it inspires another round of CDIO. All projects are truly open ended if operate creates a feedback cycle where problems are captured and CDIO starts all over again.

  • Decisions
  • Disposables
  • Disposal
  • Improvement
  • LifeCycle
  • Logistics
  • Operations
  • Manual
  • Problem
  • Statement
  • Quality
  • Reporting

The CDIO operate syllabus is a more precise, complete version of these activities.