Material search and design – At what cost?

Overview – At what cost? – Material investigation and design proposal with specific reference to environmental impact.   

Material assigned – Shape memory polymers

Your task is to investigate the material provided within the context of a design concept that you propose. Firstly, do an initial investigation of the material assigned. Then, design a simple object that utilizes the unique material properties and manufacturing processes of the assigned material. Extra grades are awarded for new appropriate uses of the material.

Once the simple object has been designed, further material investigations are required. The assignment requires direct linking of your designed object and the material researched. Examine topics such as; the product lifecycle, how the material is formed, material properties and in particular, reference the environmental impact of that material.  

Concept Development – Design a product that utilises the properties of the provided material (Grades are awarded where new appropriate uses of the material are proposed)

Manufacturing – Name and define processing techniques commonly used in contemporary manufacturing for the provided material and link this with how your proposed design would be manufactured.

Environmental and social impacts – Explain the associated environmental and social impacts of using the provided material in relation to your design. These must include at a minimum; material processing, manufacturing and location of harvesting/extracting the material. This will include the life cycle of the product.

Cost comparison – Compare the monetary cost associated with different material and process types (how is the material sold? What impact do different manufacturing processes/materials influence cost?)


Material properties – Explain the thermal, chemical or mechanical properties of the material in relation to your proposed design (What are the strengths and weaknesses of the material?).