It’s easy to identify the steps needed to create a finished product. However, the design process is not a linear path. It is a slow and complicated process that requires one to take a step back for each one forwards. I experienced this the hard way during the creation of my product. Many a time I had to go back to fix something during the creation process. In saying this, I believe that this is what makes a good design. This “fail fast” process ensures that the finished product is the best that it can be.
An example of this was when the model sprung a leak. I tried to find the source of the leak but couldn’t find it. Ultimately I was forced to cut open the tube that was leaking and redo the entire resection. It was frustrating but I ended up adding an extra layer of plastic to the area that helped reinforce the wall of the tube. I think that it was actually fortunate that this happened before the final demonstration as it gave me an opportunity to modify and improve the design.
However, one of the main changes from idea to final product was the integration of a pump and circulation system itself. Originally I hadn’t planned on creating an entire closed system for my model. However while I was developing ideas for design, I determined that it was important that I showcased how the heart valved worked in conjunction with the other elements of the cardiovascular system. I think that it really demonstrates how the valves works in a real life scenario as opposed to just viewing water flowing through the valve. I hope that the Grade 6’s gain a better understanding of the function of mechanical heart valves and the cardiovascular system as a whole because of this.
I also developed a stand for the model. While I had always planned on designing a stand for the system I created, I originally imagined it very differently. Due to a lack of adequate materials, I had to revise my plan for the stand while I was constructing. I used leftover pieces of tubing and other materials found around the house to create a stand that is both functional but also does not distract from the main model. While the final stand is not the most precisely crafted, it is effective and accomplishes all of my needs.
So although many changes occur during the design process, I don’t believe that this is a hinderance. While more planning could limit the amount of revisions needed, I believe that there will always be issues that need to be resolved. They ultimately allow for a better product and I think that the target audience will be able to appreciate the hardship that went int creating the final heart valve model.