Fall | Undergrad | 12 Units | Prereq: None. Coreq: 2.008; or permission of instructor
Focuses on product development of technologies for people in less industrialized markets. Students work in interdisciplinary teams to develop previously established prototypes or technologies towards manufacturing-ready product designs. Topics are presented within the context of the developing world and include technology feasibility and scalability assessment; value chain analysis; product specification; design for affordability, manufacturability, usability, and desirability; and product testing and manufacturing at various scales. Lessons are experiential and case study-based; taught by instructors with field experience and by industry experts from product development consulting firms and the consumer electronics industry. Student taking graduate version complete additional oral and written assignments. In person not required.
Fall 2020 Update: Fully Remote Hands-On Classes - 2.729/EC.729 Design for Scale will be fully remote for the Fall 2020, with both lectures and labs live via web conferences. It will have optional in-person lab components for students who are on campus, with comparable remote experiences for students who are not. The centerpiece of the course is a team-based, hands-on design project in collaboration with partners who are involved with products distributed in low income countries. The focus of design for scale is to satisfy the business needs of emerging market entrepreneurs with the most appropriate technologies. The students will work remotely as teams to understand value chains and users and the main mission of the startups. The teams will also generate concepts, research manufacturability and design, and design and fabricate prototypes. For those who are remote, the labs will focus on learning with materials and tools that can be distributed. The projects will be advanced with remote analyses and CAD, and we will look for minimum-contact fabrication options. For those that are on-campus, the shops will be a resource for fabrication, while those that are remote will work with their in-person team mates or will outsource the fabrication where possible. Prerequisite for the class is 2.008 or permission of the instructor.
In 2.729 (Design for Scale), MIT students devise ways to manufacture products to reach as many people as possible.