Overview

Our projects have spanned several exciting research areas including creativity support tools, design cognition and fixation, and medical product design. To find out more about these projects, click on the relevant picture below.

Concept Selection
Concept Selection
Sponsor: the NSF
Product Dissection
Product Dissection
Sponsor: the NSF
Central Line Catheter Insertion
CVC Trainer
Sponsor: the NIH

Product Dissection in Engineering Design

Sponsored by: The National Science Foundation

Product dissection, or the systematic disassembly of products, is used as a means to help designers discover the inner workings of products and inspire new design ideas. While product dissection has been widely adopted in both engineering education and industry, there are many widely varying approaches of dissecting products for encouraging creativity and design learning. However, almost all dissection activities currently require products to be dissected physically which limits the utility of these activities due to the cost of the materials, space requirements, and the effort required to dissect the product. This award supports fundamental research to provide needed knowledge for the development of cognitive models of product dissection innovation and learning practices.

Relevant Publications

2016
Let's get Physical? The Impact of Dissection Modality on Engineering Student Design Learning
Elizabeth Starkey*, Alex McKay, Sam Hunter and Scarlett Miller
ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference 13th International Conference on Design Education, August 22-24 2016, Charlotte, NC
pdf
Harnessing the Power of Fixation for Design Creativity.
Alex McKay, Sam Hunter, Clayton Meisel*, Elizabeth Starkey*, and Scarlett Miller
American Psychological Association Annual Convention, August 4-7 2016, Denver, CO
pdf
Dissecting creativity: How dissection virtuality, analogical distance, and product complexity impact creativity and self-efficacy.
Elizabeth Starkey*, Alex McKay, Sam Hunter and Scarlett Miller
The 7th International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition, June 27-29 2016, Evanston, IL
pdf
2015
The Impact of Virtual Product Dissection Environments on Student Design Learning and Self-Efficacy
Christine Toh* and Scarlett Miller
Journal of Engineering Design,In Press: To appear 2015.
pdf
2014
The impact of virtual dissection on engineering student learning and self-efficacy
Christine Toh* and Scarlett Miller
ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference 26th Annual Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, August 17-20 2014, Buffalo, NY, MA
pdf
The Impact of Team-Based Product Dissection on Design Novelty
Christine Toh*, Scarlett Miller and Gul Kremer
Accepted to Journal of Mechanical Design, 136(4): 041004.
pdf
2013
Product Dissection or Visual Inspection? The Impact of Designer-Product Interactions on Engineering Design Creativity
Christine Toh* and Scarlett Miller
ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference 25th Annual Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, IDETC2013/DTM-13087 August 2013, Portland, OR.
pdf
pdf
2012
The Impact of Product Dissection Activities on the Novelty of Design Outcomes
Christine Toh*, Scarlett Miller and Gul Kremer
ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference, August 12-15, Chicago, IL.
pdf

Virtual Dissection Instructional Video

Virtual Product Dissection Library

Our virtual dissection library utilizes SolidWorks free eDrawings software to virtually dissect products from everyday life. Check out our instructional video above as well as the downloadable 3D files created by our lab and adapted from https://grabcad.com/.

Hand Mixer
Hand Mixer
Toothbrush
Toothbrush
Dart Gun
Dart Gun
Correction Tape Dispenser
White Out Dispenser
Cordless Drill
Cordless Drill

Educational Tasks and Activities


Product Dissection Learning and Retention Quiz pdf
Engineering and Creative Self Efficacy Survey pdf
Virtual Dissection - Correction Tape Dispenser pdf
Virtual Dissection of a Correction Tape Dispenser pdf
Virtual Dissection of a Nerf Dart Gun pdf
Virtual Dissection of a Electronic Hand Mixer pdf
Virtual Dissection of a Electric Toothbrush pdf

Research Assistants:

Elizabeth Starkey

Elizabeth Starkey
PhD IE

Clayton Meisel

Clayton Meisel
BS ME