Fundamentals of Product Development

  Design Theory I © MSE  


The objective of the course "Fundamentals of Product Development" (earlier: "Engineering Design I") is to teach the product development process from the requirements to the designed product and diversity-optimized product portfolio.

Based on the requirements determined, a suitable functional structure is set up that breaks down an overall function into sub-functions. Principle solutions are then identified for these sub-functions, which in combination constitute a suitable overall concept. The subsequent design process of the components and modules is guided by rules, principles, and guidelines to ensure that the designed product both reliably fulfills the requirements and functions, but can also be manufactured cost-effectively. Fully developed products can be compared with alternative or competing products in technical and economic terms. If varying market requirements are to be met, a product portfolio can be built up from several product variants. Structuring the portfolio with size ranges or as a modular system also ensures that even an extensive variety of products can be developed and manufactured efficiently.


The module "Fundamentals of Product Development" consists of lecture, practical exercise and lecture exercise. While the lecture introduces new topics and conveys theoretical basics, these are practically applied in the practical exercise using an example product. For this purpose, the company Hilti has kindly provided a diamond core drill including a drill stand. In the lecture exercise, the methods learned are extended to a wide variety of example products from industrial practice as well as research.

All information and teaching materials are provided in RWTHmoodle. If you have further questions, you can contact us by .

Please note that for the winter semester 2021/2022 the module "Engineering Design I" will be renamed to "Fundamentals of Product Development" and the description in the module handbook will change as well.

The module "Fundamentals of Product Development" was called "Engineering Design I" up to the summer semester 2021. With the renaming for the winter semester 2021/2022, the description in the module manual was also updated.

Lecture Topics

  1. Requirements Management

  2. Functional Structure
  3. Principle Solution
  4. Combination of Solutions
  5. Basic Design Rules
  6. Design Principles
  7. Design Guidelines for Components
  8. Design Guidelines for Assemblies
  9. Product Evaluation
  10. Rationalization
  11. Size Ranges
  12. Modular Systems

Further Reading

Pahl, G.; Beitz, W.; Feldhusen, J.; Grote, K. H.: Konstruktionslehre, Grundlagen erfolgreicher Produktentwicklung, Methoden und Anwendung. (Design Theory, Principles of Successful Product Development, Methods, and Application.) 8th edition. Springer Verlag 2013, selected chapter.

The event is funded by quality improvement funds. For additional information please contact Further information regarding the use of quality improvement agents in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering can be found on the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.