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Title: The conceptual design of 3D miniaturised / integrated products as examined through the development of a novel red blood cell / plasma separation device
Authors: Topham, David
Advisors: Harrison, D
Keywords: Microfluids;Geometric transform;Dealing with the intangible;David Harrison;Peter Evans
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The aim of this research is to examine the conceptual design issues concerned with integrating product capabilities that can only be generated at the micro- scale (through feature sizes generally of the order of 100nm to 100μm) directly into 3-dimensional products at the macro-scale. Such macro-scale products could accordingly contain internal devices that are too small to be seen or touched by unaided human designers, which begs the question as to how to enable designers to work with objects which are beyond direct human experience, and how can the necessary collective discussion take place within teams of designers, and between these teams and those responsible for product manufacture? This thesis examines and tests a concept that theoretical 2-dimensional diagrams of function may be transformed into 3-dimensional working structures using procedures allied to those used by graphic designers to create solid objects from 2-dimensional prototype geometries through, for example, extrusion or rotation. Applying such procedures to theoretical diagrams in order to transform them into scalable 3-dimensional devices is not yet in general use at the macro-scale, but with increasing recognition of the unique capabilities of the micro- scale the idea may grow in appeal to alleviate the difficulties of conceiving of functional structures that, when built, will be too small to experience directly. Furthermore this design method, through its basis upon a common currency of functional diagrams, may overcome many of the problems of describing and discussing the design and manufacture of normally intangible objects in 3 dimensions. Finally, it is shown through the example of a novel Red Blood Cell / Plasma Separation Device that the geometric transformation process can lead to the design of functional structures which would not readily be arrived at intuitively, and that may be effectively and efficiently integrated into host products.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Design
Brunel Design School Theses

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