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Thread: Conceptual Design vs Preliminary Design

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
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    Jul 2021
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    Conceptual Design vs Preliminary Design

    Let me begin by saying that while I have an engineering degree obtained in the deep mists of time, my work for the last several decades has entailed writing technical proposals, not "doing" engineering.

    I am a little unclear on the boundary between conceptual design and preliminary design. I hazard to guess that conceptual design focuses on enumerating functions, form, and interactions. As such it is somewhat agnostic to an actual design. I believe that preliminary design, on the other hand, entails commitment to an actual design expressed in terms of a set of systems and their interactions (I understand that the real focus of preliminary design is the architecture of the system - how the various subsystems interact).

    Any feedback welcomed.

  2. #2
    Principle Engineer
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    209
    I don't know who said it first but, Nothing ruins a good idea like a scale drawing.

  3. #3
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Bold Springs, GA
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    2,432
    Depending on the end item or technology - a concept might be an ideal or an overview of what an end product of system might be. A preliminary design typically includes some analysis, more details that could include costing, installation s requirements, functionality specifications etc..
    Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

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