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The subject Machine Design is the creation of new and better machines and improving the existing ones. A new or better machine is one which is more economical in the overall cost of production and operation.

The process of design is a long and time consuming one. From the study of existing ideas, a new idea has to be conceived. The idea is then studied keeping in mind its commercial success and given shape and form in the form of drawings.

In the preparation of these drawings, care must be taken of the availability of resources in money, in men and in materials required for the successful completion of the new idea into an actual reality. In designing a machine component, it is necessary to have a good knowledge of many subjects such as Mathematics, Engineering Mechanics, Strength of Materials, Theory of Machines, Workshop Processes and Engineering Drawing.

Classifications of Machine Design

The machine design may be classified as follows :

1. Adaptive design

In most cases, the designer’s work is concerned with adaptation of existing designs. This type of design needs no special knowledge or skill and can be attempted by designers of ordinary technical training. The designer only makes minor alternation or modification in the existing designs of the product.

2. Development design

This type of design needs considerable scientific training and design ability in order to modify the existing designs into a new idea by adopting a new material or different method of manufacture. In this case, though the designer starts from the existing design, but the final product may differ quite markedly from the original product.

3. New design

This type of design needs lot of research, technical ability and creative thinking. Only those designers who have personal qualities of a sufficiently high order can take up the work of a new design.

The designs, depending upon the methods used, may be classified as follows :

(a) Rational design

This type of design depends upon mathematical formulae of principle of mechanics.

(b) Empirical design

This type of design depends upon empirical formulae based on the practice and past experience.

(c) Industrial design

This type of design depends upon the production aspects to manufacture any machine component in the industry.

(d) Optimum design

It is the best design for the given objective function under the specified constraints. It may be achieved by minimizing the undesirable effects.

(e) System design

It is the design of any complex mechanical system like a motor car.

(f) Element design

It is the design of any element of the mechanical system like piston, crankshaft, connecting rod, etc.

(g) Computer aided design

This type of design depends upon the use of computer systems to assist in the creation, modification, analysis and optimization of a design.

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