Construction (technology)

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Designing means working out the design of a technical product ( machine , system , apparatus , device or structure ) in such a way that it can be manufactured. The work results are the documents required for production: technical drawings , assembly instructions, etc. a.

The design is preceded by a development process ( FE pre-development ) of the product, whereby its functioning is worked out by applying mostly physical laws ( mostly mechanical and electrical laws) and tested with the help of functional models and prototypes . The organization of production following the design , the so-called work or order preparation (AV), is an independent process.

The classic separation of development and the subsequent production-related design is becoming less and less important in many areas. Both activities have entered the term product development (PD) as a unit and part of an even longer process . This starts with the initial idea and extends through to the market launch of the product. The summarized documentation of this process contains proof of functionality (calculations, results of experiments, etc.) as well as the production documents (drawings of the product, its assemblies and individual parts with information on materials , processing , dimensions and tolerances as well as sources of supply for materials and commercial parts to be used) .

In addition to the activity of construction, construction in technology also includes:

  • the properties of a technical product, which are determined by the construction activity,
  • the sum of all documents created by the construction activity with the help of which the technical product is to be manufactured,
  • the design department (design office) in a technical company,
  • the subject in which the activity of construction is taught and learned.


Just as technology itself has developed significantly over the past 150 years, so has design:

  • Around 1850, products were mainly manufactured without any prior preparation of construction documents. Mental preparatory work and production were still done together in the workshop: Thomas Alva Edison, for example, was known for his predominant stay in the workshop.
  • Design offices, in which the intellectual preparatory work was done and the manufacturing documents were created, were only set up at the end of the 19th century.
  • The standardization of components began around 1900 with the advantage of being interchangeable so that each product no longer needs its own tool set. (Nowadays, DIN includes around 34,000 standards.)
  • Around 1925, the methodical approach to construction began to be taught (see also product development ).
  • From 1960 onwards, engineers like Konrad Zuse , who use computers for their calculations , developed computer-aided design right through to CAD .
  • Nowadays, many products receive constructive support over their entire product life cycle .
  • In the future, increasing virtualization of the properties of the product to be manufactured is expected. In this way, experimental phases should be shortened in the development period.


  • Klaus Ehrlenspiel: Integrated product development - thought processes, use of methods, cooperation. 4th edition Hanser, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-446-42013-7 .
  • Gerhard Pahl, Wolfgang Beitz, Jörg Feldhusen , Karl-Heinrich Grote: Design theory: Basics of successful product development. Methods and application. , 7th edition, Springer Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-540-34060-2 .
  • Rudolf Koller: Design for mechanical engineering. Basics for the new and further development of technical products with examples. Springer Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-540-63037-6 .
  • Heinrich Krahn, Dieter Eh, Thomas Lauterbach: 1000 construction examples for practice , 3rd edition, Hanser Buchverlag, Vienna 2010, ISBN 3-446-42034-7 .
  • Rolf Steinhilper, Frank Rieg: Construction manual. Hanser Buchverlag, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3446430006 .
  • Gerhard Banse : Constructing in the field of tension between art and science. Historical notes with systematic intent . In: Technikgeschichte, 61st Vol. (1994), H. 4, pp. 329-352.
  • Guideline VDI 2221 sheet 1: Development of technical products and systems - model of product development. VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf Nov 2019.
  • Guideline VDI 2221 Part 2: Development of technical products and systems - design of individual product development processes. VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf Nov 2019.

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Individual evidence