By H. H. Rosenbrock (auth.), Dr Paul Arthur (eds.)
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Additional info for CADCAM in Education and Training: Proceedings of the CAD ED 83 Conference
CAD and the human operator E C Kingsley Abstract: Equipment designers are increasingly turning to CAD tools to speed up their design processes. However, there is often a tendency under traditional design methods to leave consideration of the human operator to the end of the design process. It is likely, therefore, that the introduction of rapid CAD methods will increase rather than decrease this tendency. To counteract this tendency the CAD industry needs first to provide designers with CAD tools that can take account of human operator's requirements; and second, to apply human factors in the design of its own CAD work stations.
It is based on years and years of experience and contributes to what may be called the art of designing. Rosenbrock has pointed out My own conclusion is that engineering is an art rather than a science and by saying this I imply a higher not a lower status. Scientific knowledge and mathematical analysis enter into engineering in an indispensible way and their role will continually increase. But engineering contains also elements of experience and judgement and regard for social considerations and a most effective way of using human labour.
Thus human factors specialists are often presented with a nearly completed prototype and told 'Now tell us what's wrong with it'. The disadvantage of that approach is that it is often prohibitively expensive to make the modifications that are actually required to improve the human factors aspects. This means that only one or two trivial alterations actually get made and overall the design is little better than it was before. What is really required is to get human factors evaluations carried out at a very early stage in the design process so that any major problems can be sorted out before they become fixed features of the overall design.