From functional prototypes to industrial products

  • Juan Carlos Hernández-Pérez
  • Gilberto Osorio-Gómez
  • Ricardo Mejía-Gutiérrez
Original Paper


Nowadays, engineering programs with Problem Based Learning methodologies, develop functional prototypes for demonstration purposes. Most of these ideas, many of them promising, are left behind once the academic term is over. Only a slight percentage of them are followed by an industrialization process, which is not formalized and it is based on third-party experiences. Even if well-known product design methodologies include some methods and activities oriented to evolve the product along its life cycle, they are not suitable for academic projects or they leave out some aspects of the local context. This has been an unexploited area, with high potential as there is no transcendence with academic projects; especially after all the time, effort, and creativity employed into a potentially profitable idea. In this way, the authors propose a methodology intended to allow the transition from academic functional prototype to a product ready to be industrialized according to the capabilities of the local context. Emerging economies, where industrial capabilities may be limited. The development of the methodology has been applied in a case study of an individual electric vehicle. This vehicle was developed with students and researchers within the Design Engineering Research Group (GRID) and it is intended to transport the persons responsible to distribute mail, and packages internally in the University campus. The object of such a case is to study the feasibility to promote this vehicle from functional prototype to a product ready to be industrialized under local industrial constraints.


Product development Industrialization Design engineering Systematic methodology Functional prototype 



Authors would like to acknowledge EAFIT University for the financial support to achieve this project. Special thanks to the Internal Documentary Office from EAFIT University to participate in the prototypes testing program. Authors would also like to specially thank the undergraduate students involved in the development of the project: Alejandra Gómez, Valentina Orjuela, Federico Arbeláez, Mariana Tamayo, Juan David Velásquez, Juliana Montoya.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Carlos Hernández-Pérez
    • 1
  • Gilberto Osorio-Gómez
    • 1
  • Ricardo Mejía-Gutiérrez
    • 1
  1. 1.Design Engineering Research Group (GRID)Universidad EAFITMedellínColombia

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