P17012: Energy Absorbing Knee Brace

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

The Problem Definition Phase allows us as a group to come together to learn about each other and our project. We must not look into the design aspect of our product, but what our problem statement is, what our customer wants, and as engineers what our own requirements become.

Within the first 3 weeks of fall semester, our team will meet twice per week to work through our:

Starting the second week, we as a group will come together and plan out the best course of action for the remaining 13 weeks of MSD I. We will choose a project manager as well as the roles held by all other members of this 6 person group.

Once all areas of concern listed above are completed, we will revise all work to return the most concise and accurate Problem Definition Phase for the public. This will allow all those who do not have time invested into the team and project the chance to understand the goals we are striving for and how important P17012 can be for those with knee joint concerns.

All work completed will go under review Thursday, September 8th, 2016 and the Problem Definition Phase will come to a close.

Project Summary

Current knee braces work to stabilize the knee. Depending on how vulnerable the knee is, there are different levels of braces from compression sleeves to bulky velcro strapped braces with solid metal framing. When walking down terrain such as a mountain for hiking, knee braces readily available to the public will not absorb shock well. One brace with this capability was designed by Spring Loaded Technology, however it is both expensive and the patient must go through multiple fittings by an Orthotist to create a proper brace on an individual basis.

The goal of this project is to create an inexpensive knee brace that absorbs shock of the patient’s motion. The brace should not cost more than $100 and be comfortable enough for a patient to wear without pain after extended periods of time. The design/prototype must not limit movement to the patient and should be flexible in terms of wearing over or under clothing. If possible, data logging will be added to smartphone device app stores concerning health metrics.

Problem Statement

Use Cases

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Project Goals and Key Deliverables

The customer expects a fully functional knee brace with several stretch goals related to "smart" hardware add-ons for data analysis.




Project Stakeholders

Customer Requirements (Needs)

A preliminary interview was conducted with the customer in order to discover the customer requirements.

Customer Interview Questions

The customer interview notes were revised and compiled into a more readable format below.

Interview Results & Meeting Minutes

Finally, the interview was reviewed so that customer requirements could be derived.

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Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

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Engineering Requirements


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House of Quality

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Design Review Materials

Problem Defintion Review Presentation

Plans for next phase

Project Schedule

Project Schedule

Individual Three Week Plans

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