How It Works

Our service model is relatively straightforward and mirrors traditional project management strategies:

  1. You identify a problem.
  2. You develop an idea to solve the problem.
  3. We help you take your napkin sketch to a CAD file.
  4. Our design engineering students will create a working prototype for you.
  5. You work with our communicator to tell your story for future users and service promotion.

If you are visiting our site you have probably already identified a problem and are well into thinking through a solution.  Our student designers will help you complete the process using their raw talent and CNC technology or advanced 3D printing equipment.  Your role will be to act as a subject matter expert, advising our student designers on the creation of your part.  You will also act as their mentor during the process.  Our students are employed not just for the purposes of earning a wage but for developing a portfolio of projects.  The DesignHub Staff Manager provides oversight and project management to make sure the trains run on time and stay on the tracks.

The student designers operate in a freelance fashion.  While they are employed by the Office of Information Technology, you are essentially borrowing their labor.  This service is cost recovery and you will be billed for their time at the rate in which it has accrued at the end of the project.  During our pilot phase, we will absorb the costs of student labor.  However, clients will also incur costs related to the materials necessary to fabricate the prototypes.   Our projects are scoped for twenty hours of design and build time.  While we are unable to take on cases of greater scope than that, you may break your project into multiple, smaller works and apply separately for each one.

Once completed, our science communicator will discuss your project with you and develop at a minimum, a blog post that can be used to promote the DesignHub service and the work that was done.  They will likely also share your story with other Duke communications outlets in the event they would like to rerun the story or take it furher.