Materials and Design

The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design


  • Michael Ashby, Professor Emeritus, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK

Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Second Edition, discusses the role of materials and processes in product design. The book focuses on the materials that designers need, as well as on how and why they use them. The book芒聙聶s 10 chapters cover topics such as function and personality, factors influencing product design, the design process, materials selection, and case studies in materials and design. Appendices for each chapter provide exercises for readers, along with detailed charts of technical attributes of different materials for reference. This book will be particularly useful to both students and working designers. Students are introduced to the role of materials in manufacturing and design, with the help of familiar language and concepts. Working designers can use the book as a reference source for materials and manufacturing.
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Materials Engineers & Students, Product & Industrial Design Professionals and Students


Book information

  • Published: October 2009
  • ISBN: 978-1-85617-497-8


From the first edition: 

"Both interesting and intriguing, this book should prove a valuable resource for those starting out in design or is also fun to browse through." - Science Magazine, June 2003

"It is not often that I find it difficult to stop reading a book ... the word inspirational is used in various parts of (this) book -- and how appropriate this word is to this textbook ... For both students and designers, Materials & Design is a gold mine. In short, I thoroughly recommend this book" - Building Engineer, May 2003

Table of Contents

Ten Chapters

Chapter 1脗路 Function and Personality

Chapter 2脗路 What Influences Product Design?

Chapter 3脗路 Design and Designing

Chapter 4脗路 The Stuff芒聙娄 Multi-dimensional Materials

Chapter 5脗路 Other Stuff芒聙娄 Shaping, Joining and Surfaces

Chapter 6脗路 Form Follows Material

Chapter 7脗路 A Structure for Material Selection

Chapter 8脗路 Case Studies in Materials and Design

Chapter 9脗路 New Materials - The Potential for Innovation

Chapter 10脗路 Conclusions


Exercises for the Eye and Mind

Selected Material Maps

A Practical Reference for Inspiration

Material Profiles

Shaping Profiles

Joining Profiles

Surface Profiles