It is firstly important to understand what the Technical Specification should be delivering.
At OCR we no longer recognise the specifications/design specifications formerly delivered through legacy specifications as being valid. They do not reflect the process of iterative designing in a school context. Instead we expect that students will outline user/stakeholder requirements through engagement with them to identify their needs/problems/opportunities, or; will identify technical requirements from ongoing explorations of existing products and testing out their own ideas.
A Technical Specification is a combination of the working drawings; lay plans; material/component lists; manufacturing processes/requirements; clarity on functionality. These specifications should be delivered with a focus on industrial manufacture, enabling the product to be able to be prototyped by a third-party manufacturer. In comparison to legacy qualifications, this ‘Technical’ specification will be a lot later in the process, students having already undertaken sufficient practical testing to be more certain of methods required.
Once the Technical Specification has been delivered the students will then turn their minds to making their own final prototypes based on the Final Design and specification they have delivered. This is the making of a prototype, rather than the manufacture of a product. Accepting there may not be sufficient materials or processes within a school’s workshop to enable production as laid out in the specification, the most appropriate methods should be planned for within the school’s resources. Students will need to outline how and why they are substituting materials or processes appropriately to be able to deliver a functioning prototype or set of prototypes that demonstrate suitable aesthetics and function when presenting the final prototype to a third party.