Technical Briefs

Using a Design Repository to Drive Concept Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
Matt R. Bohm, Jayson P. Vucovich, Robert B. Stone

Design Engineering Laboratory, Department of Interdisciplinary Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, MO 65409

Located at http://function.basiceng.umr.edu/repository.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 8(1), 014502 (Feb 28, 2008) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2830844 History: Received April 06, 2006; Revised August 06, 2007; Published February 28, 2008

This paper describes how a design repository can be used as a concept generation tool by drawing upon archived function-based design knowledge. Modern design methodologies include several types of activities to formally generate design concepts. Typical concept generation methods range from open-ended creative brainstorming activities to quantitative function-component analysis. A combination of two such methods—the chi-matrix and morphological matrix techniques—is the basis for this work. Building on existing functionality of the design repository, desired product functions can be specified in a search of stored design knowledge, returning a morphological matrix of artifacts solving the specified functions. Such a search is termed a morphological search. The repository morphological search feature is evaluated against concepts generated in a previous original design project. Results of the morphological search return are then compared to ten of the original concept variants generated during the design project. This comparison shows that 89% of the specified subfunctions return results and that, on average, 77% of the components used in the hand-generated concepts can be derived by using the morphological search feature.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
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Figure 1

Functional model

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Figure 2

Concepts generated by the C-sketch method

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Figure 3

Concepts generated by the chi-matrix method

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Figure 4

Morphological search input

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Figure 5

Morphological search results

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Figure 6

Detailed component list for housing



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