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Computer-based creativity enhanced conceptual design model for non-routine design of mechanical systems

Li, Yutong and Wang, Yuxin and Duffy, Alex H B (2014) Computer-based creativity enhanced conceptual design model for non-routine design of mechanical systems. Chinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 27 (6). pp. 1083-1098. ISSN 1000-9345

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Computer-based conceptual design for routine design has made great strides in recent years, yet non-routine design has not been given due attention, and it is still poorly automated. Considering that the FBS model is widely used for modeling the conceptual design process, a computer-based creativity enhanced conceptual design model (CECD) for non-routine design of mechanical systems is presented. In the model, the leaf functions in the FBS model are decomposed into and represented with fine-grain basic operation actions (BOA), and the corresponding BOA set in the function domain is then constructed. Choosing building blocks from the database, and expressing their multiple functions with BOAs, the BOA set in the structure domain is formed. Through rule-based dynamic partition of the BOA set in the function domain, many variants of regenerated functional schemes are generated. For enhancing the capability to introduce new design variables into the conceptual design process, and dig out more innovative physical structure schemes, the indirect function-structure matching strategy based on reconstructing the combined structure schemes is adopted. By adjusting the tightness of the partition rules and the granularity of the divided BOA subsets, and making full use of the main function and secondary functions of each basic structure in the process of reconstructing of the physical structures, new design variables and variants are introduced into the physical structure scheme reconstructing process, and a great number of simpler physical structure schemes to accomplish the overall function organically are figured out. The creativity enhanced conceptual design model presented in this paper has a dominant capability in introducing new deign variables in function domain and digging out simpler physical structures to accomplish the overall function, therefore it can be utilized to solve non-routine conceptual design problem.