The challenges in computer supported conceptual engineering design

Vuletic, Tijana and Duffy, Alex and Hay, Laura and McTeague, Christopher and Pidgeon, Laura and Grealy, Madeleine (2018) The challenges in computer supported conceptual engineering design. Computers in Industry, 95. pp. 22-37. ISSN 0166-3615 (

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Computer Aided Engineering Design (CAED) supports the engineering design process during the detail design, but it is not commonly used in the conceptual design stage. This article explores through literature why this is and how the engineering design research community is responding through the development of new conceptual CAED systems and HCI (Human Computer Interface) prototypes. First the requirements and challenges for future conceptual CAED and HCI solutions to better support conceptual design are explored and categorised. Then the prototypes developed in both areas, since 2000, are discussed. Characteristics already considered and those required for future development of CAED systems and HCIs are proposed and discussed, one of the key ones being experience. The prototypes reviewed offer innovative solutions, but only address selected requirements of conceptual design, and are thus unlikely to not provide a solution which would fit the wider needs of the engineering design industry. More importantly, while the majority of prototypes show promising results they are of low maturity and require further development.