An Empirical Model of the Process of Synthesis of Multiple State Mechanical Devices
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Todeti, Somasekhara Rao; Chakrabarti, Amaresh
Section: Product and Systems Design
Automated synthesis of mechanical designs is an important step towards the development of an intelligent CAD system. Research into methods for supporting conceptual design using automated synthesis has attracted much attention in the past decades. The research work presented here is based on the processes of synthesizing multiple state mechanical devices carried out individually by ten engineering designers. The designers are asked to think aloud, while carrying out the synthesis. The ten design synthesis processes are video recorded, and the records are transcribed and coded for identifying activities occurring in the synthesis processes, as well as for identifying the inputs to and outputs from the activities. A mathematical representation for specifying multi-state design task is proposed. Further, a descriptive model capturing all the ten synthesis processes is developed and presented in this paper. This will be used to identify the outstanding issues to be resolved before a system for supporting design synthesis of multiple state mechanical devices that is capable of creating a comprehensive variety of solution alternatives could be developed.