ANALYSING MODIFICATIONS IN THE SYNTHESIS OF MULTIPLE STATE MECHANICAL DEVICES USING CONFIGURATION SPACE AND TOPOLOGY GRAPHS
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. In our research, ten experimental studies are conducted to find out how designers synthesize solution concepts for multi-state mechanical devices. The designers are asked to think aloud, while carrying out the synthesis. These design synthesis processes are video recorded. It has been found that modification of kinematic pairs and mechanisms is the major activity carried out by all the designers. This paper presents an analysis of these synthesis processes using configuration space and topology graph to identify and classify the types of modifications that take place. Understanding of these modification processes and the context in which they happened is crucial to develop a system for supporting design synthesis of multiple state mechanical devices that is capable of creating a comprehensive variety of solution alternatives.