SELECTION OF DESIGN CONCEPTS USING VIRTUAL PROTOTYPING IN THE EARLY DESIGN PHASES
One of the challenges in the early phases of a product development process is the need to make fundamental decisions regarding the selection of design concepts. The use of virtual prototyping right from the early stages provides a means to rapidly develop design variants that can be analyzed in order to support these decisions. This article presents a systematic method for the evaluation of design concepts based on the performance assessment of dynamic virtual prototypes. The implementation alternatives for different functions are summarized in a Zwicky matrix. To manage the testing process and to analyze the results we use the Taguchi design of experiments method. The results are finally used to select the best design concept out of the Zwicky matrix. The details of the proposed method are presented and applied for the development of a vacuum cleaner robot. In order to describe the dynamic behavior of each concept immersed in its environment, our approach leverage on a 3D physics simulator connected in closed loop with a finite state machine control logic.