Automating the Conceptual Design Process: From Black-box to Component Selection

  • Tolga Kurtoglu
  • Albert Swantner
  • Matthew I. Campbell

Conceptual design is a vital part of the design process during which designers first envision new ideas and then synthesize them into physical configurations that meet certain design specifications. In this research, a suite of computational tools is developed that assists the designers perform this non-trivial task of navigating the design space for creating conceptual design solutions. The methodology is based on automating the function-based synthesis paradigm by combining various computational methods. Accordingly, three nested search algorithms are developed and integrated that mimic a designer's decision-making at various stages of conceptual design. The implemented system provides a method for automatically generating novel alternative solutions to real design problems. The application of the approach to the design of an electromechanical device shows the method's range of capabilities, and how it serves as a comparison to human conceptual design generation and as a tool suite to complement the skills of a designer.


Function Structure Mechanical Energy Search Tree Design Configuration Component Selection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tolga Kurtoglu
    • 1
  • Albert Swantner
    • 2
  • Matthew I. Campbell
    • 2
  1. 1.NASA Ames Research CenterUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas at AustinUSA

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