CONCEPT GENERATION FROM THE FUNCTIONAL BASIS OF DESIGN
Cari R. Bryant, Robert B. Stone, Daniel A. McAdams, Tolga Kurtoglu, Matthew I. Campbell Keywords: concept generation, functional basis, conceptual design, functional models
Few computational tools exist to assist designers during the conceptual phase of design, and design success is often heavily weighted on personal experience and innate ability. Many well-known methods (e.g. brainstorming, intrinsic and extrinsic searches, and morphological analysis) are designed to stimulate a designer’s creativity, but ultimately still rely heavily on individual bias and experience. Under the premise that quality designs comes from experienced designers, experience in the form of design knowledge is extracted from existing products and stored for reuse in a web-based repository. This paper presents a concept generation algorithm that utilizes the Functional Basis and a web-based repository of existing design knowledge to generate and rank viable conceptual design variants. This tool is intended to augment traditional conceptual design phase activities and produce numerous feasible concepts early in the design process.
The concept generation phase of the design process is, at best, difficult to translate into a succinct methodology that is useful to both experienced and inexperienced designers. Quantification and formalization of the conceptual design phase is an active, but immature, area of research. Many formal methods of conceptual design have yet to be realized as computational algorithms. The work presented in this paper shows the initial steps taken to generate a matrix-based algorithm for concept generation and early concept evaluation. The specific focus of this research is the combination and formalization of function-based synthesis, constraint management, and state space search...