Computer-based creativity enhanced conceptual design model for non-routine design of mechanical systems

Yutong Li, Yuxin Wang, Alex H. B. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Computer-based conceptual design for routine design has made great strides in recent years, yet non-routine design has not been given due attention, and it is still poorly automated. Considering that the FBS model is widely used for modeling the conceptual design process, a computer-based creativity enhanced conceptual design model (CECD) for non-routine design of mechanical systems is presented. In the model, the leaf functions in the FBS model are decomposed into and represented with fine-grain basic operation actions (BOA), and the corresponding BOA set in the function domain is then constructed. Choosing building blocks from the database, and expressing their multiple functions with BOAs, the BOA set in the structure domain is formed. Through rule-based dynamic partition of the BOA set in the function domain, many variants of regenerated functional schemes are generated. For enhancing the capability to introduce new design variables into the conceptual design process, and dig out more innovative physical structure schemes, the indirect function-structure matching strategy based on reconstructing the combined structure schemes is adopted. By adjusting the tightness of the partition rules and the granularity of the divided BOA subsets, and making full use of the main function and secondary functions of each basic structure in the process of reconstructing of the physical structures, new design variables and variants are introduced into the physical structure scheme reconstructing process, and a great number of simpler physical structure schemes to accomplish the overall function organically are figured out. The creativity enhanced conceptual design model presented in this paper has a dominant capability in introducing new deign variables in function domain and digging out simpler physical structures to accomplish the overall function, therefore it can be utilized to solve non-routine conceptual design problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1098
Number of pages16
JournalChinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2014


  • conceptual design
  • mathematical expression
  • computer-based approach
  • creative enhance model
  • non-routine design

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