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authors Hsu, W. and Liu, B.
year 2000
title Conceptual design: issues and challenges
source Computer-Aided Design, Vol. 32 (14) (2000) pp. 849-850
summary Decisions made during conceptual design have significant influence on the cost, performance, reliability, safety and environmental impact of a product. It has been estimated that design decisions account for more than 75% of final product costs. It is, therefore, vital that designers have access to the right tools to support such design activities. In the early 1980s, researchers began to realize the impact of design decisions on downstream activities. As a result, different methodologies such as design for assembly, design for manufacturing and concurrent engineering, have been proposed. Software tools that implement these methodologies have also been developed. However, most of these tools are only applicable in the detailed design phase. Yet, even the highest standard of detailed design cannot compensate for a poor design concept formulated at the conceptual design phase. In spite of this, few CAD tools have been developed to support conceptual design activities. This is because knowledge of the design requirements and constraints during this early phase of a product's life cycle is usually imprecise and incomplete, making it difficult to utilize computer-based systems or prototypes. However, recent advances in fields such as fuzzy logic, computational geometry, constraints programming and so on have now made it possible for researchers to tackle some of the challenging issues in dealing with conceptual design activities. In this special issue, we have gathered together discussions on various aspects of conceptual design phase: from the capturing of the designer's intent, to modelling design constraints and solving them in an efficient manner, to verifying the correctness of the design.
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