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id diss_howe
authors Howe, Alan Scott
year 1988
title A new paradigm for life-cycle management of kit-of-parts building systems
summary The research described in this dissertation brings together various technologies in manufacturing and information management and suggests a new paradigm for the design, manufacture, and lifetime use of artifacts using kit-of-parts systems and rule-based assembly. The questions are asked: If architects, designers, and users were given direct online connection to real-time design information sources and fabrication processes, and have the ability to monitor and control the current state of designed objects throughout the objects' lifetime, how would the entire life-cycle of a product be affected, and how would design processes change? During the course of the research described in this dissertation, a series of simulations and experiments were conducted which produced a computer-based simulated design, manufacture, and use environment wherein these questions could begin to be answered. A kit-of-parts model building system was devised which could be used to design model buildings in virtual form by downloading virtual representations of the components from the Internet and assembling them into a desired form. The virtual model building could then be used to order the manufacture of real components online, and remotely controlled robots used to assemble the actual building on the site. Through the use of special hardware manufactured into the components, real-time remote monitoring and control of the current state of the finished model building was affected during the building's lifetime. The research establishes the feasibility of an online life-cycle environment where a virtual representation of an artifact is created and used to both manufacture a real-world counterpart and also monitor and control the current state of the real-world object. The state-of-the-art of pertinent technologies were explored through literature searches and experiments. Data representation, rule-based design techniques, robotics, and digital control were studied, and a series of design principles established which lend themselves toward a life-cycle management paradigm. Several case studies are cited which show how the design principles and life-cycle management environment can be applied to real buildings and other artifacts such as vehicles and marine structures. Ideas for expanded research on the life-cycle management paradigm are cited.  

series thesis:PhD
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