Visual Representations as an Aid to Concept Generation


This paper describes our initial efforts to develop a 3D visualization tool that is part of an overall effort to create a Concept Generator, an automated conceptual design tool, to aid a designer during the early stages of the design process. The use of CAD software has diversified into various disciplines that have made use of simulation and software modeling tools for reasons that range from improving accuracy in design, reduction in lead times, and simple visualizations. The impacts of CAD software have been beneficial in industry and education. Described in this paper is the use of low-memory VRML models to represent components. These low memory models have been created to achieve several goals that complement the overall objectives of the concept generator. One key goal is that the concept generator be accessible via the web, thus the need for low-memory and low-data models. Additionally, as the concept generator is intended for usage during early conceptual design, the 3D visualization tool allows the creation of models upon which basic manipulations can be performed so that a designer can get an initial feel of the structure that his product is going to take. Our research has enabled us to create a basic visualization tool which, while similar in nature to most other CAD software tools, is unique, in that it represents the link, as a visual interface, between a formulated concept and the designer. The paper presents the research problem, an overview of the architecture of the software tool and some preliminary results on visual representations as an aid to concept generation.

Meeting Name

ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (2006: Sep. 10-13, Philadelphia, PA)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

3D Visualization; CAD; Computer-aided design; Three-dimensional imaging; VRML (Computer program language)

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2006 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006

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