Memic: An Interactive Morphological Matrix Tool for Automated Concept Generation


Advancement in product design is usually made by building on previous experiences and learning from past successes and failures. However, knowledge transfer in the broad field of product design is often difficult to accomplish. Research has shown that successful component configurations, observed from existing products, can be dissected and stored for reuse; but few computational tools exist to assist designers during the conceptual phase of design. Many well-known manual concept generation methods (e.g. brainstorming, intrinsic and extrinsic searches, and morphological analysis) rely heavily on individual bias and experience and are generally laborious tasks that may not draw upon a wide enough solution space. This research presents an automated design tool that augments traditional activities during the conceptual phase of design. The interactive morphological matrix (or MEMIC, the Morphological Evaluation Machine and Interactive Conceptualizer) draws on knowledge contained within a repository of existing design solutions to quickly produce numerous feasible concepts early in the design process, which each satisfy the functional requirements for a design problem. By quickly presenting numerous concepts from products that have already been developed, this design tool provides a broader set of initial concepts for evaluation than a designer may generate alone when limited by his/her personal experiences.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Component Configuration; Concept Generation; Design Automation; Design Repository Implementation

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2008 Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2008

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