A Validation Study of an Automated Concept Generator Design Tool


The current version of the Concept Generator, an automated mathematically-based design tool, is studied in an effort to validate its general approach and establish research goals for further development. As part of the study, four undergraduate engineering researchers from the University of Missouri-Rolla and University of Texas at Austin execute a qualitative study of the software's effectiveness at producing useful design solutions. The students engage in several activities designed to test the capabilities of this early version of the software. A report of their results and analyses identifies the benefits and disadvantages of the software (and underlying method) as viewed at this stage of development. Furthermore, the design solution data collected by the undergraduate researchers is analyzed more quantitatively during a post-study investigation. Both the qualitative and quantitative studies indicate that the Concept Generator is a promising first step toward the creation of an effective design tool for the conceptual phase of design. Furthermore, the student reports on their hands-on experiences with the software identify strengths and weaknesses of this early version of the Concept Generator and help establish many avenues for further development of the design tool.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Automated Concept Generation; Functional Basis of Design; Method Comparison

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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

Publication Date

01 Jan 2006

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