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Über dieses Buch

Innovation in Product Design gives an overview of the research fields and achievements in the development of methods and tools for product design and innovation. It presents contributions from experts in many different fields covering a variety of research topics related to product development and innovation. Product lifecycle management, knowledge management, product customization, topological optimization, product virtualization, systematic innovation, virtual humans, design and engineering, and rapid prototyping are the key research areas described in the book. It also details successful case studies developed with industrial companies.

Innovation in Product Design is written for academic researchers, graduate students and professionals in product development disciplines who are interested in understanding how novel methodologies and technologies can make the product development process more efficient.



Chapter 1. The Evolution of Digital Tools for Product Design

The development of digital tools for product design started with the research works on computer graphics in the 1960s. By the end of the decade a number of companies were founded to commercialize the first CAD programs. Since then, the tools and the technology used in product development have advanced rapidly, were based on different modeling methods, and used in several industrial sectors. During the years, the developers have concentrated less on the functionality of the design tools, and more on issues related to the management of the product life cycle. The chapter tells the story of the digital tools for product design, by addressing their evolution till the current product life cycle management solutions that integrate various tools for better integrating the product development phases.
Massimo Fucci

Chapter 2. From Computer-Aided (Detailed) Design to Automatic Topology and Shape Generation

This chapter surveys the evolution of Computer-Aided systems in terms of support to the earliest stages of design and more specifically to the embodiment design phase, when functional requirements and related structural and manufacturing constraints must be translated into a working solution, i.e., the generation of topology and shape of a mechanical part. After an introductory discussion about the context and the limitations of current systems, the chapter summarizes the research outcomes of two projects: the first, namely PROSIT (From Systematic Innovation to Integrated Product Development), aimed at bridging systematic innovation practices and Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) tools with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems, by means of Design Optimization tools. The second, coordinated by the authors, is a prosecution of PROSIT and proposes the hybriDizAtion of Mono-Objective optimizations (DAeMON) as a strategy for automatic topology and shape generation. The latter is clarified by means of two exemplary applications, one related to a literature example about Genetic Algorithms applied to multi-objective optimization, the second to an industrial case study from the motor-scooter sector.
Gaetano Cascini, Federico Rotini

Chapter 3. Methods and Tools for Knowledge Sharing in Product Development

The emerging industrial business partnerships, which feature cross-functional and cross-company development efforts, raise the barrier for the establishment of effective knowledge sharing practises in the larger organization. This chapter aims to highlight the role of knowledge as a key enabler for effective engineering activities in the light of such emerging enterprise collaboration models. Knowledge enabled engineering (KEE) is presented as an approach to enhance the extended organization’s capability to establish effective collaboration among its parts, in spite of different organizational structures, technologies or processes. KEE is analyzed in its constituent parts, highlighting areas, methods and tools that are particularly interesting for leveraging companies’ knowledge sharing capabilities.
Marco Bertoni, Christian Johansson, Tobias C. Larsson

Chapter 4. Evolution in Mechanical Design Automation and Engineering Knowledge Management

Design activity consists, strictly speaking, in synthesizing something new (or arranging existing things in a new way) to satisfy a recognized need. This activity is accomplished through an iterative, knowledge-based, decision-making process. One of the goals pursued by IT applied to product development has been Design Automation that is the execution of all tasks of the design process of a product by a software application. In this context, engineering knowledge elicitation, representation and management are key issues to achieve the so-called “right the first time” design. This chapter summarizes authors research in Mechanical Design Automation (MDA) domain during the last two decades; it focuses the evolution from CAD centered applications to Object-Oriented (O-O) ones up until the more recent issues related to storing, sharing and reusing of engineering knowledge, the role in PLM approach and the support to decision-making. Finally, the fundamental aspects related to development of real-MDA applications are discussed, on the basis of personal experiences of the authors.
Giorgio Colombo, Ferruccio Mandorli

Chapter 5. Styling Features for Industrial Design

This chapter focuses on the concept of shape features for industrial design of product models, intended as a means for conveying a specific design intent; in geometric modelling the feature-based approach aims at facilitating the design activity while enabling shape manipulations directly linked to the semantics the user has in mind. This chapter describes, from this perspective, the evolution of the tools for computer-aided industrial design that led to the modern tools and methods for the definition of styling product shape models; an overview of the main research approaches and outcomes for the identification and the exploitation of styling features is provided. The current limitations and possible future trends are presented as well.
Marina Monti

Chapter 6. The Evolving Role of Computer-Aided Engineering: A Case Study in the Aeronautical Structural Design

This chapter discusses some aspects of how the evolution of computer-aided engineering has affected product design practise. As a case study we describe the main challenges of aeronautical structural design and how the role of Computer-Aided Engineering—CAE evolves to deliver fundamental process improvements. It is outlined the double function of simulation: early in the initial design phases, it supports engineering and decision-making, whereas in later phases it helps in validating the design with respect to specifications. The validation function is widely practised in the industry and this is where most investment in simulation is made. While its importance is recognized, the engineering function is still underestimated in terms of technology availability, resources and investment. Zooming-in on the technology aspect, two industrial applications of Finite Element-based structural optimization are presented, which illustrates the important impact of such technology on the engineering function. These examples allow us to lead the discussion further on how to close the gap between “state-of-the-art” technology and its exploitation in “state-of-the-art” processes.
Pietro Cervellera

Chapter 7. Product Virtualization: An Effective Method for the Evaluation of Concept Design of New Products

This chapter discusses about the methods, tools and issues related to the practise of Virtual Prototyping used in the product development process. Virtual Prototyping is becoming more and more a diffused practise in various industrial sectors. Virtual Prototypes can be effectively used to validate the design solutions, already in the early phase of product design, when the engineering of the product is in the early phase or even not started. This practice can be used for checking the correspondence of the concept design with the users needs’, and also for checking the users’ acceptance of the new product through tests performed directly with end users’. This chapter is focused on Virtual Prototyping applied to consumer products, i.e., products that are characterized by aesthetics aspects, and by the fact that the users’ interact with them. The chapter includes two examples of prototypes that have been developed with different objectives, and using different technologies (one in based on Virtual Reality and the other one on Mixed Reality technologies), and discusses the issues and the benefits.
Monica Bordegoni

Chapter 8. Digital Human Models Within Product Development Process

This chapter focuses on the use of Digital Human Models (DHM) within the product development process enabling the designers to address and solve ergonomics and human factors along the whole product life cycle. First part of the chapter introduces the state of the art of DHM tools. It comprises a short history, which points out the evolution of virtual humans since their origins, and proposes a classification taking into account also fields of application. Second part of the chapter describes possible applications of DHM within the product development process. Case studies from different industrial contexts are presented and discussed. The first regards the use of DHM and VR techniques in automotive and farm tractor industry, the second the integration of virtual prototyping techniques with DHM to validate and study new solutions for refrigerated unit and machinery and the last one the virtual testing of artificial lower limb prosthesis. Final remarks conclude the chapter.
Caterina Rizzi

Chapter 9. CAD and the Rapid Construction of Physical Objects

This chapter deals with the generation of the physical representation of objects modeled using 3D CAD systems. There are many technologies at the moment that perform this task in a quasi-automatic way. The resulting objects can serve as prototypes in each phase of the design process—in this case the specific term used is rapid prototyping—, or they could be tools for building products—rapid tooling—, or, in some case, they represent the result of the development, the final product—rapid manufacturing—. Then, the role of these technologies appears quite important throughout the whole product development process. They allow resource saving, better product quality, shorter TTM, etc., but at the same time they present specific requirements that inevitably end to influence the product design. Some design for manufacturing methods and tools have been developed and adopted in different fields, in order to help designers and engineers to keep these requirements into consideration. In the following, some technologies will be introduced; then their requirements are exploited to show the data elaboration needed to gain the compatibility with them; finally, some examples of adoption of these technologies in different fields will be reported.
Stefano Filippi


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