Conventional computer-aided design (CAD) packages have drastically reduced the workload of the human designer and shortened the product design cycle. However, the degree of effort and volume of information required to use these tools limit their use to the later stages of design. Intelligent computer-aided design (ICAD) systems have sought to provide a more complete design tool to assist the designer in all phases of design. ICAD systems incorporate conventional CAD elements as well as knowledge engineering constructs. The level of integration between different components of an ICAD system determines its usefulness. Most commercial intelligent CAD packages are tied to a specific set of CAD tools, restricting their application domains. This dependence on specific software tools can be reduced by using general purpose modules to interface with available CAD packages. This paper discusses a method of introducing knowledge engineering technology to help develop an advanced intelligent product design system by integrating ICAD's Concept Modeller with SDRCs l-DEAS package for engineering product design. This integration is necessary because neither the Concept Modeller nor the l-DEAS package provides any unified design environment where users can access both symbolic and numerical design tools as needed to carry out design synthesis and analysis activities. Interfacing engineering design and knowledge processing together is not an easy task. The task is further complicated since it needs to be done only by those who have enough knowledge of both technologies, and also because it may result in reorganization of the traditional design process altogether. The proposed intelligent product design system uses artificial intelligence techniques to take care of human expert s knowledge and it advocates the use of several commercial software packages that come from a variety of sources (and are proven to be robust) to perform design synthesis in a cost-efficient and timely manner. The technique described here is relatively easy to implement and is well suited to industrial needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Artificial Intelligence