Trend-Morph-PDS, A methodology for innovative (mechanical) engineering design

American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of 7th Biennial ASME Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis, 2004, pp. 1 - 10
Issue Date:
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The paper describes a design methodology, TREND-MORPH-PDS, an original contribution to design science. It is a relatively simple methodology that has grown from efforts to innovate mechanical machines with their strong dependence on solid (geometrical) reasoning. The approach focuses on combinatorial methods of invention/innovation/design emphasizing the manipulation of form (as distinct from the manipulation of function alone) that help the designer to generate a wide range of good design alternatives. The first premise of this approach is that the elements and functions of mature technologies such as mechanical machines are well documented and understood. Thus, innovations are more likely to involve new combinations of existing forms than the introduction of new machine elements. The second premise is that valuable information is available about most elements and the more popular subsystems and machines. That information has evolved, sometimes over time spans ranging to hundreds of years, but usually has not been systematically documented and categorised, thus leaving opportunities to investigate these areas and discover good design possibilities. Further, some valuable information is available only anecdotally or is tightly held by the managements of the companies that have manufactured the device(s) or own the intellectual rights.
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