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Towards a Repository of Innovative Products to Enhance Engineering Creativity Education

[+] Author Affiliations
Sarah Oman, Brady Gilchrist, Carrie Rebhuhn, Irem Y. Tumer, Anthony Nix, Robert Stone

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2012-70433, pp. 207-218; 12 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Innovative products are the holy grail for consumer product manufacturers. The essence of what makes a product innovative and in-demand by consumers is a nebulous subject. The research presented in this paper charts the initial steps toward computer-directed innovation in product design. A method for identifying the innovative subsystems in a product and archiving that information is formulated. The innovation information, if archived in a design repository, can support automatic concept generation that is biased toward innovative concepts. Products featured in published lists of innovative products were reverse engineered to expose the component and functional relationships and to analyze where the innovation of the product was most prevalent. A function subtraction method based on difference rewards is used to isolate innovation functions and components in order to populate a Repository of Innovative Products (RIP). The goal behind this research is to develop a method to analyze innovative products such that they may aid in the innovation of future ideas outputted by the Design Repository. This methodology will be used in undergraduate design classes to teach how to factor in creativity and innovation in the early stages of engineering concept design.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Creativity , Education



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