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Integrating Design and Optimization Tools: A Designer Centered Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Edward Burnell, Ana Flooks, Maria C. Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Michael Stern

Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA

Paper No. DETC2017-68307, pp. V007T06A029; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5821-9
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Exploring design options for additively manufactured parts generally requires separate, sequentially applied software for design, analysis, and optimization. To evaluate the effect of integrating these capabilities within a single tool we conducted a controlled human subjects study. Three tools with different degrees of integration were created for two test cases of structural trusses, and it was found that increased integration improved quality, speed, and efficiency of the design process. After a quarter of their total time with the problems, 50% of designers with a fully integrated tool had a better design than 75% of other designers ever would. After that point, the top 50% of designers went on to explore a design space unreached with other tools. It appears that integration, and in particular the integration of optimization, leads to better performance by making it possible to explore complex designs and achieve outcomes which would be inaccessible to conventional tools.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Topics: Design , Optimization



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