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Case studies are used in design research to analyze a phenomenon, to generate hypotheses, and to validate a method. Though they are used extensively, there appears to be no accepted systematic case study method used by design researchers. Considering its nature and objectives, the case study method could be a suitable method for conducting design research.(More)
This paper describes an algorithm that is developed to quantify the connectivity of a graph. This connectivity is one of three aspects of complexity (connectivity, solvability, size) that has been identified in previous research. The complexity measures are applied against three components of design: the design problem, the design process, and the design(More)
The goal of this research is to investigate prototype use in conceptual design. In order to begin this line of study, we look first to current practices in industry. A case study involving two companies provides examples of prototype use in the conceptual design phase of their respective product development cycles. Six interviews were conducted at two(More)
This paper introduces a design tool that provides customised engineering analysis functionalities for a manufacturer of metal frames. This work is motivated by the need for supporting small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with affordable computer aided analysis tools. The design process followed by a SME, Wright Metal Products of Simpsonville, SC,(More)
This paper explores the possibility of supporting automated function-based reasoning in the conceptual design phase, specifically, reasoning needed to perform physics-based concept validation. Eleven atomic tasks of topologic reasoning, divided in two categories, connectedness and derivation, are identified that could be used to check graph-based function(More)