Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Mocko, Gregory M

Committee Member

Fadel , Georges M

Committee Member

Wiecek , Margaret M

Committee Member

Greenstein , Joel S

Abstract

The use of morphological matrices as a tool to aid concept generation is examined. Two limitations of the method are highlighted; (1) the large number of potential combinatorial possibilities and (2) the lack of design details in the system concepts generated. An Integrated Idea Generation (IIG) method is proposed to support the generation of detailed system concepts effectively without performing a full factorial combination of the means within a morphological matrix. Pairwise functional combinations are extracted from the functions listed in the morphological matrix and explored in detail using options matrices and innovation challenges, encouraging designers to identify implicit assumptions and foster innovative designs. Pairwise combinations are used to generate sub-system concepts systematically and subsequently integrated to form system level conceptual ideas. The resulting concepts have greater design detail compared to concepts generated through the traditional morphological matrix method and increases confidence in the designer's assessment of the feasibility of the generated concepts. The IIG method is applied in industry to develop a seat mechanism for an automotive application with an industry sponsor. Based on the initial feedback received from industry regarding the method, the results of testing conducted through user studies (2) and interviews (6), and experience using the method, the potential advantages of the IIG method and the challenges associated with the method are provided. Despite the challenges identified, the IIG method is a useful method to help novice and experienced designers develop good quality concepts effectively.

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