Abstract

The architecture of a product is defined as the scheme in which functions are mapped to physical components. Architecture has a strong impact on how a product satisfies design objectives. There are several ways to measure architecture, and one is implemented into a solid modeling program, that will do the quantification automatically. The software used is the I-DEAS solid modeling package, for which an internal program file was created to automatically perform the calculations. This program works by counting the parts that the user has created, then uses an internal I-DEAS function to find all of the joined parts. The program counts the joints and then prompts the user for the strength of each joint. With this information, an adjusted parts connectivity and average joint strength is calculated and can be used to evaluate the degree to which the architecture of a product is either integral or modular. Four case studies are presented that were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Three of these yielded excellent results, but the final case study failed because of model input problems. With further development this program could be a very important design tool in the future.

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