Conceptual design is an important early stage activity of engineering design. The decisions made at the conceptual design phase commit up to 70% of the production cost and have significant impact on the downstream design and manufacturing processes. While computer tools have been developed to support design analysis and information management at the later stages of design, generating good design concepts and making smart decisions in conceptual design still largely depend on designers’ experience. Our research takes a value-based approach to conceptual design and proposes a set of specific methods and guidelines for designers to identify, structure their design objectives and use the objective structure to guide their concept generation process. This paper describes the proposed objective driven approach to design concept generation and presents a design example to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.

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