The Ecosystem for Engineering Design Applied to Formula SAE 2017-01-1324
Modern mechanical design is heavily supplemented by computer-aided design and engineering (CAD/CAE) tools. The predominance of these tools have been developed to augment the analysis efforts during the detailed phase of the design process. Yet, many design oversights and inefficiencies are the result of inadequate vetting of engineering requirements, and vague accountability to those requirements during conceptual design. The Ecosystem for Engineering Design is developed herein as an immersive CAE tool for comprehensive design process support that facilitates the elimination of these sources of design inefficiency. In addition, the Ecosystem promotes rigid adherence to phase-appropriate design process activities increasing productivity. Many time-consuming administrative and information management tasks are automated to further increase designer efficiency. The Ecosystem for Engineering Design incorporates an array of phase-based design utilities including Total Design  and Axiomatic Design , making it a flexible and capable design-decision support tool. Designers are able to consolidate efforts in the most promising direction and design iteratively within each phase to avoid costly, whole-process iterations. In this vein, the Ecosystem innately supports lean design philosophies by minimizing the time to achieve a high-quality solution, minimizing resource use, and maximizing product value. The tools chosen for development and implementation are those with proven track records for maximizing design efficiency, and resulting design quality including Axiomatic Design, Total Design, and many prolific high-quality CAD/CAE tools available today. Using structured, relational data objects, archived information can be used for concept development, and also for requirement construction. The Ecosystem is developed as a comprehensive project management and design tool and is demonstrated in the context of undergraduate Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) team design competitions, such as Formula SAE. The Ecosystem is shown to provide value to all stakeholders of design including the designer, the customer, and supervisors.