1998-02-23

A Design Rule Based Tool for Automobile Systems Design 980397

This paper will deal with an emerging technology in the world of design known as Knowledge-Based Design, or KBE. KBE, also known as Rule-Based Design, provides the design engineer with the ability to develop a true virtual prototype of a product prior to committing to manufacturing. A virtual prototype is a combination of the design rules, or product model, and the vehicle geometry. A virtual prototype has all of the geometric characteristics, or attributes, of the product as well as all of the non-geometric attributes such as materials, mass properties, stress and deflection characteristics, etc. KBE allows the development of computer-based tools for the design engineer that extends beyond the capability of current CAD and parametric tools. The early stages of automobile design differs from the traditional method used in aircraft or marine design where there is a well-defined conceptual, or early stage, design phase. A tool, known as the “Automobile Design Support System (AutoDSS) is under development in the CADTECH Research Lab at the University of Washington. AutoDSS offers the ability to the automotive designer to develop a preliminary “instance” or virtual prototype of a new concept in a rapid fashion.

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