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The University of Southampton

Research project: Design rationale capture in detailed design stage

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“Design rationale often means the historical record of the analysis that led to the choice of the particular artifact or the feature in question.” Lee, J., Lai, K.Y. (1991). “What’s in Design Rationale?"    

As literature reveals, Design Rationale is mostly captured during concept design phase where all the logic of the design process is documented.

In the detailed design phase, however, Design Rationale is often not explicitly stated within the geometric definition and Rationale for dimension value instances and tolerances may be more difficult to trace quickly.

The absence of rationale in geometry models:

  • Makes it difficult to understand the constraints/logic of driving dimension values and tolerances.
  • Hampers manufacturability assessment and cost reduction activities.

The research project investigates Rationale capture framework and its importance in design and manufacture processes. It aims to develop a simple, easy to use, quick and intuitive Rationale capture tool to support the decision making, document the design process and store knowledge/rationale within the CAD model.


Related research groups

Computational Engineering and Design
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