Development of tailorable mechanical design support software

Van Der Merwe, Ruan (2013-12)

Thesis (MScEng)-- Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A wide variety of design methodologies exist in literature and the methodologies employed may differ among companies and even among design teams. Therefore a software tool, called DiDeas II, is being developed for the early phases of mechanical engineering design. DiDeas II is customisable to accommodate various design methodologies. An approach for customisability which allows the user interface and data structure to be customised without changing the source code has been implemented in previous developments via an approach combining ontology and conceptual graphs. This approach is expanded in this thesis to allow for the implementation of various design methodologies through the use of tables for the display of information with inheritance of data among these tables. During groupwork, communication is both asynchronous and synchronous. DiDeas II has been developed in this thesis to facilitate and capture both asynchronous and synchronous communication between team members. Capturing such communications has the potential to provide insight into design decisions. The communication functionality was assessed in case studies in an academic environment. DiDeas II proved to be effective at recording “soft” information during design and placing the information into context for future reference. The degree to which DiDeas II could be customised to suit the design process at different companies was assessed through discussions with engineers in industry. These discussions showed that it was possible to customise DiDeas II according to the design processes followed by the participants.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: „n Wye verskeidenheid ontwerpsmetodologieë bestaan in die literatuur en die metodologieë wat gebruik word kan tussen maatskappye en selfs tussen ontwerpspanne verskil. Daarom word „n sagteware-hulpmiddel, genaamd DiDeas II, ontwikkel vir die vroeë fases van meganiese ingenieursontwerp. DiDeas II is pasbaar om voorsiening te maak vir verskeie ontwerpsmetodologieë. „n Benadering vir pasbaarheid wat toelaat dat die gebruikerskoppelvlak en datastruktuur aangepas kan word sonder om veranderings aan die bron-kode te maak, is geïmplementeer in vorige ontwikkelings deur „n benadering wat ontologie en konseptuele grafieke kombineer. Hierdie benadering is in hierdie tesis uitgebrei om voorsiening te maak vir die implementering van verskeie ontwerpsmetodologieë d.m.v. tabelle vir die vertoon van informasie, met data wat “oorgeërf” word tussen hierdie tabelle. Kommunikasie is beide asinkroon en sinkroon tydens groepwerk. DiDeas II is in hierdie tesis verder ontwikkel om beide asinkrone en sinkrone kommunikasie metodes te bemiddel en daarvan rekord te hou. Die rekordhouding van sulke kommunikasie het die potensiaal om insig te bied aangaande ontwerpbesluite. Die kommunikasie funksionaliteit is geassesseer in gevallestudies in „n akademiese omgewing. DiDeas II was effektief in die rekordhouding van “sagte” informasie tydens ontwerp, sowel as om sulke informasie binne konteks te plaas vir latere verwysing. Die mate waartoe DiDeas II aangepas kan word om voorsiening te maak vir die ontwerpsprosesse van verskillende maatskappye, is geassesseer deur gesprekke met ingenieurs in industrie. Hierdie gesprekke het getoon dat dit moontlik is om DiDeas II aan te pas volgens die ontwerpsprosesse wat die deelnemers gebruik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85664
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