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Research Papers

Innovations in Design Through Transformation: A Fundamental Study of Transformation Principles

[+] Author and Article Information
Vikramjit Singh

 The University of Texas at Austin, 3454-B Lake Austin Boulevard, Austin, TX 78703vikramjit@mail.utexas.edu

Stewart M. Skiles

 Factory Automation Systems, 1116 Napier Street, Atlanta, GA 30316stewartsklies@yahoo.com

Jarden E. Krager

 Luminex Corp, 405 Autumn Bend, Cedar Park, TX 78613kragerje@gmail.com

Kristin L. Wood

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712wood@mail.utexas.edu

Dan Jensen

Department of Engineering Mechanics, U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA), 2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 6l-155, Colorado Springs, CO 80840dan.jensen@usafa.edu

Robert Sierakowski

Air Force Research Lab, Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542robert.sierakowski@eglin.af.mil

J. Mech. Des 131(8), 081010 (Jul 27, 2009) (18 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3125205 History: Received April 21, 2008; Revised March 17, 2009; Published July 27, 2009

The act of creating a new product, system, or process is an innovation; the result of excogitation, study and experimentation. It is an inductive and/or deductive process. The inductive process involves studying systems that exist, for example, in nature, patents and products, and inducing from the behavior of these systems elemental features for innovating novel products. The deductive process involves deducing such aspects from hypothetical concepts and situations where systems or products could exist. By the application of a combined inductive and deductive approach, this paper reports on a methodology for the creation of innovative products with a broader functional repertoire than traditional designs. This breed of innovative products is coined as transformers, transforming into different configurations or according to different states. Current design theory lacks a systematic methodology for the creation of products that have the ability to transform. This paper identifies analogies in nature, patents, and products along with hypothesizing the existence of such products in different environments and situations. Transformation design principles are extracted by studying key design features and functional elements that make up a transforming product. These principles are defined and categorized according to their roles in general transformations. The principles and categorizations are then validated and applied to conceptualize transforming products as part of an innovative design process.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design , Patents
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Classical transformer example

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Figure 2

Transformation within the product domain (2-11)

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Opportunities for transforming products (2-11)

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Changeable bits in the Lock n’ Load Screwdriver

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(a) The inflatable antenna experiment (IAE) deployment sequence; (b) IAE deployed in space (14)

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SHIFT’s wheels shift as the child gains momentum (15)

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The Palau Sant Jordi was built in 10 days (16)

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Research study approach

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Detailed research study process

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Figure 10

Search methodology for natural analogies that transform

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Search methodology for patented devices which show transformation

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Product search methodology

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Deductive research approach

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Figure 14

Transformation principles and facilitators categorization with bottom to top mapping of facilitators to principles

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Examples “expand/collapse” (12,66-67)

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Examples “expose” (11,68-69)

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Examples “fuse/divide” (70-72)

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Examples “common core structure” (3,73-74)

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Examples “composite” (75-77)

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Examples “conform with structural interfaces” (78-80)

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Examples “enclosure” (80-82)

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Examples “fan” (56,83-84)

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Examples “flip” (77,85-86)

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Examples “fold” (87-89)

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Examples “function sharing” (90-92)

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Examples “furcation” (93-95)

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Examples “generic connections” (96-98)

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Examples “inflate” (14,99-100)

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Examples “interchangeable transmission” (2,101-102)

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Examples “material flexibility” (103-105)

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Examples “modularity” (106-108)

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Examples “nesting” (109-111)

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Examples “roll/wrap/coil” (112-114)

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Examples “segmentation” (115-117)

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Examples “shared power transmission” (118-120)

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Examples “shelling” (121-124)

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Examples “telescope” (125-127)

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Number of principles/facilitators versus number of patents analyzed

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Comparison of a motorcycle and an ATV (128-129)

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Mind map for motorcycle/ATV transforming designs

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Figure 41

Concept sketch of a motorcycle-ATV Transformer

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Motorcycle configuration

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ATV configuration

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Motorcycle-ATV Transformer “Morphix” (a) motorcycle configuration and (b) ATV configuration

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(a) RevoPower™ two-stroke I.C engine (130) and (b) Honda City Express pancake motor moped (131)

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Morphing tires: (a) wet condition and (b) dry condition (132)

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