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Design Innovation Paper

Automatic Generation of a Pattern of Geometric Features for Industrial Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Diego F. Andrade

e-mail: diegoandrade@gmail.com

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
5000 Forbes Avenue,
Scaife Hall 314, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Kenji Shimada

e-mail: shimada@cmu.edu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Carnegie Mellon University,
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contributed by the Design Innovation and Devices of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received January 31, 2013; final manuscript received September 3, 2013; published online September 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Alexander Slocum.

J. Mech. Des 135(11), 115001 (Sep 24, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MD-13-1042; doi: 10.1115/1.4025371 History: Received January 31, 2013; Revised September 03, 2013

This paper presents a new computational method for the automatic generation of geometric feature patterns for industrial design. Such patterns include speaker holes, showerhead holes, and bumpy textures on a grip, and they play a key role in making a designed object aesthetically pleasing and functional. While modern CAD packages support the automated creation of basic patterns, rectangular grids, and radial grids, they are not applicable to more general cases required in industrial design, including arbitrarily shaped target geometry and graded feature sizes. The proposed computational method takes as input a target region along with sizing metrics and generates feature patterns automatically in three steps: (1) packing circles tightly in the target region, (2) scaling features according to the specified sizing metrics, and (3) adding features on the base geometry. The proposed method is installed as a plugin module to a commercial CAD package, and a pattern of hundreds of features can be added to a 3D CAD model in less than 5 min. This allows the industrial designer to explore more design alternatives by avoiding the tedious and time-consuming manual generation of patterns.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Examples of geometric feature patterns used in product design

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Fig. 2

Two automated pattern generation methods available in commercial CAD packages

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Fig. 3

Boundary conforming features are more preferable in industrial design

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Fig. 4

Proposed three-step computational method for automatic pattern generation

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Fig. 5

Arrangement showing a cluster of features and the referred distances to calculate r0

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Fig. 6

Effects of shaping metric over a general target region

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Fig. 7

Result 1: Audi A7 speaker

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Fig. 8

Result 2: Audi A5 Speaker

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Fig. 9

Result 3: Mercedes SLS speaker

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Fig. 10

Result 4: ClearOne conference station base model and target

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Fig. 11

Result 5: (a) base model for ClearOne station; (b) target region selection; and (c) pattern generation using different pattern arrangements

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Fig. 12

Result 6: (a) base model for laser printer; (b) target region selection; and (c) pattern generation using different pattern arrangements

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