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Research Papers: Design Education

J. Mech. Des. 2017;139(8):082001-082001-9. doi:10.1115/1.4036566.

This study compares the potential of the methods of inventive principles (IPR) of TRIZ (MIPT) and BioTRIZ (MIPB) in relation to stimulating creativity in problem solving. The two methods were applied to different issues by groups of undergraduate students. The solutions were evaluated in terms of creativity, which was defined by the criteria of originality and utility. Quantitative analysis provided evidence that the two methods are equal in terms of creative contributions. However, further analyses indicate that the IPs derived from biological systems tend to provide a greater creative contribution compared to those based on technical systems. In addition, it was found that repeated inventive principles (IPR), that is, those indicated more than once by the applied methods, tend to introduce a greater potential for stimulating creativity compared to inventive principles (IPs) indicated only once.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Design of Direct Contact Systems

J. Mech. Des. 2017;139(8):083301-083301-11. doi:10.1115/1.4036583.

Most of the prior studies on power-split hybrid electric vehicle's (PS-HEV) design focused on the powertrain configuration optimization. Yet, depicting the selected configuration is highly required for further design steps, ultimately manufacturing. This paper proposes an automatic approach to generate all the feasible kinematic diagrams for a given configuration with a single planetary gear (PG) set. While the powertrain configuration, which is the output of prior studies, illustrates the connection of the powertrain components to the PG, the kinematic diagram is a schematic diagram depicting the connections and arrangements of the components. First, positioning diagrams, specifying the position of the components with respect to each other and to the PG, are used to find all the possible arrangements. Then, given that the positioning diagrams have a one-to-one relationship with the kinematic diagrams, the feasible kinematic diagrams are identified using a set of feasibility rules applicable to the positioning diagrams. Finally, few guidelines are introduced to select good kinematic diagrams that best suit the overall vehicle design. Various configurations were investigated, and three of them including Prius and Voltec first-generation single PG configurations are discussed. The study reveals that the kinematic diagrams that have been patented are only a subset of all the feasible kinematic diagrams, and that even some good kinematic diagrams with better manufacturability are identified using this methodology. Thus, this methodology guarantees the search of the entire design space and the selection of kinematic diagrams that best suit the desired vehicle.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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