RaDEO-MIND: Multiphase Integrated eNgineering Design


The goal of the MIND project is to develop key enabling technologies and tools to support integrated product design across design phases and disciplines from early stage designs through manufacture for electromechanical products. No unified supporting technology exists to consider whether the early designs are functional and manufacturable, so that time-consuming physical simulations have to be created and executed. MIND's technical innovations will support a highly effective engineering process that will function at geographically distant locations and enable more design alternatives to be evaluated. By extending the concepts of feature-based parametric design to earlier design phases and by integrating multiple domains of design, MIND will accelerate the design and manufacture of complex modern DoD weapons systems while reducing the costs. Sample design projects include electro-optical and electromechanical products, and will include use of catalog components as well as custom designed subassemblies.


Our approach is to develop a set of tools that aid the integrated design process:


MIND's innovations will contribute significantly to the ease, effectiveness, and speed of engineering design by incorporating more of the engineering design process into the CAD system. For example, the figure at left contains a model having optical, electronic, mechanical, and manufacturing requirements. In the figure below we see the optical requirements in an analysis window which actively constrains the interactive mechanical design. The preliminary stage gets the shape correct, while the final detailed model contains all the support structures to both hold the optical and electronic elements in position and encase the complete object. The manufacturimg process has been designed in a tight interactive iteration with the mechanical and optical constraints. Design Assistants and Design Area Encapsulations will result in a considerable improvement in productivity and a related reduction in production costs. With the integration of Design Assistants and Linked Design Alternatives into the design process, it will be feasible to consider many more alternatives in half the time now needed to explore a single alternative. Although early-phase design accounts for only 10% of the engineering budget, it determines as much as 80% of the overall project cost. MIND's innovations will make high-level, more abstract early phase features available to small and medium-sized manufacturing operations, thereby increasing the pool of competitive bidders for DoD projects. This is an important factor for decreasing cost and raising quality of acquisition for the DoD.



MIND's development of a design system that will integrate the processes and information of multiple engineering disciplines will contribute to RaDEO's goal of creating the next generation engineering and manufacturing environment. Collaborations with other RaDEO projects insure relevance to the direct program. MIND's design process representation that evolves throughout the product life cycle contributes to RaDEO's objective of creating representation forms within a networked design and manufacturing environment.

Transfer of the tools developed to the commercial marketplace will accelerate adoption and integration of these tools by defense industry contractors.


The MIND results will have potential applications to DOD collaborative, distributed electromechanical product design, including layered prototyping, analysis, and manufacture. The technology will enable early simulation of designs. Programs benefiting could include AM3, SBD, and JAST, or any other program aimed towards customized products in small quantities. The integration of manufacturing process automation, including planning and NC code generation results into this technology enables early assessment of manufacturability by different processes.


April 97 Engineering Design Process(EDP) representation.

July 97 Initial results of Integrated phases, DAs, and DEs.

October 97 Demo EDP representation, DAs, DEs on known DOD relevant model.

January 98 Demo Variants

April 98 Demo Flexible Elements

July 98 DE and DA Extensions

October 98 Demo integrated interactive engineering calculations

April 99 Full Design (new product)


DARPA, Kevin Lyons, Program Manager

University of Utah
Richard F. Riesenfeld and Elaine Cohen, PIs


Support is provided by DARPA

Last update: January 7, 2000