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Journal of Mechanical Design

The ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD) serves the broad design community as a venue for scholarly, archival research in all aspects of the design activity.
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  • On Decentralized Optimization for a Class of Multi-Subsystem Co-Design Problems

    Tianchen Liu, Shapour Azarm and Nikhil Chopra
    J. Mech. Des 139(12); doi: 10.1115/1.4037893

    Co-design is the integrated optimization of the physical plant and controller for an engineering system. The challenge in co-design is determining both time-invariant (physical design) variables and time-variant (control) variables. In co-design, as the size of the problem (number of variables) becomes large, the problem can become too difficult for an all-at-once solution. Our approach extends earlier research by creating a class of multi-subsystem co-design problems where both design and control are formulated and solved. A scalable test problem is used for comparing the proposed decentralized co-design optimization approach against a centralized approach. Results of this study show that the computational time of the proposed decentralized approach increases approximately linearly with respect to an increase in the number of subsystems (variables), while the computational cost of the centralized approach increases nonlinearly.
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  • Additive Manufacturing-Enabled Part Count Reduction; A Lifecycle Perspective

    Sheng Yang and Yaoyao Fiona Zhao
    J. Mech Des 140(3):031702-031702-12. doi:10.1115/1.4038922

    Part count reduction (PCR) is one motivation for using additive manufacturing (AM) processes. PCR helps simplify product structure, eliminate auxiliary connecters, and reduce assembly difficulties and cost. However, PCR may also increase manufacturing difficulty and the irreplaceability of failed subcomponents. This paper presents a pioneering investigation of how AM-enabled PCR (AM-PCR) impacts lifecycle activities. A new set of design rules and principles are proposed for PCR that lead to lowered cost and enhanced performance. The PCR problem is formulated as a combinatory optimization problem where the objective is minimizing lifecycle cost/performance ratio while ensuring conformance to all constraints (e.g. manufacturing, maintenance, and recycling). To address the challenge of computational cost, a dual-level screening and refinement product redesign framework is presented that first searches for the minimum grouping solution and then refines the remaining combinations using design optimization. This approach will help designers automate the part count reduction process enabled by additive manufacturing while exploring new design innovation opportunities. 
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    For the full article please visit ASME's Digital Collection.
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