Electromechanical products and systems are often designed to transform or reconfigure between two or more states. Each state is customized to fulfill a specific set of functions, and the transformation between these multiple states allows for greater functionality and the elimination of many trade-offs between conflicting needs. Empirical examination of existing transforming systems and their similarities has led to a foundational transformation design theory, with meta-analogies and guidelines that explain how transformation processes occur, when they are useful, and how the designer can ensure their maximum benefit. The foundation of these principles and guidelines forms a meta-analogical framework for designing transformers and transformational systems. This paper presents a history of the development of transformational design theory, including the relationship of the research to case-based reasoning in other fields. Ideation methods are presented that specifically exploit the meta-analogies, i.e., categories of transformers. An example design problem is considered to illustrate the potential utility of this design-by-analogy approach.
Transformation Design Theory: A Meta-Analogical Framework
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Weaver, J., Wood, K., Crawford, R., and Jensen, D. (September 13, 2010). "Transformation Design Theory: A Meta-Analogical Framework." ASME. J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. September 2010; 10(3): 031012. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3470028
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