Conceptual design is recognized as the most critical stage in design. Yet few CAD tools exist to aid designers in conceptual design tasks, such as clarifying the design requirements and defining its functions, structure, form, interfaces and appearance of products. Often multiple conceptual designs are created and explored, usually in qualitative terms, to determine feasibility of achieving the desired functions and performance specifications. In most cases, schedules and budget do not permit the development and detailed quantitative analysis of all alternatives, so one must narrow down the choices before proceeding to later stages in design. Thus, such evaluation must be carried out with incomplete information. What makes conceptual design different from embodiment and detail design is the creative leap whose roots are in human knowledge, intuition, heuristics, analytic reasoning, expressing, creativity, synthesis and reflections. Computer aided conceptual design (CACD) intends to provide wide algorithmic support to conceptual design, which is...

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