International Conference on Innovative Design and Manufacturing (ICIDM) is the premium conference in design, manufacturing, and innovation. It was held at The University of Auckland in New Zealand in the beginning of 2016. The conference was created in 2011 by merging two leading conferences: The International Conferences on Manufacturing Automation (ICMA) and International Symposium on Digital Manufacturing (ISDM).

In response to the call for papers, 220 papers were received on various aspects of design informatics, design theory and methodology, human centric design and manufacturing, product lifecycle management, virtual engineering and virtual manufacturing, additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, biomechanism and biomanufacturing, etc. All the papers were assessed by International Program Committee and 156 papers were accepted. Based on the quality of the papers, ten papers were selected and published in this special issue. The papers can be categorized into design optimization, rehabilitation robotics, advanced material, manufacturing engineering, and green supply chain management application.

Design Optimization

Afshari, Peng, and Gu discussed the effects of unexpected disturbance on the design iteration process in their paper “Design Optimization for Sustainable Products Under Users' Preference Changes.” Changes in user preferences are considered as the main disturbance. Based on a nonhomogenous state-space presentation, the design iteration is minimized by applying extra resources to obtained environmental impact and the minimum cost. An iPhone is used as an example to illustrate the process.

Bordegoni, Covarrubias, Caruso, and Cugini developed a novel system in their paper “Freehand Gesture and Tactile Interaction for Shape Design,” for a designer to experience and design the geometry of an object. The system integrates the state-of-the-art technology in reverse engineering, augmented reality, and haptic technology. Based on an existing object, 3D model is rendered through Oculud Rift display, and the designer can physically interact with the model.

Rehabilitation Robotics

In the third paper of this special issue, “Bio-Inspired Design and Iterative Feedback Tuning Control of a Wearable Ankle Rehabilitation Robot,” Zhou, Meng, Lu, Liu, Ai, and Xie presented the design of a bio-inspired ankle rehabilitation robot. With their special design, the orientation and interaction moments of the robotic platform are likely to be equivalent to the actual ankle joint. This cam greatly improves the suitability for ankle rehabilitation exercise.

Besides the ankle rehabilitation, Taylor and Au presented the development of noncondensational actuation technology for use in a prosthetic hand in their paper of “Forced Air Cooling of Shape-Memory Alloy Actuators for a Prosthetic Hand.” A compact shape-memory alloy actuator array, position sensors, and power electronic are developed to actuate the fingers of a prosthetic hand. With the forced air cooling implementation, the performance of the actuators is demonstrated in dynamic and static position experiments.

The fifth paper of the special issue is entitled as “SSVEP Recognition by Using Higher Harmonics Based on MUSIC,” Chen, Xu, Liu, Liu, Zhang, Ma, and Ai proposed a multidimensional steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) signal processing based on multiple signal classification. It shows that the signal recognition time is reduced. They also discussed the relation between the duty-cycle of the stimulus signals and the amplitude of the second harmonics of SSVEPs.

Advanced Material

In the paper of “Powder Mixed Electric Discharge Machining: An Innovative Surface Modification Technique to Enhance Fatigue Performance and Bioactivity of β-Ti Implant for Orthopedics Application,” Prakash, Kansal, Pabla, and Puri presented a novel approach of surface modification of β-Ti orthopedic implants using powder mixed electric discharge machining and mechanical polishing to enhance the fatigue performance and bioactivity.

In advanced manufacturing engineering, there is a great deal of interest in thermoplastic polyurethane powder for use in laser sintering system which is important in 3D printing process. Yuan, Bai, Chua, Zhou, and Wei, investigated the influences of the maximum uniaxial tension strain and duration during prestretching on two shape-fixity ratios and shape-recovery ratio. The research results are published in the seventh paper of this special issue entitled as “Characterization of Creeping and Shape Memory Effect in Laser Sintered Thermoplastic Polyurethane.”

Manufacturing Engineering

Energy consumption is one of the factors to consider in manufacturing. In the paper, “Energy Consumption Prediction System of Mechanical Processes Based on Empirical Models and Computer-Aided Manufacturing,” He, Tang, Zhang, and Sun presented an energy consumption prediction system of mechanical processes based on empirical models and computer-aided manufacturing. They demonstrated the use of their model on a CAD/CAM system and it can be extended to other mechanical processes so that energy consumption concerns can be well addressed together with the objective of process optimization.

The cloud manufacturing is a novel model for business. Liu, Xu, Zhang, and Tao proposed an extensible model for supporting multitasking service composition and scheduling in cloud manufacturing. In their paper, “An Extensible Model for Multitask-Oriented Service Composition and Scheduling in Cloud Manufacturing,” they presented an example of multiple-task scheduling to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the model.

Green Supply Chain Management Application

Finally, in the paper, “Research on Relationships Among Institutional Pressure, Stewardship Behavior, Green Supply Chain Management, and Organizational Performance: The Case of Electrical and Electronics Industries in Taiwan,” Huang and Huang discussed the impacts of critical elements on green supply chain management in the Electrical and Electronic industries in Taiwan. The result shows that the enterprise's environment performance, economic performance, and operating performance are all improved by the green supply chain management, which ultimately leads to sustainable development.

We believe that all the ten papers in this special issue provide a clear view for the future development of innovative design and manufacturing.