This paper presents an integrated framework for conceptual assembly design. Because the complexity of assembly design leads to extremely large design spaces, adequate support of design space exploration is a key issue that must be addressed. CAMF allows the designer to manage the overall design process and explore the design space through explicit representation of design stages and their relationships (history), assembly design constraints, and rationale. The designer is free to use both bottom-up or top-down approaches to explore different assembly configurations. Exploration of the design space is further enabled by incorporating a simulated annealing-based refinement tool that allows the designer to rapidly complete partial designs, refine complete designs, and generate multiple design alternatives.

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