Engineering research into packing problems has been widely undertaken in recent years. The use of component shape morphing in layout design has, however, received little attention. Shape morphing is required for fitting a component of sufficient size in a limited space while optimizing the overall performance objectives of the vehicle and improving design efficiency. To morph components that can have arbitrary shapes in layout design, a mass-spring physical model-based morphing method is proposed and implemented. Vehicle layout design with shape morphing is a multi-objective, multilevel problem with a large number of design variables. To solve this large scale problem, decomposition is adopted. At the system level, the overall performance objectives are optimized with respect to locations and orientations of components. At the component level, deformable objects are morphed to fit in the available space. A vehicle underhood layout design problem is demonstrated to illustrate the proposed approach.

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