Advanced Engineering Materials 2002, 4, no. 6, 351-356, Wiley-WCH-Verlag.

Material and process selection using product examples
Lenau, T

The objective of the paper is to suggest a different procedure for selecting materials and processes within the product development work. The procedure includes using product examples in order to increase the number of alternative materials and processes that is considered. Product examples can communicate information about materials and processes in a very concentrated and effective way. The product examples represent desired material properties but also includes information that can not be associated directly to the material, e.g. functional or perceived attributes. Previous studies suggest that designers often limit their selection of materials and processes to a few well-known ones. Designers need to expand the solution space by considering more materials and processes. But they have to be convinced that the materials and processes are likely candidates that are worth investing time in exploring. A database that support the selection procedure has been compiled. It contains uniform descriptions of a wide range of materials and processes. For each of those, good product examples have been identified, described and associated with keywords. Product examples matching the requirements can be found using a search engine, and through hyperlinks can relevant materials and processes be explored. Realising that designers are very sensitive to user interfaces do all descriptions of materials, processes and products include graphical descriptions, i.e. pictures or computer graphics.

Keywords: Material and process selection, Design for Manufacture, Industrial Design, Hypermedia and multimedia