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Design++ Dynamic Configurator

Design++ Dynamic Configurator configures product models and reasons about what components to include in them.

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Design++ Features

In the same way that spreadsheets simplified financial modeling, Design++ simplifies modeling families of products and systems for instant generative design at the receipt of a request for proposal or an order.

Design++ Visual Modeler (DVM)

Design++ Visual Modeler (DVM) simplifies the decomposition of a product into a hierarchical bill-of-material-like model of assemblies and parts. As with spreadsheets, the task of implementing a design automation system is distilled into the simplest of all design tasks: the determination of a single value for a single property of a single component (a cell in a spreadsheet). This is a simple task in any programming language.

With Design++ Design Rule Language, it is further simplified with higher level functions specifically intended for solving engineering design problems. A forward-parsing context-sensitive menu in the Design Rule Editor enables self-guided point-and-click rule development.

References

The Mythical Man-Month, Essays on Software Engineering Anniversary Edition

Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.,
Addison Wesley, 1995, ISBN 0-201-83595-9

Frederick Brooks, in his book The Mythical Man-Month (MMM) describes software productivity measurements that show that the effort to capture knowledge into a monolithic software program increases exponentially with the size of the program. (The actual formula is [MMM, Chapter 8, pg. 88]: Effort = ((constant) * (number of instructions)^1.5))

That is why the decomposition of the design task, enforced by DVM, to the simplest of all design tasks in itself saves a significant amount of effort. DVM not only enforces this methodology, it supports it and simplifies it. However, to realize this advantage requires that the interactions between these simple tasks are automatically taken care of, as described under the Powerful Engines section.

Another testimonial that makes this point:

"While the old design system automated about 20 % of the company's business with 1,000,000 lines of code, the new system based on Design++ supports about 85% of our business with 500,000 lines of code."

Roger Burlingame, V.P. Technical Services, Robertson Ceco, Corp. (in Daratech CAD/CAM, CAE Industry Update)

Incremental Development

Design++ provides both an incremental development environment and an integrated test environment. Configuration, selection, engineering, and design rules are automatically and immediately integrated into the evolving solution for immediate testing and validation. Portions that are not yet developed are automatically considered through prompts for missing data facilitating complete early tests.

At every stage of the development cycle Design++ provides a running system. The immediate testing and validation is performed by product experts themselves and eliminates the long feedback cycle inherent in the product expert - system analyst - programmer - product expert feedback loop.

There are other advantages as noted by Brooks in An Incremental-Build Model Is Better - Progressive Refinement [MMM, Chapter 19, Page 268]:

"Since we have a working system at all times:

Powerful Engines

In a running a Design++ solution, its internal engines prove their real power. Design++ Dynamic Configurator configures product models and reasons about what components to include in them. The Execution Order Controller automatically determines the order in which rules must be run both during first pass design and during changes. The Intelligent Change Manager propagates changes as far, but only as far, as required. In complex design situations, this is a real time saver.

The impact of these predefined engines is mind-boggling. Field experience show that they reduce the typical automation effort up to 90%. What is even more remarkable is that they adapt to any configuration or reconfiguration of tasks. This means that whenever and wherever a change is originated in the design, the subsequent re-engineering and re-design is executed in the right order, accounting for the proper interactions.

These engines automatically take care of interactions between the primitive tasks defined with DVM. This automation is the source for the huge effort reduction. As Brooks explains [MMM, Chapter 2, page 18]:

"If each part of the task must be separately coordinated with each other part, the effort increases as n(n-1)/2. Three workers require three times as much pairwise intercommunication as two; four require six times as much as two."

Seamless integration with CAD

Representing designs in 3-dimensional models and 2-dimensional drawings is an important aspect in the engineering design work process. Design++ provides pre-implemented Geometry Objects that automatically link into standard CAD. This eliminates a large effort required in most other design automation projects.

Design++ is supported on standard Windows PC platform running either 32 or 64-bit version of Windows 7, Vista (SP1), XP (SP3), or Server 2003 (SP1)/2008. It comes with a comprehensive set of APIs, specifically for C/C++, COM, Java, .NET, ODBC, and CAD integration. For additional information, please review Design++ Release Notes.