Gene-inspired Development of Innovative Design: Principles and Algorithm

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Looking to nature for inspiration, this paper presents fundamental principles and a practical algorithm for the development of innovative designs. All the necessary information for design is contained within a “design seed”, which is formed as a set of “design genes”. The genes trigger and direct the development of a design within a CAD system and make use of the mechanisms of copy, crossover, and selection. A gene is structured as a one-dimensional array, which includes attribute, attribute’s value or type, active status, working conditions (lower value and upper values for environmental stimuli), and dominance. Gene action is regulated within a seed, by guiding which genes are switched on/off, and under what conditions they are active. Design development is managed within a virtual environment which provides the external triggers and conditions needed to regulate the genes. The major processes involved in the development are pattern formation, change in form, and size variation. The processes are implemented as a simple algorithm which focuses herein on the development of a single component. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach. This work provides a theoretical foundation for a novel engineering design system, which can develop innovative designs from a seed, transforming the role of designers and capitalizing on advanced manufacturing methods in the era of Industry 4.0.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-843
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2020
Event30th CIRP Design Conference - Kruger National Park, Skukuza, South Africa
Duration: 05 May 202008 May 2020


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