A case study of the decision-making behind the automation of a composites-based design process

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Khanolkar, Pranav Milind; Vrolijk, Ademir; Olechowski, Alison
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Toronto
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0049-0058
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.6
ISSN: 2732-527X


Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly seen as appealing tools to perform design tasks traditionally accomplished by human designers. In today’s digital economy, industries aim to adopt these tools to improve the efficiency of their complex design processes. But how does one decide what parts of their existing design process should be automated and which automation/AI tool to implement? With these questions in mind, we present a case study highlighting a company’s decision-making process in converting its existing designer-dependent design process to one supported by automation. In this case study, we observed the company’s decisions in selecting and rejecting certain automation and AI methods before finalizing a heuristics-based automation method that proved highly efficient compared to the company’s traditional human-driven design program. In addition, we present three key discussion points observed in this case study: (1) the importance of implementing the designer’s heuristics in the automation framework, (2) the importance of a uniform and modular design automation framework, and (3) the challenges of implementing AI methods.

Keywords: Design automation, Decision making, Case study, Design process

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