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Blindheim, J, Elverum, C W, Welo, T and Steinert, M (2020) Concept evaluation in new product development. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , 18(05), 1139–51.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Rapid prototyping; Physical modelling; Plasticine; Set-based design;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1726-0531
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-07-2019-0170
  • Abstract:
    This paper proposes the combination of rapid prototyping and physical modelling as a set-based concept evaluation method in the early stage of new product development. Design/methodology/approach The concept evaluation method is applied in a case study of a new metal additive manufacturing process for aluminium, where a set of four extruder concepts has been modelled and evaluated. Rapid prototyping was used to produce plastic models of the different designs, and plasticine feedstock material was used to physically model the metal flow during operation. Finally, the selected concept has been verified in full-scale for processing of aluminium feedstock material. Findings The proposed method led to several valuable insights on critical factors that were unknown at the outset of the development project. Overall, these insights enabled concept exploration and concept selection that led to a substantially better solution than the original design. Research limitations/implications This method can be applied for other projects where numerical approaches are not applicable or capable, and where the costs or time required for producing full-scale prototypes are high. Practical implications Employing this method can enable a more thorough exploration of the design space, allowing new solutions to be discovered. Originality/value The proposed method allows a design team to test and evaluate multiple concepts at lower cost and time than what is usually required to produce full-scale prototypes. It is, therefore, concluded to be a valuable design strategy for the early development stages of complex products or technologies.