Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 75–85

Dimensional Variable Expansion—A formal approach to innovative design

  • Jonathan Cagan
  • Alice M. Agogino


A methodology called Dimensional Variable Expansion (DVE) is presented to formalize the process of design space expansion and design innovation. Unlike parametric design, where the structure of the design is specified and only the parameters are allowed to vary, DVE creates new structures, including new variables, constraints, and a reformulation of the objective function. Via DVE, a body is expanded into multiple regions by dividing along a dimensional variable, and then each region is permitted independent properties. Optimality conditions are used to determine which variables to expand and which regions should be subject to property modifications. With DVE the degrees-of-freedom of a design can be expanded and designs with unique features can be derived.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Cagan
    • 1
  • Alice M. Agogino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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