Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 163–180 | Cite as

Identifying product shape relationships using principal component analysis

  • Seth Orsborn
  • Peter Boatwright
  • Jonathan Cagan
Original Paper


Product forms with multiple features, like automobiles, have traditionally accepted feature definitions and relationships between those features. These relationships drive how the product is created by focusing on expected, and accepted, feature development to push the form outside the traditional bounds. This paper uses principal component analysis to determine the fundamental characteristics within vehicle classes. The results of this analysis can then be considered by product designers to create new designs based upon the derived shape relationships. These new designs will be novel due to the non-traditional grouping of characteristics.


Vehicle design Product design Principal component analysis Shape relationships 



Funding for this research was partially provided by the National Science Foundation under grant DMI-0245218 and General Motors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seth Orsborn
    • 1
  • Peter Boatwright
    • 2
  • Jonathan Cagan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Tepper School of BusinessCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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