Mechanical system conceptual design, sometimes termed mechanical system scheme design or preliminary mechanical system design, is the key link of mechanical system design, and also the bottleneck of integrated CAD / CAM [1][2][3]. Therefore, it is important to automize this part of work to promote the quality of mechanical system design and the extent of product design automation.

This paper will discuss in detail a problem-solving strategy for mechanical system conceptual design — QUINT. It devides the conceptual design into five stages: (1) environment ▸ function; (2) function ▸ structure; (3) structure ▸ parameters; (4) parameters ▸ analysis; (5) analysis ▸ evaluation and decision. QUINT has already been successfully applied in CDESTOOL (Conceptual Design Expert System TOOL). With this tool, three practical systems have been developed: industrial turbine general scheme design expert system (TDES), wheel loader general scheme design expert system (WLDES), and milling-boring machining center scheme design expert system (MDES). The result is fairly satisfactory.

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