The Design Assistant is primarily a computer-based tool for teaching a systematic mechanical design procedure and improving a novice designer’s productivity while doing so. Provision is made for recording experienced designers’ intent for education through case studies. Record is kept of the relationships amongst design decisions to ensure consistency. QFD and techniques suggested by Pahl and Beitz are adapted for the specification development procedure employed in the Design Assistant. The implementation details of the Windows-based software, including ease of use, hypertext-based help, and relational database issues, are discussed. Practical evaluation of the Design Assistant is underway.

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