[Elenco soci]


Rotini Federico

Professore Associato


Università degli Studi di Firenze
federico.rotini@unifi.it

Sito istituzionale
SCOPUS ID: 9840406900
Orcid: 0000-0002-1676-0835



Pubblicazioni scientifiche

[1] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Barsanti R., Systematic Design of Ancient Machines’ Models: Leonardo da Vinci’s Glider, Heritage, 5(3), 1593-1611, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Virtual or physical models of ancient machines are often used for museum exhibitions, documentaries and/or cinematographic works. Especially for high-fidelity models, complex activities are required, which actually lead the different stakeholders involved in the process to “design” an artifact (the model). As with any design process, the design of models of ancient machines can also benefit from the support of structured methods that guide the designers from the early “ideas” to the final design. This paper proposes a systematic approach specifically tailored for the interpretation and design of ancient machines, where a methodological tool is provided to manage both idea-generation and information-gathering activities. The method was applied to the design of a model of the delta wing conceived by Leonardo da Vinci (i.e., the glider represented in the Codex Madrid 1, Folio 64r), allowing to analyze and obtain an embodiment of the machine with the required fidelity level, thought to be realized in real scale.

Keywords: ancient machines | CAD | delta wing | design methods | design process | glider | Leonardo da Vinci | museum models | systematic design | technological heritage

[2] Fiorineschi L., Conti L., Rossi G., Rotini F., Conceptual design of a small production plant for eco-friendly packaging, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to present the application of a tailored systematic engineering design procedure to the concept design of a small production plant for compostable packaging made by straw fibres and bioplastic. In particular, the obtained boxes are intended to be used for wine bottles. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic procedure has been adopted, which underpins on a comprehensive analysis of the design requirements and the function modelling of the process. By considering well-known models of the engineering design process, the work focuses on the early design stages that precede the embodiment design of the whole components of the plant. Findings: The followed design approach allowed to preliminarily evaluate different alternatives of the process from a functional point of view, thus allowing to identify the preferred conceptual process solution. Based on the identified functional sequence, a first evaluation of the potential productivity and the required human resources has been performed. Research limitations/implications: The procedure shown in this work has been applied only for the considered case of compostable packaging, and other applications are needed to optimize it. Nevertheless, the adopted systematic approach can be adapted for any context where it is necessary to conceive a new production plant for artefacts made by innovative materials. Originality/value: The work presented in this paper represents one of the few practical examples available in the literature where systematic conceptual design procedures are presented. More specifically, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the very first application of systematic design methods to compostable packaging production.

Keywords: Circular economy | Conceptual design | Design methods | Engineering design | Packaging | Upcycling

[3] Pugi L., Mariottoni E., Sacchetto M., Cocci M., Frillici F.S., Berzi L., Delogu M., Rotini F., Savino G., Pierini M., Boni E., Development of a Multifunctional Amphibious Platform for near Shore Geognostic Activities, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 91, 163-168, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: In this work authors present an innovative system devoted to the execution of geognostic tests for near shore applications, this is a fundamental system for the development of coastal marine plants and infrastructures, like Eolic generators or Coastal piping systems often adopted in chemical applications. In this work authors focus their attention on a full model of the proposed system aiming to demonstrate main features of the proposed solution which Is currently assembled by the industrial partners of this project.

[4] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Carfagni M., Recent Findings About the Novelty Metric of Shah, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 705-711, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: The work presented in this paper aims at presenting the last findings about one of the most acknowledged and used novelty metrics in the field of engineering design. The a-posteriori novelty metric of Shah, Vargas-Hernandez and Smith is often considered in design research, but after two decades, there are still some critical issues to be solved. This paper highlights the issues identified in the last research works, by referring to the few published works that directly face the argument. It emerged that notwithstanding the presence of metric variants proposed by scholars, none of them is capable to overcome the problems. In particular, the assessment of set of ideas implementing heterogeneous numbers of attributes can lead to misleading results. In absence of a comprehensive solution, this paper provides a list of practical hints in order to allow the application of the metric (or the related variants) and ensuring the repeatability of the experiments.

Keywords: Creativity | Design | Novelty assessment | Originality | Unusualness

[5] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Carfagni M., The Problem-Solution Network for Systematic Conceptual Design: Lesson Learned, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 851-860, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: The need for innovative products led scholars to develop design methods to improve or at least to support creativity of designers. Among the different alternatives, the Problem Solution Network (PSN) was developed to solve some of the issues that characterize the German systematic approach for conceptual design. The objective of this paper is to report and discuss pros and cons of the use of the PSN for didactic purposes in an engineering design course. Both, feedback from students and teachers’ impressions, have been gathered in about ten years. The key information is then reported and discussed in this paper, highlighting that as for other academic design methods, the key problem still resides in motivating students to better understand the learned approach.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Creativity | Engineering education

[6] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Refined metric for a-posteriori novelty assessments, Journal of Engineering Design, 33(1), 39-63, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: The concept of novelty in terms of ‘uncommonness’ of ideas is one of the most considered in design studies. Accordingly, the metric developed by Shah, Vargas-Hernandez and Smith in 2003 (SNM) is still one of the most largely used. Nonetheless, it presents non-negligible and still unsolved problems when applied to realistic sets of ideas implementing heterogeneous numbers of attributes. This paper aims at identifying the roots of these problems and at proposing a refined assessment approach, capable to extend the applicability of SNM to any set of ideas. Generic boundary cases have been used to demonstrate the validity of the proposal, while its potential impact on the final novelty values has been estimated by assessing a real set of 100 ideas.

Keywords: Creativity | design | ideation effectiveness | novelty | uncommonness

[7] Pugi L., Frillici F. S., Cocci M., Rotini F., Delogu M., Berzi L., ..., Sacchetto M., A Sustainable Anphibious Platform for Geological Prospecting of Near Shore Marine Sites, 2022 IEEE International Conference on Environment and Electrical Engineering and 2022 IEEE Industrial and Commercial Power Systems Europe, EEEIC / I and CPS Europe 2022, (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Development of blue economy involves the construction of marine infrastructures (harbors, marine wind farms, underwater data centers etc.) for which a precise knowledge of geological bottom properties is needed. Near shore and very near shore sites represent an important opportunity especially for closed basin with extended coast lines such as the Mediterranean basin or the Caspian one. For these activities conventional offshore drilling equipment is not well suited. For this reason, authors have developed a compact amphibious system to perform geognostic activities on near shore and very near shore sites, in this work authors focus their attention on the creation of a digital twin able to properly support system design.

Keywords: Geognostic | Hydraulic and Electro-Hydraulic System | Mechatronics | Near Shore Prospecting | Wireline Drilling

[8] Rotini F., Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Fiorineschi L., Editorial for the Special Issue “Requirements in Design Processes: Open Issues, Relevance and Implications”, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 12(19), (2022). Abstract
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Abstract: Editorial for the Special Issue “Requirements in Design Processes: Open Issues, Relevance and Implications”

[9] Pugi L., Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Preliminary design investigation of a rrprr parallel manipulator with cardan joint and direct drive actuation, IEEE/ASME International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, AIM, 2021-July, 1207-1212, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Press Fit assembly of power electronic components is often performed with 3DOF machines which usually adopt a cartesian layout which is preferred to assure a stiff structure a precise control of high insertion forces. Parallel manipulators are often feasible as possible alternative solutions for this kind of application. In this work, authors investigate a parallel manipulator with cardan and prismatic joints. Proposed layout involves a relatively stiff and robust structure. Manipulator is supposed to be moved by direct-drive linear actuators. This choice is justified by the possibility of accurate control of heavy insertion losses simplifying or removing a large part of additional actuation and sensing systems that are normally installed on conventional machines.

[10] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Conti L., Rossi G., Adapted use of the triz system operator, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 11(14), (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: The System Operator (SO), also known as Nine Boxes or Multiscreen, is classically used for analysing the undesired situation according to different perspectives. However, its logic can be suitably exploited also for other kinds of tasks. In such a context, this paper shows an alternative application of the SO. In particular, the new proposed SO approach allows us to formulate alternative problems, i.e., different from the central one, although referring to the same problem-solving task. By applying the proposed procedure to a real case study, this paper shows that the tool can be used for problem analysis and formulation purposes, aimed at better clarifying the problem-solving task. The case study concerns a preliminary set of experiments performed to evaluate the possibility of obtaining angular shapes by bending tiles made by a specific compostable composite material. The suggestions obtained using the proposed SO approach allowed us to find potentially valid solutions, thus paving the way for further validation tests. In particular, tests are still needed to validate the actual potentialities of the proposed SO. Additionally, further and more comprehensive tests are required to validate the solutions inferred in this study concerning the compostable tiles.

Keywords: Multiscreen | Packaging | Problem solving | System Operator | TRIZ

[11] Allotta B., Fiorineschi L., Papini S., Pugi L., Rotini F., Rindi A., Redesigning the cycloidal drive for innovative applications in machines for smart construction yards, World Journal of Engineering, 18(2), 302-315, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: This study aims to carry out an investigation of design approaches that should be used for the design of unconventional, innovative transmission system for construction yards to privilege a smooth behaviour efficiency, and the use of innovative production techniques. Results are quite surprising, as with a proper method it is possible to demonstrate that a cycloidal drive with Wolfrom topology should be an interesting solution for the proposed application. Design/methodology/approach: With a functional approach, also considering materials and specifications related to the investigated application, it is possible to demonstrate that possible optimal solutions should be quite different respect to the ones that can be suggested with a conventional approach. In particular for proposed applications constraints related to encumbrances, the choice of new material has led to the innovative unconventional choice of a Wolfrom cycloidal speed reducer. Findings: Provided solution is innovative respect current state of the art for machine currently used in construction yards: in terms of adopted transmission layout; in terms of chosen materials, resulting in an innovative solution. Research limitations/implications: Current research has strong implications on the adoption of polimeric materials for the construction of reliable transmission for harsh industrial environment as the proposed case study (concrete mixer for construction yard). Originality/value: Proposed transmission system is absolutely original and innovative respect current state of art also considering proposed materials and consequently production methods. This is an example of transmission designed to be built with polymeric materials by optimizing chosen topology respect to chosen material.

Keywords: Construction yards | Cycloidal | Cycloidal drive | Harmonic drive | Mechatronics | Polymeric gears | Smart construction yards | Wolfrom drive

[12] Borgianni Y., Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., The process for individuating TRIZ Inventive Principles: Deterministic, stochastic or domain-oriented?, Design Science, 7, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Although TRIZ is widely acknowledged as a powerful aid to improve efficacy and efficiency of the creative design process, practitioners diffusedly experience difficulties in the selection of the most suitable tool. Such an issue represents a severe limitation in consideration of the large number of tools TRIZ offers. Here, Inventive Principles (IPs) are acknowledged as the most popular TRIZ technique, and their conjointly use with the Contradiction Matrix makes the selection of the appropriate IP a sufficiently supported task. However, the reliability of the Contradiction Matrix is often questioned and an agreement on a solid and reliable procedure for the selection of IPs is far from being reached. In such a context, the paper investigates the recurrence of IPs to solve contradictions, with reference to a classification framework that takes into consideration the nature of the problem to be solved and the technical-scientific domain it belongs to. The outcomes of the analysis reveal that leveraged IPs are considerably related with the technical-scientific domain and the nature of the problem to be solved. The found relationships are worth delving into and translating into selection guidelines.

Keywords: Creativity | Design process | Inventive principles | Problem-solving | TRIZ

[13] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Integrated Use of TRIZ Tools in Systematic Conceptual Design, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 635 IFIP, 414-425, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Among the design methods available in literature, the German approach based on Functional Decomposition and Morphology (FDM) is one of the most taught in academia. However, notwithstanding the academic success, some scholars argued that such a method lacks a comprehensive support to the generation of innovative solutions. Due to its inventive potentialities, TRIZ has been often addressed as a potential aid to improve FDM even though the two approaches are characterized by non-negligible differences. An alternative to FDM has been recently proposed, which overcomes some FDM flaws and integrates the potentialities of TRIZ. It is based on the formulation of the design tasks in terms of problems and solutions. The new approach is called “Problem-Solution-Network” (PSN), where the main graphical tool is a hierarchical network of problems and solutions, whose construction follows a set of specific rules. The objective of this paper is to show the potentialities of the PSN-TRIZ integration. The paper presents a literature review of the background related to the integration of FDM and TRIZ, the main features and constructs of PSN and its integration with TRIZ tools to show how the approach works.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design | Engineering design | Problem solving | TRIZ

[14] Fiorineschi L., Bacci T., Frillici F.S.S., Cubeda S., Volpe Y., Rotini F., Carfagni M., Facchini B., Non-reactive test rig for combustor-turbine interaction studies in industrial gas turbines, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to present the design of a particular non-reactive test rig for combustion swirlers and first stage turbine nozzles. The test rig is required for important experimental activities aimed at the optimization of a specific class of gas turbines. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-disciplinary team performed the design process by following a tailored design approach, which has been developed for the specific case. The design outcomes allowed to build a fully functional test rig to be introduced in a test cell and then to perform preliminary experiments about the fluid dynamic behaviour of the turbine elements. Findings: The followed design approach allowed to efficiently perform the task, by supporting the information exchange among the different subjects involved in both the conceptual and the embodiment design of the test rig. Additionally, the performed experiments allowed to achieve a final configuration that makes the test rig a valuable test case for combustor-turbine interaction studies. Research limitations/implications: The study described in this paper is focused on the design of a specific test rig, used for first validation tests. However, the achieved results (both in terms of design and test) constitutes the underpinning of the in-depth investigations to be performed in the next steps of the experimental campaign. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the present paper is the first one that comprehensively describes the design activity of an experimental test rig for turbine application, also providing indications about the specific methodological procedure used to manage the process.

Keywords: Embodiment design | Fluid engineering | Fluid modelling | Mechanical design | Systematic design | Test rig design

[15] Fiorineschi L., Pugi L., Rotini F., New mechanism for press-fit processes: preliminary analysis, World Journal of Engineering, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present an alternative solution for press-fit technology processes, which could improve the precision of the positioning movements and the stiffness of the structural elements. Design/methodology/approach: A concept is presented and the related kinematics is described. Then, preliminary embodiment evaluations have been performed in terms of kinematics, force control and load distribution on the main structural elements. Findings: Thanks to the additional leg, the proposed solution allows a preload that is capable of compensating the backlash of joints. The particular structure with four extendible legs and eight cardan joints ensures the parallelism between the ground and the plate holding the end effector, without any need of additional controls. However, it implies that the legs are not subjected to pure tension–compression stresses. Research limitations/implications: This work is focused on the conceptual phase of the design process, with only preliminary embodiment analysis that paves the way for subsequent and more detailed design steps. Especially concerning the actual stiffness of the system, comprehensive evaluations could be performed only after the identification of the particular parts/devices used to implement the main functional elements. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research work that comprehensively describes and analyzes the considered kinematics, within a real industrial application context.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Mechatronics | Parallel mechanism | Press-fit technology | Three DOFs

[16] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Novelty metrics in engineering design, Journal of Engineering Design, 32(11), 590-620, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: In the field of design, novelty is widely acknowledged as a key parameter for creativity assessments. Accordingly, scholars have proposed several definitions, metrics and procedures to assess novelty for different purposes. Although the availability of many alternatives allows researchers to perform in-depth investigations, it makes the orientation among the available combinations of novelty concepts, types and metrics quite hard. In such a manifold context, the aim of this work is to map the literature about novelty assessment in engineering design. To this purpose, a systematic literature review has been performed on the Scopus database to identify a relevant set of contributions through specific search strategies and skimming processes. A map of novelty metrics has been obtained, which shows that most of them belong to the uncommonness type, while others need further investigations. The obtained results are intended to support scholars in browsing the different metrics, when selecting the most suited for their specific research objectives.

Keywords: creativity assessment | design | Novelty | originality | uncommonness

[17] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Rossi G., Conti L., Innovative process and technology for the production of wood mulch, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 52(1), (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: Plant nurseries usually control weed growth with N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine treatment. Some studies have suggested potential impacts of this treatment on both the environment and users. A possible ecological alternative is the use of ground wood particles for mulching. However, the production of the required wood particles for use in potted plants is challenging. In this article, the classical chipping and sieving process is compared with a new proposed process involving chipping and refining phases. The two processes were applied to wood logs (spruce) from the forests of the Tosco-Emiliano Apennine. The tests were performed over a week using the machinery available at the Mo.To.R.E. (Montagna Toscana Ricerca Energie) consortium. Although the results achieved were based on preliminary evaluations, they indicated the potential superiority of the new process in terms of both economic and ecological efficiency. These findings can pave the way to the development of optimized processes aimed at a significant reduction in the use of chemical herbicides for weed control.

Keywords: Glyphosate | Nursery innovation | Plant nursery | Potted plants | Wood chips

[18] Conti L., Rotini F., Barbari M., Togni M., Rossi G., Neopalea: Compostable composite material for packaging applications, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 200, 357-367, (2021). Abstract
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Abstract: The problem of packaging waste is deeply felt at international level, because each year hundreds of millions of tons of packaging are produced. While significant improvements have been made in the recycling of metal, wood, paper and cardboard packaging, plastic packaging still represents an open issue. The EU implemented regulatory actions to manage packaging and packaging waste by defining short-to-medium-term targets in terms of recycling rate. In such a context, the paper deals with an innovative composite material dedicated to the production of tertiary packaging, named NeoPalea. The proposed material is based on a combination of natural fibers and biodegradable biopolymers. It was prototyped to verify the performance as a potential substitute of the polymers currently used for packaging. The preliminary results obtained are encouraging.

Keywords: Biodegradable | Biopackaging | Bioplastic | Circular economy | Organic fiber | Recycling

[19] Carfagni M., Fiorineschi L., Furferi R., Governi L., Rotini F., Usefulness of prototypes in conceptual design: students’ view, International Journal on Interactive Design and Manufacturing, 14(4), 1305-1319, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Planning prototyping strategies for conceptual design purposes is a crucial activity, which needs a clear understanding of the potentialities of the different typologies of prototype. Therefore, to prepare future designers, it is very important to provide the required information in design-related academic courses. However, prototypes and prototyping activities are often taught in specific courses with a major emphasis on the underpinning technologies, but with limited attention on design implications, especially about the fuzzy-front-end of the design process. The work presented in this paper aims at investigating about how students perceive the usefulness of prototypes during conceptual design activities, in order to provide first indications about the gap to be filled. To this purpose, two classes of students participated to an experimental session, and were asked to perform a conceptual design task individually. Subsequently, they participated to an on-line survey developed to gather information about the perceived usefulness of prototypes, in relation to the performed conceptual design activity. Several findings have been obtained from this work, but maybe the most impacting one concerns the different consideration that the two samples of students had about the fidelity of prototypes. Indeed, differently from what recently highlighted in current literature, it emerged that engineering students preferred low-fidelity prototypes. However, other unexpected evidences have been found, which highlight that at least for the considered institution, students still lack a comprehensive understanding of the design-related potentialities of prototypes.

Keywords: Additive manufacturing | CAD | Design | Design education | Engineering education | Prototyping

[20] Fiorineschi L., Barsanti R., Cascini G., Rotini F., Application of systematic design methods to cultural heritage preservation, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 949(1), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The preservation of cultural heritage often involves the design of systems with different purposes, as for example the devices for extraction of data from inaccessible locations and/or demonstrative models. For the latter, when the starting information about the model to be designed is incomplete, the task is not trivial, and different interpretations of the system can lead to different design outcomes. Moreover, other requirements concerning size, materials and interactivity, make this a real engineering design task, where actors with conflicting needs can be involved. Accordingly, to ensure a comprehensive fulfilment of the task, it is possible to follow engineering systematic design approaches that, even if originally developed for the development of industrial systems, can be conveniently used for different fields of application. More specifically, these design methods ensure the design of cost-effective solutions by reducing the useless and costly design iterations that often characterize non-structured procedures. In particular, the present paper shows the application of systematic methods for the interpretation, the design and the development of realistic physical models from some of the Leonardo da Vinci’s machines, for the Museo Leonardiano of Vinci (Italy). The followed approach allowed to efficiently gather the starting list of design requirements, and to engage a successful interaction among the designers, the historians, the museum staff and the architect involved in the showroom design. The key points of the systematic design methodology are presented in this paper, together with some applicative examples from the Da Vinci’s models. Other possible application of systematic design approaches are also presented, with the aim of showing some representative examples were the Engineering design and problem-solving methods can support the preservation of cultural heritage.

[21] Fiorineschi L., Papini S., Pugi L., Rindi A., Rotini F., Systematic design of a new gearbox for concrete mixers, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 18(6), 2017-2042, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify an innovative solution for the power transmission gearbox of concrete mixers, according to the specifications provided by the company. Design/methodology/approach: A tailored systematic design approach (inspired to the German systematic framework) has been adopted to comprehensively gather the company specifications and perform in-depth design space explorations. Subsequently, an iterative embodiment design approach has been followed to identify the size of the components for the preferred concept, by using acknowledged mechanical design procedures and finite element analysis tools. Findings: An innovative cycloidal gearbox has been developed, by merging the kinematics underpinning the classical cycloidal drives and the Wolfrom planetary gearbox. The resulting concept provides high reduction rates with a very high overload capacity. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of the studies is the absence of in-depth evaluations usually performed in the detail design phase. However, this limitation is a direct consequence of the company specifications, which only asked to find a preferred concept and to perform preliminary evaluations. Accordingly, the subsequent design optimization are intended to be performed by the company’s staff. Originality/value: The present paper shows an original design approach, opportunely tailored to the design of innovative gearboxes. It can be conveniently adapted and reused by designers involved in similar tasks. Moreover, the designed cycloidal gearbox paves the way for important innovations in the field of concrete mixers, allowing to design more robust and compact devices.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Cycloidal drive | Design methods | Innovation | Machine/mechanism design

[22] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Subjectivity of novelty metrics based on idea decomposition, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 8(4), 223-239, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The novelty metric suggested by Shah and colleagues is one of the most widespread among the suggestions made by scholars, and it is based on the subjective identification of attributes and/or functions underpinning analyzed ideas. If not correctly managed, this subjectivity can lead to non-negligible ambiguity of assessments, which could potentially invalidate the research results. Several variants to this metric have been proposed in the last two decades, with some of them claiming to have improved the original metric. However, the related benefits and drawbacks are still unclear, especially in terms of subjectivity. The aim of this study is to estimate the potential misalignment between research teams that independently perform the assessment of the same set of ideas. To this purpose, the considered metrics have been applied to a set of 100 ideas by utilizing the assessment results from three independent evaluators. It was revealed that the obtained novelty scores can be extremely different owing to the plethora of different possible interpretations of the analyzed ideas. Accordingly, the results highlight that for the same set of ideas, very different novelty assessment rationales can be followed by the evaluators.

Keywords: creativity | infrequency | Novelty | novelty assessment | subjectivity

[23] Borgianni Y., Maccioni L., Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Forms of stimuli and their effects on idea generation in terms of creativity metrics and non-obviousness, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 8(3), 147-164, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Idea generation is acknowledged to benefit from intentionally administered stimuli or designers’ processes that include the search for external sources of inspiration. Text-based and graphic forms of stimuli are the most leveraged in design literature, but it has not been yet demonstrated which form is most effective for boosting creativity. This is due to the fact that previous studies have employed many varying conditions which do not allow for comparisons to be made. The present paper presents an experiment in which three groups of 27 participants were asked to generate new ideas for new-borns’ outfits. To perform the task, the participants first considered five stimuli presented to them in one of the forms depending on which group the participants had been assigned to, i.e. textual, pictorial or combined (juxtaposition of the two). The stimuli were intended to share the semantic content, thus limiting potential bias due to different meanings. The outcomes of the experiment were evaluated in terms of creativity and non-obviousness. The presence of a pictorial dimension resulted in a significant increase in terms of rarity and non-obviousness of ideas, but did not affect quality, originality or quantity. The limited overlap among ideas emerging from the three forms suggests the potential value of developing design tools for idea generation that mix multiple forms of stimuli.

Keywords: analogical reasoning | creativity evaluation | Idea generation | inspiration

[24] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Challenging COVID-19 with creativity: Supporting design space exploration for emergency ventilators, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 10(14), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The high concentration and rapid increase in lung diseases caused by COVID-19 has suddenly led medical staff to face a lack of ventilators in emergency situations. In this context, many enthusiasts and/or designers all over the world have started to think about low cost and open-source solutions for emergency ventilators, with the aim of providing concrete aid. In a small amount of time, many different solutions have been proposed, most of which are based on the automatic compression of the auxiliary manual breathing unit (AMBU) bag. In particular, many different designs have been conceived for the AMBU compression mechanism, which contains the most critical parts to be designed. Here arises the aim of this work, i.e., to propose a methodological approach to support the creativity of designers involved in inventing increasingly sustainable and reliable low-cost compression mechanisms for AMBU-based ventilators. Accordingly, a conceptual framework is proposed, capable of collecting existing ideas and organizing the underpinning concepts, to provide stimuli for new idea generation and to keep track of (and possibly to share) the explored design space. Illustrative examples are provided in order to show how the proposal can be used in practice. In particular, a set of currently available solutions is schematically shown through the proposed graphical tools, and the generation of new illustrative solutions is presented. Additionally, it is shown how to represent further ideas (e.g., those coming from other teams) in the framework.

Keywords: Conceptual design | COVID-19 | Creativity | Engineering design | Ventilators

[25] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Investigating users’ reactions to surprising products, Design Studies, 69, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The study of surprising product features is crucial for designing products that potentially trigger attention and curiosity. Through a tailored questionnaire, this study gathered reactions from 100 respondents to solutions which were considered to be surprising. The data about surprise emergence and its modalities were processed using a situated FBS-based cognitive framework, shifted to the perspective of the user/observer. Data analysis shows that FBS variables and the related cognitive processes are suitable for describing similarities and differences in the reasoning path of users when surprise emerges. This confirms that individually pre-conceived expectations are crucial to surprise emergence and that these expectations relate to functional, behavioural or structural variables with similar mechanisms that depend on thinking processes triggered by product features.

Keywords: creativity | design cognition | design research | evaluation | user behaviour

[26] Fiorineschi L., Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Testing a new structured tool for supporting requirements' formulation and decomposition, Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 10(9), (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The definition of a comprehensive initial set of engineering requirements is crucial to an effective and successful design process. To support engineering designers in this non-trivial task, well-acknowledged requirement checklists are available in literature, but their actual support is arguable. Indeed, engineering design tasks involve multifunctional systems, characterized by a complex map of requirements affecting different functions. Aiming at improving the support provided by common checklists, this paper proposes a structured tool capable of allocating different requirements to specific functions, and to discern between design wishes and demands. A first experiment of the tool enabled the extraction of useful information for future developments targeting the enhancement of the tool's efficacy. Indeed, although some advantages have been observed in terms of the number of proposed requirements, the presence of multiple functions led users (engineering students in this work) to useless repetitions of the same requirement. In addition, the use of the proposed tool resulted in increased perceived effort, which has been measured through the NASA Task Load Index method. These limitations constitute the starting point for planning future research and the mentioned enhancements, beyond representing a warning for scholars involved in systematizing the extraction and management of design requirements. Moreover, thanks to the robustness of the scientific approach used in this work, similar experiments can be repeated to obtain data with a more general validity, especially from industry.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design specification | Engineering design | Product planning | Requirements

[27] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Impact of missing attributes on the novelty metric of Shah et al., Research in Engineering Design, 31(2), 221-234, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The a posteriori novelty metric proposed in 2003 by Shah and colleagues is still one of the most widely used in design research, constituting the reference for many experiments on creativity and effectiveness of ideation. However, recent research highlights that in the presence of ideas implementing different numbers of attributes, some non-negligible problems arise. The objective of this paper is to estimate the potential errors that can be committed when applying the metric of Shah et al. in these situations. The investigation has been performed by relying on a high number of randomly generated virtual sets of ideas. The results obtained revealed that the problem of “missing attributes”, if not opportunely faced, leads the considered metric to misleading novelty scores.

Keywords: Creativity | Novelty | Novelty assessment | Uncommonness | Virtual ideas

[28] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Orienting through the variety of novelty metrics, International Journal of Design Sciences and Technology, 24(1), 83-101, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Assessing creativity of generated ideas is of crucial importance for both design research and early detection of potential innovations. By the identification of the most acknowledged novelty metrics used for creativity-related assessments in the field of engineering design, this paper aims at providing crucial information to orient through the variety of alternatives. A systematic literature review is performed by relying on the Scopus search engine, and a search strategy based on both practical and quality-related screening procedures. The work is focused on the engineering design literature, and the identified contributions are classified in terms of both creativity and novelty concepts. A set of 140 papers has been reviewed, where a subset of 37 mentioned or proposed novelty metrics has been considered. The metrics have been mapped in terms of creativity types, novelty concepts and metric types. Although it is possible to find comprehensive reviews about creativity concepts and related metrics, contributions focused on novelty metrics are currently lacking. This is the first contribution that focuses on a wide set of novelty concepts and related metrics, by mapping them to support metric selection.

Keywords: Creativity | Creativity assessment | Innovation | Newness | Novelty | Novelty assessment | Originality | Uncommonness | Unexpectedness | Unusualness

[29] Rossi G., Conti L., Fiorineschi L., Marvasi M., Monti M., Rotini F., Togni M., Barbari M., A new eco-friendly packaging material made of straw and bioplastic, Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 51(4), 185-191, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Packaging waste is cause for serious concern. Each year hun-dreds of millions of tons of packaging are produced, therefore solutions that drastically reduce their environmental impact are urgently needed. While the recycling of metal, wood, paper and cardboard packaging has been significantly improved, an efficient recycling or disposal of some plastics is not yet feasible. The European Union implemented various regulations concerning packaging and packaging waste and set some relevant short to medium-term targets for recycling and disposal rates. Over the last decade, the global trend of the eco-sustainable packaging market is heading in the same direction. The aim of this research is to develop an innovative and sustainable composite material for the production of tertiary packaging based on the combination of nat-ural fibres and biodegradable biopolymers. In particular, the experimental application entailed the creation of prototypes con-sisting of a material made of straw and biodegradable plastic Mater-Bi® which is named NeoPalea. The new material was pro-totyped to verify its physical characteristics and to determine its potential use to replace current not-biodegradable packaging. The results show a good match with the characteristics of current poly-mers, suggesting that this material can be used as a potential sub-stitute in packaging applications.

Keywords: Bio-packaging | Biodegradable | Bioplastic | Circular economy | Composting | Recycling | Straw

[30] Allotta B., Fiorineschi L., Maccioni L., Papini S., Pugi L., Rindi A., Rotini F., Design of a wolfrom cycloidal gearbox made with polymeric materials for mass production on smart construction yards, International Journal of Mechanics and Control, 21(2), 129-142, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Object of this work is the design of a speed reducer which introduces two distinctive innovations: adoption of a Wolfrom layout and adoption of polymeric materials. This solution is innovative respect to current literature also for proposed application, concrete mixes and other machines for construction yards. In this work, features of proposed solution are critically compared with pre-existing ones demonstrating its potential industrial interest for applications constrained by cost limitations and exposition to severe environmental conditions. A preliminary design is then performed on benchmark case study also introducing finite element modelling of contact conditions of proposed polymeric gears. Results are quite promising and more generally adequate to demonstrate feasibility and potential utility of proposed solution.

Keywords: Construction Yards | Cycloidal Drive | Harmonic Drive | Mechatronics | Wolfrom Drive

[31] Cascini G., Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Impact of Design Representations on Creativity of Design Outcomes, Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science, 23(2), 31-60, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Designers usually spend non-negligible efforts in performing comprehensive design space explorations, but important information exchanged in conceptual design sessions is often lost, even about the rationale behind the preferred solutions. As a part of a broader investigation concerning the impact of knowledge coming from previously performed design tasks, this paper describes an experiment aimed at assessing the impact on the design outcomes of two representations used to share existing design information. In particular, the authors compared a function structure, together with a morphological chart, against a hierarchically organized tree of problems and solutions. The design experiment has been performed with a sample composed by 35 engineering students, which have been opportunely subdivided in three groups. The experiment has been structured in three phases and the acknowledged literature metrics for assessing idea generation effectiveness have been applied to assess the design outcomes produced by students. Obtained results show that providing information with the two investigated representations leads to potential advantages in terms of Variety of devised concepts. Moreover, additional analysis of the results highlight that the considered representations lead to different idea-generation paths.

Keywords: Conceptual design | creativity | design information | design methods | engineering design

[32] Frillici F.S., Fiorineschi L., Furferi R., Rotini F., Adoption of Additive Technologies by Florence Industries: Designing a Survey Session, Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering, 827-836, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: Although the wide diffusion and technological development of Additive Technologies, it is still unclear to what extent the related potentialities are actually exploited. The work described in this paper aims at developing an on-line survey to be administered to industrial practitioners from different types of firm to elicit the information required to better understand the role of additive technologies and/or prototypes. In particular, we developed a preliminary version of the survey, and tested it with a limited sample of academic participants. The followed procedure, which includes the administration of a NASA Task Load Index questionnaire to participants, allowed to rapidly receive important feedbacks to support the development of a robust survey. Once administered to the expected final participants, the survey is expected to provide information about which are the main technologies used by different industrial sectors, how firms currently select 3D printers, and how they are currently used for design purposes.

Keywords: 3D printing | Additive Manufacturing | Prototypes | Survey

[33] Fiorineschi L., Cascini G., Rotini F., Tonarelli A., Versatile grinder technology for the production of wood biofuels, Fuel Processing Technology, 197, (2020). Abstract
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Abstract: The exploitation of wood biomass for thermal energy production often represents an effective complementary source to petroleum, especially where there is the availability of extended forests. Focusing the attention on household plants, the wood pellet currently constitutes a widespread biofuel, which however is characterized by non-negligible production costs. Wood microchips constitute a recently developed alternative, which compensates its inferior characteristics by an easier production process. To obtain these biofuels, the particle size reduction is crucial, because it sensibly influences the power consumption of the drying processes, as well as the raw material supply strategies. In this context, this paper presents an innovative grinding technology, which can be exploited to produce wood particle sizes for both wood pellets and microchips production. In particular, the prototype of the grinder and the experimental plant are shown, which have been used for performing preliminary biofuel production tests. The main design characteristics of the prototype are provided, together with preliminary experimental results that provide first evidences about the potentialities of the proposed wood grinding technology.

Keywords: Biofuel | Grinding | Microchips | Wood drying | Wood grinder | Wood pellet

[34] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., A-Posteriori Novelty Metrics Based on Idea Decomposition, International Journal of Design Sciences and Technology, 23(2), 187-209, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Novelty assessment procedures based on a-posteriori rationales are often used to extract useful information about creativity and/or idea generation effectiveness. In this context, the metric proposed by Shah and colleagues in 2003 (SNM), is one of the most used in design research. However, scholars highlighted some non-negligible flaws and also possible variants have been proposed, claimed to improve the original version. The aim of this paper is to perform a systematic literature review about the SNM variants, in order to verify whether the acknowledged flaws of the metric have been overcome or not. As a result, this paper highlights that the problems affecting the original SNM version have not been comprehensively resolved, and the different variants proposed in literature can even present some additional flaws. Accordingly, a comprehensive list of pros and cons of the reviewed metrics has been reported, thus providing fundamental information to support accurate metric selection.

Keywords: Creativity | Idea infrequency | Idea uncommonness | Novelty | Novelty assessment

[35] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Patent classification as stimulus for inspiring new applications of existing knowledge, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 1813-1822, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper aims to provide suggestions for the identification of potential new applications for the existing knowledge. A method is presented for extracting information about a product or technology, processing the international patent database (IPD) and extracting useful hints for potential new applications. The approach uses the Cooperative Patent Classification as stimulus for inspiring new potential fields towards which export existing product or technologies. Although some limits inevitably affect the approach, relevant directions for future developments have been inferred for a more comprehensive exploitation of both the firm internal knowledge and the suggestions provided by the international patent database. The achieved results can support firms in expanding market opportunities for their products or technologies.

Keywords: Creativity | Innovation | New product development

[36] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Unveiling the multiple and complex faces of fidelity, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 1723-1732, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Fidelity is one of the most important parameters to consider when dealing with prototypes, which affect the related costs and performances. Current literature contributions often rely on generic definitions of Fidelity based on the concept of closeness. However, the review performed in this paper revealed that Fidelity is a more complex concept, which considers (at least) eight main dimensions, mutually interrelated, and potentially characterized by many other potential sub-dimensions. The identified set has been applied to an industrial case study were a real engineering prototype has been assessed in terms of Fidelity. In particular, the case study application shows how the different dimensions can be interrelated each other. Furthermore, some important research hints have been highlighted in this paper, where the identified set of Fidelity dimensions paves the way for the related future activities.

Keywords: Case study | Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) | Design practice | Fidelity | Prototyping

[37] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Orienting through the variants of the Shah's A-posteriori novelty metric, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 2317-2326, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Different variants of a-posteriori novelty metrics can be found in the literature. Indeed, such a kind of assessment procedures is often used to extract useful information about creativity and/or idea generation effectiveness. In particular, the metric proposed by Shah et al. in 2003, is one of the most used and discussed in the literature. However, scholars highlighted some flaws for this metric, and some variants have been proposed to overcome them. This paper argues about the variants proposed for the a-posteriori metric of Shah et al., and proposes a selection framework to support researchers in selecting the most suited for their experimental needs. The proposed selection framework also highlights important research hints, which could pave the way for future activities. More specifically, it is still necessary to support the identification of the best-suited abstraction framework to assign weights to attributes, and the assignment of weights should be better supported as well. Moreover, this paper highlights the presence of “uncommonness of key attributes”, which needs to be investigated for experimental cases where ideas missing some key attributes are present.

Keywords: Creativity | Design theory | Evaluation | Nevelty Assessment | Novelty Metrics

[38] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., A preliminary proposal towards unambiguous definitions for modular interfaces and interactions, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 2941-2950, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Modularity is acknowledged to provide benefits across the whole product lifecycle. Accordingly, many literature contributions can be found about modularization methods, metrics and definitions. In particular, recent studies focused on the development of heuristic principles for exploiting modularity early in the design process. However, to design modules it is necessary to define their mutual interactions, the related interfaces and their production strategies. Concerning interfaces and interactions, this paper highlights that current definitions are often ambiguous and overlapping each other. Therefore, extracting univocal information about interfaces and interactions of existent modular products could be difficult. This could hinder the identification of comprehensive heuristic design guidelines, about how to design modules from a structural point of view. This paper proposes a new set of interface and interaction definitions, which allows to overcome the flaw observed for current ones. The proposed set and the classical one have been applied on 110 products identified on the web, showing that the new definitions allow to extract more reliable information.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Early design phases | Modular design | Modularity | Product architecture

[39] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Teaching and learning design methods: Facing the related issues with TRIZ, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 589-598, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Design methods are claimed to support designers but, although they are largely taught in academia, their industrial uptake is still lacking. Many reasons have been identified about this flaw and some potential suggestions have been proposed and discussed in literature to overcome the problem. However, a further evidence is that although many students learn such methods from years, they partially or totally abandon the learned methods in their professional careers. This could partially explain the gap between academic and industrial diffusion of design methods. Literature provides suggestions for improving the learning experience of students but different didactical contexts may need more tailored solutions. The work shown in this paper exploits the problem solving potentialities of the TRIZ toolset to provide hints for improving a course focused on teaching a systematic conceptual design method. A set of suggestions has been obtained together some guidelines for applying the considered TRIZ tools to other didactical contexts.

Keywords: Creativity | Design education | Design learning | Design methods

[40] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Three-dimensional approach for assessing uncommonness of ideas, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 2019-August, 229-238, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: A posteriori novelty metrics are often used in design research, in order to extract important information about creativity. However, different assessment approaches can be found in the literature, each of them with related pros and cons. In particular, weighted uncommonness, overall uncommonness and uncommonness across groups are the three main families of a-posteriori novelty metrics identified in this paper. Each of the considered literature metrics can provide specific types of information about the uncommonness of ideas, but in certain experimental circumstances, it could be difficult to rapidly identify the best-suited approach. This paper proposes an integrated procedure where the advantages offered by the three families of metrics can be applied concurrently. A generic case study is used for a first application of the proposal, and the obtained results show that a more comprehensive set of information about a-posteriori novelty can be extracted. In particular, novelty data from the three families of metrics are extracted in a single assessment process.

Keywords: Creativity | Design theory | Evaluation | Novelty Assessment | Novelty Metrics

[41] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Linking design problems and modular solutions, International Journal of Product Development, 23(1), 15-41, (2019). Abstract
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Abstract: Designing products implies to deal with a series of issues affecting their entire life cycle, which are often solved by exploiting the benefits offered by modular architectures. Nevertheless, although several studies have been performed on this argument, understanding 'when' and 'how' to adopt modularity still remains a non-trivial task, especially in the early design stages. Indeed, different modularity types can be found in literature, but it is unclear whether they can be linked to specific categories of design problems or not. Attempting to fill this gap, the paper proposes an investigation strategy to highlight the relationship between modular solutions and design problems. An illustrative application of the proposal on a sample of products is presented together with the achieved results. They show that the proposed investigation approach potentially allows to highlight preferred modular solutions for specific problem categories. Moreover, a new set of unambiguous definitions of the modularity types is presented to clearly identify interfaces and interactions among modules.

Keywords: Engineering design | Modular design | Modularity | Problem solving | Product architecture

[42] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Investigating the future of the fuzzy front end: towards a change of paradigm in the very early design phases?, Journal of Engineering Design, 29(11), 644-664, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Many scholars argue that very early design phases are not supported adequately in many respects, although they are at the cornerstone of successful new product development. Difficulties in developing appropriate methods emerge because of the need to account for uncertainties and ambiguities that feature the Fuzzy Front End. This is likely the reason behind the limited industrial adoption of existing design methods, especially those that are oriented to support Product Planning. In this context, the thrust of the paper is the attempt to identify key activities and functions featuring Product Planning. The study entrusts figures about the foreseeable growth of the intensity of research displayed by classes of methods supporting different functions in Product Planning. As the data, emerging from the application of S-curves, indicate no preferential direction in the medium term, other phenomena are monitored that might overturn the conventional systematic course of action to design in the early stages. The ‘trial-and-error’ learning approach characterising agile strategies can be seen as a partial answer to the expected demise of research about Product Planning. Beyond these conclusions, the paper includes a frame of reference that classifies Product Planning methods (adequately reviewed) beyond the classical distinction between responsive and proactive approaches.

Keywords: agile product development | Early design phases | fuzzy front end | product planning | S-curves

[43] Carfagni M., Fiorineschi L., Furferi R., Governi L., Rotini F., The role of additive technologies in the prototyping issues of design, Rapid Prototyping Journal, 24(7), 1101-1116, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to argue about the involvement of additive technologies (ATs) in the prototyping issues of designing. More precisely, it reviews the literature contributions focused on the different perspectives of prototyping activities for design purposes, searching for both available knowledge and research needs concerning the correct exploitation of ATs. Design/methodology/approach: A two-step literature review has been performed. In the first step, general information has been retrieved about prototyping issues related to design. In the second step, the literature searches were focused on retrieving more detailed information about ATs, concerning each of the main issues identified in the previous step. Extracted information has been analyzed and discussed for understanding the actual coverage of the arguments and for identifying possible research needs. Findings: Four generally valid prototyping issues have been identified in the first step of the literature review. For each of them, available information and current lacks have been identified and discussed about the involvement of AT, allowing to extract six different research hints for future works. Originality/value: This is the first literature review concerning AT-focused contributions that cover the complex and inter-disciplinary issues characterizing prototyping activities in design contexts.

Keywords: Additive technologies | Design | Engineering | Engineering design | Prototyping | Rapid prototyping

[44] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Gregori G., Rotini F., Stimulating idea generation for new product applications, International Journal of Innovation Science, 10(4), 454-474, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Purpose: This paper aims to provide suggestions for the identification of potential new applications for the existing products and/or technologies. Design/methodology/approach: A nine-step method has been developed for extracting information about a product or technology, processing the international patent database (IPD) and extracting useful hints for potential new applications. An academic case study has been used to perform the first application of the proposal. Findings: A novel approach for processing IPD aimed at supporting the identification of new opportunities for exploiting existing products/technologies. The case study application shows that the proposal allows to extract potentially useful and non-obvious suggestions for new product applications. Research limitations/implications: Although some limits inevitably affect this preliminary version of the proposal, important hints for future developments have been inferred for a more comprehensive exploitation of both the firm internal knowledge and the suggestions provided by the international patent database. Practical implications: The achieved results can support firms in expanding market opportunities for their products or technologies. Originality/value: The proposed approach offers a new structured path for stimulating idea generation for new product applications, by exploiting product information and the cooperative patent classification.

Keywords: Idea generation | Innovation | Patent analysis | Patents | Patents and inventions | Product innovation

[45] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Tomassini M., Exploiting TRIZ Tools for enhancing systematic conceptual design activities, Journal of Engineering Design, 29(6), 259-290, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Systematic design methods are widely diffused in academia, representing a standard in many engineering courses. Nevertheless, some flaws related to the conceptual design phase have been ascribed to these methods, especially concerning a non-comprehensive support to innovation. However, literature acknowledges several creativity-enhancing tools that can be conveniently combined with systematic design methods. In particular, many scholars refer to TRIZ, i.e. the well-known Russian problem-solving theory. Moreover, recent literature contributions propose some alternatives to the classical Functional Decomposition and Morphology (FDM), claiming to overcome some of the related flaws. One of them is the Problem Solution Network (PSN) approach, i.e. a systematic conceptual design method strongly based on a problem-solution co-evolutionary logic. In this context, our work aims at combining the potentialities of TRIZ with the benefits claimed for the PSN, by proposing a comprehensive integration procedure. Accordingly, this paper reports a detailed description of the proposal, where TRIZ tools are exploited to support problem solving within the PSN approach. Furthermore, an application is also reported where an industrial case study is presented to argue about possible potentialities and lacks of the proposed approach.

Keywords: Conceptual design | design methods | engineering design | problem solving techniques | TRIZ

[46] Borgianni Y., Lenarduzzi V., Rotini F., Taibi D., Bringing stimulated ideation in a web environment: Students’ evaluations of a basic software release, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Previous studies have demonstrated that creative design activities benefit from stimuli and that textual prompts might extend the exploration of the design space. However, the number of stimuli to conduct a wide exploration is large and the support of an ICT platform results necessary to manage a creative task effectively because of the presumably large number of generated ideas. Within a project named Startled, a very simple first release of a web application has been developed that supports ideation activities by means of stimuli. Dozens of students enrolled in different courses and Universities have tested the platform and answered a questionnaire, which aimed to elucidate their self-efficacy, perceived workload, ease of use and utility of the present version of the web application. The outcomes show, beyond few differences between students with diverse backgrounds, a majority of neutral and slightly positive answers. The results are not fully satisfying and the authors intend to make the ICT-supported creative tool more guided, user-friendly and intuitive.

Keywords: New product benefits | Questionnaires | Stimulated ideation | Web application

[47] Cascini G., Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Investigating on the re-use of conceptual design representations, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 3, 1009-1020, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Systematic conceptual design approaches foresee the realization of abstract representations, according to their specific formalisms and rationales. Therefore, even if not explicitly conceived for this purpose, they implicitly allow to store information about the explored design space. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the re-use of the recalled representation is unclear, especially if reused by designers not comprehensively learned about the original method. This paper shows an experimental investigation on this argument, where a sample of thirty-five MS engineering students is involved.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design creativity | Design knowledge | Design representations | Engineering design

[48] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Issues related to missing attributes in aposteriori novelty assessments, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 3, 1067-1078, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Novelty assessment is a fundamental activity for creativity evaluation of ideas or concepts. Accordingly, literature acknowledges a variety of suitable metrics, among which some "a-posteriori" versions are often used for assessing idea generated in experimental sessions. We observed that when in presence of tasks requiring multiple functions, the application of the metric becomes problematic. In this paper, we argue about the recalled issue, providing detailed suggestions for a correct "a-posteriori" novelty assessment of ideas generated from tasks with multiple required functions.

Keywords: Design creativity | Design evaluation | Evaluation | Novelty | Novelty assessment

[49] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., A-posteriori novelty assessments for sequential design sessions, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 3, 1079-1090, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Among the various novelty metrics available in literature, those developed by Shah and Vargas- Hernandez are frequently used for academic purposes. More precisely, their "a-posteriori" version is often used for assessing ideation effectiveness of idea generation methods. We observed that when in presence of sequential idea generation sessions of the same task, the application of the recalled metric could lead to misleading results. In this paper, we argue about this problem, and we also provide useful suggestions for a correct "a-posteriori" assessment for sequential idea generation sessions.

Keywords: Design creativity | Design evaluation | Evaluation | Novelty | Novelty assessment

[50] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Supporting systematic conceptual design with triz, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 3, 1091-1102, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: Most acknowledged systematic conceptual design (SCD) methods are based on Functional Decomposition and Morphology (FDM). However, since some of the observed FDM flaws concern a non-comprehensive support to creativity, some scholars attempted to fill this gap by integrating FDM with the TRIZ body of knowledge. Unfortunately, non-negligible issues arise in these cases, hindering a comprehensive exploitation of TRIZ in SCD. This paper proposes an alternative way for exploiting the TRIZ potentialities within SCD, and three academic application examples are reported to show how the proposal works.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design methods | Engineering design | Problem solving | TRIZ

[51] Fiorineschi L., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Enhancing functional decomposition and morphology with TRIZ: Literature review, Computers in Industry, 94, 1-15, (2018). Abstract
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Abstract: One of most acknowledged approaches for conceptual design is the so-called “Functional Decomposition and Morphology” (FDM), which provides a systematic framework for transforming a set of technical requirements in a product concept. However, as observed by some scholars, this particular procedure acknowledges some flaws, also concerning a non-comprehensive support in generating creative ideas. Accordingly, literature suggests to combine creativity-enhancer tools or methods with the FDM process. The TRIZ base of knowledge appears to be one of the viable options, as shown in the fragmental indications reported in well-acknowledged design textbooks. Accordingly, other contributions can be found in literature, which are focused on more structured ways for enhancing FDM approaches with TRIZ. In such a context, the objectives of this paper is to collect the literature contributions focused on the TRIZ-FDM integration, with the aim of providing a first comprehensive classification and discussing about observable differences and lacks.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design methodology | Design methods | Engineering design | Functional decomposition | Problem solving | Systematic design | TRIZ

[52] Cascini G., Graziosi S., Montagna F., Rotini F., On the Factors Affecting Design Education Within a Multi-Disciplinary Class, Journal of Integrated Design and Process Science, 21(2), 21-44, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Design education is a highly debated topic since decades, yet the focus on multi-disciplinary classes has gained a paramount importance due to the multi-disciplinary nature of today's global challenges. This paper contributes to the discussion through the description of the Design Methods and Processes course at Alta Scuola Politecnica, an original educational experience jointly developed by Politecnico di Milano and Politecnico di Torino with a highly selected number of MS students from Architecture, Industrial Design and all branches of Engineering. After positioning this discussion with respect to the relevant literature, the paper describes the educational model of this course and the reflections made after 5 years of implementation. Students show to catch the essence of the design workflow thanks to the educational path structured as a problem-analysis-and-solving process. However, dealing with multi-disciplinary task demands a careful composition of students' teams since it can positively/negatively affect the learning experience as well as students' motivations.

Keywords: Design education | design practice | educational background | multi-disciplinary design | team working

[53] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Tomassini M., Fostering ideation in the very early design phases: How textual, pictorial and combined stimuli affect creativity, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 8(DS87-8), 139-148, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Creativity is critical to the success of design outcomes. Several research contributions investigate the effects of different stimuli on the creativity of conceptual solutions. Studies still lacks dedicated to early New Product Development activities focused on the definition of new product ideas in terms of unprecedented benefits and product attributes. The paper deals with the forms through which stimuli are delivered to support ideation for the recalled design activity. The objective of the paper is to assess if and how different stimuli affect designers' ideation performance. An experiment was performed, in which participants were asked to produce new ideas or product attributes for an existing product category, by exploiting textual, pictorial and combined stimuli as source of inspiration. The results show that the inspiration fashions play a limited role on the outcomes of the ideation process, if the latter are assessed through the most acknowledged creativity metrics. However, the experiment reveals that significantly different ideas have emerged in groups using diversified forms of stimuli.

Keywords: Creativity | Design process | Ideation | New product development | Stimuli

[54] Maccioni L., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Sustainability as a value-adding concept in the early design phases? Insights from stimulated ideation sessions, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, 68, 888-897, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: As creativity is increasingly important in order to achieve differentiation and competitiveness in industry, designers face the challenge of conceiving and rating large numbers of new product development options. The authors’ recent studies show the effectiveness of ideation procedures guided by stimuli that are submitted to designers in the form of abstract benefits. A rich collection of said benefits has been created to this scope; more specifically, the authors have performed a detailed clustering of the categories described in TRIZ ideality, i.e. useful functions, attenuation of undesired effects and reduction of consumed resources. Aspects related to sustainability and environmental friendliness manifestly appear in the list of stimuli and these issues are reflected in several ideas emerged in initial experiments. However, many promising product development objectives conflict with sustainability or, at least, their adherence to eco-design is arguable. The paper assesses the share of ideas that are supposed to comply with sustainability in experiments described in recent literature. Subsequently, it intends to stimulate a discussion about the introduction of measures to attract attention of designers on sustainability in the critical early product development stages also when green aspects do not represent the fundamental driver to achieve greater customer value. As well, it discusses which sustainability aspects are worth being considered adequately during the very early design phases and which ones could result as exceedingly constraining.

Keywords: Idea generation | Product value | Sustainability | TRIZ | Very early design phases

[55] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Surprise and design creativity: Investigating the drivers of unexpectedness, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 5(1-2), 29-47, (2017). Abstract
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Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension, or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper proposes a framework of factors supposedly characterizing the emergence of surprise in terms of individuals’ interpretations and/or modifications of products’ behavior and structure. Moreover, it illustrates the outcomes of a preliminary empirical investigation about the manifestation of unexpectedness according to such a framework: the proposed factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.

Keywords: Creativity | Diversity | Emotion | Novelty | Surprise

[56] Bacciotti D., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Product Planning techniques: investigating the differences between research trajectories and industry expectations, Research in Engineering Design, 27(4), 367-389, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: According to several literature sources, Product Planning is acknowledged as a primary driver of future commercial success for new designed products, and it is schematically constituted by the identification of business opportunities and the selection of most promising alternatives. Despite the recalled relevance of Product Planning, it emerges that a marginal quantity of companies have adopted formal methods to carry out this task. The paper attempts to provide a major understanding about such a limited implementation of Product Planning techniques and other open issues emerging from the analysis of the literature concerning the initial phases of engineering design cycles. The presented study investigates the claimed benefits of methods described in the literature, the level to which such tools are diffused through educational programs in Technical Institutes, the expectations and the demands of a sample of enterprises with respect to new tools supporting Product Planning. It emerges that, whereas existing methods strive to fulfil relevant properties according to the perception of the companies, limitations come out in terms of the transfer of the proposed techniques and their perceived reliability.

Keywords: Design education | Fuzzy front end | Idea generation | Industrial survey | New product development | Review of design methods

[57] Bacciotti D., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., A CAD tool to support idea generation in the product planning phase, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 13(4), 490-502, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The work described in the paper is motivated by the lack of computer-aided tools to support Product Planning and, more specifically ideation processes of New Product Development (NPD) initiatives. The domain is populated by software applications aimed at managing and organizing Product Planning activities, which thus poorly contribute to the definition of new product characteristics, and models to stimulate novel ideas. The latter face limitations in terms of overlooked implementation with CAD tools supporting the following NPD phases and poor exploration of the design space. The authors propose an original method and software prototype capable to provide a wide range of stimuli, whose testing demonstrated much better results than traditional approaches in terms of quantity and variety of generated ideas.

Keywords: CAD | idea generation | New Product Development | product attributes | Product Planning | Value Dimensions

[58] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Rissone P., A new conceptual design approach for overcoming the flaws of functional decomposition and morphology, Journal of Engineering Design, 27(7), 438-468, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: Some scholars have recently criticised functional decomposition and morphology (FDM) approaches despite their wide diffusion in academia. More precisely, several research projects demonstrated that such methods suffer from poor diffusion in industry because of some deficiencies. This paper, which focuses on evidence that is addressed by the literature, refers to a new conceptual design approach that can overcome the flaws of FDM. More specifically, this paper presents the fundamental logic and the main tools that constitute the groundings of the proposal. Analogies and differences with respect to the classical methodology are examined by means of a literature case study, while two academic studies are briefly introduced to show other peculiarities of the suggested proposal. The same case study applications are later used to highlight the current shortcomings of the new approach and to formulate possible future developments.

Keywords: Conceptual design | information gathering | problem decomposition | problem–solution coevolution | PSN

[59] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., What surprised you? A questionnaire to map unexpectedness through FBS variables, 4th International Conference on Design Creativity, ICDC 2016, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents the analysis of an original online survey that aims at checking the factors triggering surprise in randomly chosen evaluators who were submitted a set of surprising products. The authors use the answers to check the capability of a situated FBS-based model to help catch the main factors triggering surprise in products, here seen as a mismatch between what is interpreted and previously conceived expectations. The survey questionnaire shows to be effective in grabbing surprising factors and the results demonstrate that the model allows a strong ex-post convergence in the investigation of surprising factors.

Keywords: Cognitive processes | Function-behaviour-structure | Surprising products

[60] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Stimulated ideation sessions in product planning: Assessing quantitative results of individuals and groups, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, DS 84, 937-946, (2016).
[61] Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Fiorineschi L., Re-design the design task through TRIZ tools, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, DS 84, 201-210, (2016).
[62] Bacciotti D., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., An original design approach for stimulating the ideation of new product features, Computers in Industry, 75, 80-100, (2016). Abstract
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Abstract: The manuscript illustrates a method, implemented in a computer application, which supports the identification of new product features in the early phases of engineering design cycles. In the practice, such a task is commonly carried out through cognitive techniques that generate random and unstructured stimuli. These approaches and the computer-aided tools that implement them suffer from a scarce exploration of the design space. This criticality is faced by introducing an original classification of value drivers, thus organizing a large set of concepts consisting of stimuli for generating new product ideas. The proposed method combines the concepts belonging to different categories of the classification in order to identify scenarios in which the product can provide unprecedented benefits for customers and other stakeholders. Experiments in academia and industry show the capability of the developed method and prototype software to increase the number and the novelty of ideas, reveal previously overlooked drivers for customer satisfaction and enhance the definition of stimulated design requirements.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Design | Idea stimulation | New Product Development | Product attributes | Product Planning | Value dimensions

[63] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Towards the fine-tuning of a predictive Kano model for supporting product and service design, Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 26(3-4), 263-283, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Kano's theory analyses only the ‘current situation’ concerning the extent of customer satisfaction, which results from fulfilling monitored product/service attributes. Such an issue hinders the exploitation of Kano surveys for long-time design projects. On the other hand, trends regarding the shift of quality attributes reported in literature are not supported by rigorous research. In order to highlight evidence about changes in the main drivers for customer satisfaction, the authors have individuated and subsequently examined surveys of three analogous products or services performed by different research groups. The use of a quantitative reference model linking the performance of quality attributes to the ensuing satisfaction provides a clear picture of the transformation occurring within the role played by a plurality of customer requirements. The results of the investigation show remarkable differences in the evolution of quality attributes and point out new needs for the organisation of an experiment to validate the existing hypotheses that concern the transformation of Kano categories. More specifically, the paper stresses the importance of performing repeated tests with the same group of customers, paying attention to industrial sectors where performance is progressing quickly, considering uncertainties related to the output of Kano surveys.

Keywords: dynamics of Kano categories | Kano's theory | product/service design | quantitative Kano model

[64] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Business Process Reengineering driven by customer value: A support for undertaking decisions under uncertainty conditions, Computers in Industry, 68, 132-147, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The field of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) has recently observed the birth of Decision Support Systems (DSSs) as a solution for overcoming the limitations of previous initiatives. The numerous failures concerning earlier BPR implementations are mostly ascribed to the introduction of best practices from other industrial experiences without proper adaptation to the local specificities, as well as by the inadequate consideration of uncertainty issues within decision making. A considerable amount of DSSs integrates issues dealing with customer opinions and behaviours and takes into account the uncertainties related to the relevance and the implications of the gathered feedbacks. In such a context, the paper describes an algorithmic model (implemented in a computer application) for supporting decision making that quantitatively relates the phases of a business process with its outputs, with reference to the contribution in generating customer value. The proposed decision support method can be advantageously employed especially in those cases characterized by time pressure and impossibility of performing suitable customer surveys. The model sheds light on process value bottlenecks and provides indications about the most beneficial reengineering activities. Context uncertainties are managed by applying Monte Carlo simulation. Such a measure allows evaluating the share of risk ensuing from redesigning certain business process phases.

Keywords: Business Process Reengineering | Customer perceived satisfaction | Decision Support Systems | Monte Carlo simulation | Process Value Analysis

[65] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Surprise as a situated phenomenon, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 11(DS 80-11), 71-80, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Among the studies dedicated to design creativity, a significant attention is given to the investigation of its dimensions, such as novelty and usefulness. The underlying assumption is that an enhanced knowledge of them is helpful to better understand limitations of current design approaches, and improve methods and tools. While there is still a lively discussion about these dimensions, some authors highlight that among them surprise deserves to be considered an independent aspect that differs from novelty. In fact, the latter concerns unprecedented peculiarities of an artefact, while surprise tells about the unexpectedness of a feature whatever is the degree of difference with pre-existing ones. Having observed the lack of reference models to investigate the emergence of surprise when a user first meets a new artefact, the authors propose an original model to describe the occurring cognitive processes. The model exploits some fundamental concepts of Gero's situated FBS framework and represent surprise as a mismatch between the interpretation of reality given by an observer and her/his expectations due to previous experiences. The model is illustrated by means of three examples.

Keywords: Creativity | FBS | Situatedness | Surprise

[66] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., Requirements checklists: Benchmarking the comprehensiveness of the design specification, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 5(DS 80-05), 41-50, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: It is commonly recognized that the definition of product requirements is an essential step of any design process. Many techniques have been proposed for building a suitable design specification, i.e. for defining a set of requirements characterized by validity, completeness, operationality, non-redundancy, conciseness and practicability. Among them, several methods and tools primarily aim at populating the design specification: some of them focus on very specific objectives but are applicable in many different domains (e.g., Design for X). Others are domain specific, but try to cover the entire scope of the specification (e.g., checklists and standards). This paper describes an abstract-level checklist for requirements definition, suitable for any field of application, aiming at producing exhaustive lists of requirements. A previous experimental application with Mechanical Engineering students clearly showed that the proposed multi-purpose checklist allows populating design specifications more complete than those defined without any support. This paper follows up demonstrating the capability of the novel checklist against the checklist for conceptual design by Pahl and Beitz.

Keywords: Design education | Design methods | Design specification | Requirements | Requirements checklists

[67] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Stakeholders' diverging perceptions of product requirements: Implications in the design practice, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 5(DS 80-05), 21-30, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: A relevant challenge of firms developing new products stands in the capability to fulfil the requirements customers expect, which can give rise to design conflicts. Many techniques consider the relevance assigned to requirements by consequently focusing on those characteristics to which customers attribute more importance. The matter is complicated by multiple kinds of subjects, often indicated as stakeholders, that interact with the product and can influence the success of new products. Stakeholders can manifest different preferences also about requirements which are not intrinsically conflicting. The application of Kano model has been proposed to lay bare the extent of said divergences. An illustrative experiment has been conducted in the footwear industry to reveal the perception of retailers and end users with respect to shoes requirements. It emerges that the consideration of the relevance attributed to a subset of requirements is significantly different. The paper further discusses the expected modifications of design processes followed by companies needing to pay attention to intricate networks of requirements and stakeholders.

Keywords: Kano model | New product development | Product requirements | Stakeholders

[68] Fiorineschi L., Rotini F., Rissone P., Conceiving modular solutions in early conceptual design activities, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 7(DS 80-07), 63-72, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Literature acknowledges modular architectures to give rise to a series of positive effects, and advantages given by considering modularity early in the design process have also been inferred. As a matter of the fact, many attempts have been made to develop modularization methods and tools. However such methods mainly support redesign tasks focused on modifying the architecture of an existing solution, i.e. operate only after, at least, a preliminary conceptual design process. Anyway, it is well acknowledged that product success is strongly influenced by the quality of the underlying concept. Such an observation leaded the authors of this paper towards a research activity aimed at the development of new design tools, for supporting the designer in facing modularity issues during the conceptual design phase. In particular, the present paper shows some preliminary results concerning the development of a new design approach capable of taking into account modularity issues since early concept generation activities.

Keywords: Conceptual design | Design methods | Modularity | Product architecture

[69] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Predicting the competitive advantage of design projects to dynamically support decisions in product development, International Journal of Product Development, 20(5), 355-381, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Many product development initiatives are planned on the basis of the supposed capability to generate customer satisfaction. However, market and technology conditions can undergo several transformations during the execution of product innovation projects and jeopardise the basic assumptions taken at the beginning of the design cycle. Among changing factors, the observed alternation of radical and incremental transformations of product architectures is viable to influence the success chances of new products. Such an aspect is taken into account in the decision support tool described in the paper, which can be employed to select the most beneficial alternatives in a set of different product ideas.

Keywords: Customer satisfaction | Decision-making | Dominant design. | Dynamics of customer requirements | Product evolution | Product ideas

[70] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., An investigation on factors triggering surprise, ICDC 2015 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Design Creativity, 80-87, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper illustrates the outcomes of an empirical investigation about surprising artefacts, resulting in the individuation of factors impacting the manifestation of unexpectedneb in terms of individuals' interpretations and/or modifications of products' behaviour and structure. Such factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.

Keywords: Diversity | Novelty | Surprising products

[71] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., ARIZ85 and patent-driven knowledge support, Procedia Engineering, 131, 291-302, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: The growing complexity of technical solutions, which encompass knowledge from different scientific fields, makes necessary, also for multi-disciplinary working teams, the consultation of information sources. Indeed, tacit knowledge is essential, but often not sufficient to achieve a proficient problem solving process. Besides, the most comprehensive tool of the TRIZ body of knowledge, i.e. ARIZ, requires, more or less explicitly, the retrieval of new knowledge in order to entirely exploit its potential to drive towards valuable solutions. A multitude of contributions from the literature support various common tasks encountered when using TRIZ and requiring additional information; most of them hold the objective of speeding up the generation of inventive solutions thanks to the capabilities of text mining techniques. Nevertheless, no global study has been conducted to fully disclose the effective knowledge requirements of ARIZ. With respect to this deficiency, the present paper illustrates an analysis of the algorithm with the specific objective of identifying the different types of information needs that can be satisfied by patents. The results of the investigation lay bare the most significant gaps of the research in the field. Further on, an initial proposal is advanced to structure the retrieval of relevant information from patent sources currently not supported by existing methodologies and software applications, so as to exploit the vast amount of technical knowledge contained in there. An illustrative experiment sheds light on the relevance of control parameters as input terms for the definition of search queries aimed at retrieving patents sharing the same physical contradiction of the problem to be treated.

Keywords: ARIZ85 | Explicit knowledge | Information retrieval | Patent

[72] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Preliminary studies on human approaches to inventive design tasks with a TRIZ perspective, Procedia Engineering, 131, 39-49, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: Among the open research issues in the field of inventive design, a careful attention should be dedicated to the definition of means to measure and improve the efficiency of educational and training processes as well as to assess the benefits of the introduction of TRIZ expertise into R&D and engineering teams. In fact, while TRIZ methods and tools have gained a certain acknowledgment as a means to improve problem solving and inventive design skills, a dominant model about its introduction in an industrial organization is still missing. The paper presents a study aimed at measuring the impact of TRIZ learning (tools and logic) with respect to individuals' talent. The paper proposes an original methodology to investigate human approaches to inventive design tasks: definition of the test (Sample group and control group, Inventive problems); evaluation criteria (Aptitude to follow a logical problem analysis path; Aptitude to explore various perspectives of the problem; Aptitude to generalization; Overall correctness of the problem analysis task; Completeness of the analysis); comparison and correlation criteria (Pearson correlation). The proposed investigation methodology is clarified through the description of an exemplary application in design courses at Politecnico di Milano and at the Università di Firenze.

Keywords: Human behaviour | Inventive design | Problem solving

[73] Borgianni Y., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Integration of OTSM-TRIZ and Analytic Hierarchy Process for choosing the right solution, Procedia Engineering, 131, 388-400, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: A relevant part of TRIZ literature concerns the steps of the problem solving process, hence the analysis of the troublesome situation, the identification of the core problem and its resolution. Conversely, few efforts have been dedicated to support the last phase of the conceptual design process, which regards the selection of the most promising solutions to be further developed. The lack within TRIZ of an instrument capable to fulfill the abovementioned task led the authors to investigate the classical decision making methods and their applicability in the context of selecting the most valuable concepts downstream of problem solving phases characterized by divergent thinking. Several potential approaches have been surveyed and, among the others, the Weighted Sum Method and the Analytic Hierarchy Process seem to hold some of the characteristics requested by an ideal method to facilitate the decision making. In this paper, both of them have been tested through a real case study in order to verify their actual applicability and to reveal strengths and weaknesses with a particular focus on their capability to guide the decision process when a plurality of parties (e.g. policy makers, domain experts) are involved. The testing activity revealed that the Analytic Hierarchy Process resulted overall more appreciated by the experimenters, thanks to the systematic approach employed to select the best solution among a sample of alternatives developed through the Network of Problems.

Keywords: Analytic Hierarchy Process | Best solution selection | Hand steamer | Network of Problems

[74] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems for evaluating the design skills of engineering students, Procedia Engineering, 131, 689-700, (2015). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper aims at exploring the opportunities coming from the application of the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems as a means for mapping the design steps of engineering students coping with design problems. Both the design rationale and the design protocol can be analyzed to support the evaluation of the overall outcomes of students downwards a course on systematic design, considering both the ideas they generate and the process they follow for the ideation. The paper proposes a few improvements for the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems, so as to adapt it for such a purpose. Some demonstrations of the applicability of the proposed method are presented by means of two different design problems faced by groups of students having homogeneous levels of expertise and engineering skills. The results, got through a research method here detailed, highlight that the proposed approach allows the evaluators/analysts to carry out the time-demanding protocol studies with significant savings in time. Moreover, this model allows the definition of appropriate metrics to carry out homogenous and more objective evaluations among students.

Keywords: Design rationale | Design skills | Engineering students evaluation | OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems | Protocol analysis

[75] Fiorineschi L., Rissone P., Rotini F., Modularization vs. innovation, International Journal of Innovation Science, 6(1), 29-42, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper argues the relationship between modularity and product innovation. The work is based on the assumption that in order to become an innovation, a novel product has to be successfully diffused into the marketplace. Modularity can give rise to a series of parameters related to commercial success; however, there is not a well-defined relationship between modularity and product innovativeness. The aim of the paper is to analyse the logic of the most acknowledged modularization methods in-order to understand how they can really influence product success, and then, part of product innovativeness.

[76] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Supporting the choice of design alternatives underlying incremental and radical innovations, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 2014-January, 1463-1472, (2014).
[77] Fiorineschi L., Rissone P., Rotini F., Investigating on the rise of modularity during the conceptual design phase, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 2014-January, 811-820, (2014).
[78] Bacciotti D., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Exploring the dimensions of value: The four dimensions framework, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, 2014-January, 711-720, (2014).
[79] Cascini G., Cugini U., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Computer-aided conceptual design through TRIZ-based manipulation of topological optimizations, Competitive Design - Proceedings of the 19th CIRP Design Conference, 263-270, (2014). Abstract
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Abstract: In a recent project the authors proposed the adoption of Optimization Systems [1] as a bridging element between Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) and PLM to identify geometrical contradictions [2], a particular case of the TRIZ physical contradiction [3]. A further development of the research has revealed that the solutions obtained from several topological optimizations can be considered as elementary customized modeling features for a specific design task. The topology overcoming the arising geometrical contradiction can be obtained through a manipulation of the density distributions constituting the conflicting pair. Already two strategies of density combination have been identified as capable to solve geometrical contradictions.

Keywords: Computer-aided conceptual design | Computer-aided innovation | Embodiment design | TRIZ

[80] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Does experience in design and innovation affect the perception of creativity?, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 7 DS75-07, 129-138, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The assessment of creativity arouses increasing interest within design community. The literature witnesses efforts to quantitatively measure creativity, although commonly considered intrinsically subjective. Recent experiences show a good degree of convergence between assessments employing more objective metrics and evaluations of creativity made by experts in design and innovation. With the overall goal of determining whether such judgments are reliable and repeatable, the present paper analyzes creativity assessments of commercial products performed by skilled and novice designers in order to highlight further differences due to accumulated experience. The investigation is carried out by means of a suitable questionnaire asking to evaluate the creativity of 10 market successes and 10 commercial flops. The experiment tests also whether commercial results can strongly influence the perception of creativity. The outcomes reveal that experience is supposed to play a not negligible role in evaluating creativity, while the question about the impact of market success requires further investigation. © 2013 The Design Society.

Keywords: Creativity | Experts' assessment | Innovation | Novices' assessment

[81] Bacciotti D., Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Overview of methods supporting product planning: Open research issues, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, 1 DS75-01, 389-398, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The capability to innovate and thus to renew the commercial offer, is becoming the mission of several companies in order to dramatically increase the customer satisfaction. To this aim, the design activities should be effectively supported, paying specific attention to the earliest phase of design, i.e. product planning, in which the designers have to identify the user needs and translate them in product requirements. In the last decades, there have been some attempts to systematically support this critical design activity. The authors undertook an analysis of these methods, highlighting how they support the product planning phase, their strengths and weaknesses. The comparison of the collected contributions shows a plurality of viable research directions, poorly investigated up to now, in order to effectively support the task of product planning. The paper suggests new functionalities to be introduced in the methodologies proposed so far and stresses the attention on performing further tests to increase the reliability of a great amount of poorly validated, although promising, design approaches.

Keywords: Innovation | New product development | Product planning | Systematic design methods

[82] Cardillo A., Cascini G., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Multi-objective topology optimization through GA-based hybridization of partial solutions, Engineering with Computers, 29(3), 287-306, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: In a recent project the authors have developed an approach to assist the identification of the optimal topology of a technical system, capable of overcoming geometrical contradictions that arise from conflicting design requirements. The method is based on the hybridization of partial solutions obtained from mono-objective topology optimization tasks. In order to investigate efficiency, effectiveness and potentialities of the developed hybridization algorithm, a comparison among the proposed approach and traditional topology optimization techniques such as Genetic Algorithms (GAs) and gradient-based methods is presented here. The benchmark has been performed by applying the hybridization algorithm to several case studies of multi-objective optimization problems available in literature. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed approach is definitely less expensive in terms of computational requirements, than the conventional application of GAs to topology optimization tasks, still keeping the same effectiveness in terms of searching the global optimum solution. Moreover, the comparison among the hybridized solutions and the solutions obtained through GAs and gradient-based optimization methods, shows that the proposed algorithm often leads to very different topologies having better performances. © 2012 Springer-Verlag London Limited.

Keywords: Computer-aided conceptual design | Computer-aided innovation | Embodiment design | Genetic algorithms | Topological optimization

[83] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Question/answer techniques within CAD environments: An investigation about the most effective interfaces, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(6), 905-917, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper aims at exploring the opportunities for improving the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) of Computer-Aided systems for supporting designers in carrying out the early stages of the Product Development Process (PDP). In details, the authors stem from the analysis of the latest advancements and issues in the field of Question and Answer techniques, which they have already implemented in algorithms for supporting the analysis of inventive problems. According to the analysis, they identify two basic directions to improve the HCI in such systems. Literature evidences concerning the different approach of designers according to their experience point out the need of producing more flexible systems, tailored for both skilled individuals and novices. Moreover, the need emerges to both foster creativity with meaningful stimuli and introducing pictorial communication within a dialogue flow, so as to follow the common cognitive path emerged by the analysis of design protocols. The discussion shows that the combination of textual and graphical interactions is crucial to support the cognitive processes in design. Such blend allows to introduce stimuli viable to reduce design fixation and psychological inertia, that affect negatively the outcome of the idea generation stage. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Cognition | Computer-aided innovation | Emotion | Engineering design | HCI

[84] Saverio Frillici F., Rotini F., Prosthesis socket design through shape optimization, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(5), 863-876, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Design and manufacturing of socket are difficult activities due to the requirements that this component has to fulfill. Digital models and virtual prototyping techniques have been integrated in the socket development process trying to attain radical improvements of outcomes. However, although these tools allow to decrease the use of physical prototypes and experimental tests on patient, socket shape optimization results still insufficiently supported. In this regard, the adoption of design optimization techniques represents an opportunity to address the recalled problem. Design Optimization is rather common in several engineering fields and Shape Optimization has been widely adopted as useful tool to assist designers in searching for optimal solutions dedicated to prosthetic systems. Starting from these premises, the paper describes an approach to design socket prosthesis, which is based on Shape Optimization. The functional and ergonomic requirements of socket are analyzed and subsequently translated into optimization drivers. Moreover, implementation and integration issues of the proposed approach within the socket development process are investigated. Eventually, an application to a case study is presented aimed at preliminarily verifying potentialities and applicability. The outcomes obtained from this experience are encouraging and suggest to deepen the investigation. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: CAD | CAE | Design | Prosthesis socket | Shape optimization

[85] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Pucillo F., Rotini F., Supporting product design by anticipating the success chances of new value profiles, Computers in Industry, 64(4), 421-435, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Companies willing to introduce radical innovations have to face the tough task of correctly evaluating manifold aspects concerning the lifecycle of the new products to be launched. In such a circumstance severe difficulties arise because, at the very beginning of the design process, project teams own limited and unreliable information about the performances viable to positively impact value for customers and consequently the commercial success. The present paper suggests an original approach for the anticipatory assessment of the expected market appraisal of a new product profile. The proposed "Value Assessment Metrics" (VAMs) is a tool to estimate the success potential of a new artefact through a balance of its functionalities and features with respect to the alternatives existing in the market. The metrics are defined through an induction process from a large collection of successful innovations and market failures. After reporting the methodological approaches adopted to build the VAMs, the first based on Logistic Regression, the second on Neural Networks, the paper presents their preliminary validation and two example applications to the proposition of an innovative lipstick and a concealed hinge. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords: Decision support | Functional classification | New Product Development | TRIZ | Value Assessment Metrics

[86] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., A TRIZ-based CAI framework to guide engineering students towards a broad-spectrum investigation of inventive technical problems, International Journal of Engineering Education, 29(2), 318-333, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Nowadays, a growing consensus is attributed to conceptual design in the perspective of developing effective and successful products; as a consequence, major efforts should be dedicated within the Computer-Aided Innovation field to correctly support this task. A particular line of evolution of these systems concern computer coaches, i.e. software applications capable to assist users along each step of design activities. In such perspective the authors have developed a dialogue-based system supporting a natural language questioning procedure to investigate technical problems through TRIZ way of thinking.Anemerging deficiency of its first version concerns limited capabilities in providing a broad screening of the issues and features relevant within the encountered inventive problems. The integration of a further analysis module supporting the logic of the TRIZ System Operator has allowed the individuation of effective resources for breaking technical conflicts inherent to the investigated systems or formalizing contradictions in TRIZ terms. The paper provides further support about the need of developing broad thinking skills in engineering education. The new generation of Computer-Aided systems is extending its scope, by supporting the user already from the early design stages, where creativity and cognitive processes are of paramount importance. In such context, the authors have developed a natural language dialogue-based framework capable to coach designers in investigating non-routine technical problems through a TRIZ way of thinking. The first version of the questioning procedure has showed limitations in terms of the capability to widen the designer's perspective, resulting in the overlooking of aspects relevant for the problem. The new version of the dialogue-based system integrates a further analysis module, here presented, supporting the logic of the TRIZ System Operator. New tests demonstrate that the modification allows to improve the quality of the analyses, especially in terms of the identification of features to be advantageously redesigned in order to solve the addressed problems. © 2013 TEMPUS Publications.

Keywords: Broad-spectrum investigation | Computer aided innovation | Dialogue-based system | Inventive problem analysis | TRIZ

[87] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., About the introduction of a dialogue-based interaction within CAD systems, Computer-Aided Design and Applications, 10(3), 499-514, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: CAD systems are nowadays extending their domain of application towards the preliminary phases of the design process, with the emergence of Computer-Aided Innovation - CAI. However, the first generation of CAI commercial software is far from achieving the intended objectives; among them, the diffused TRIZ-based systems made no exception. Particular limitations are highlighted within the embodiment design stage with reference to the support provided by CAx tools in fulfilling product specifications, whenever the generated solutions do not satisfy system requirements. The authors propose to overcome the current limitations by implementing a dialoguebased system into the framework of existing CAD applications, to support the designer in overcoming problems emerged during the initial design stages. The manuscript illustrates a refined set of requirements for a Dialogue-Based CAD system according to the outcomes of a testing campaign carried out with a preliminary version of a question-answer framework. The proposed instrument is capable to measure the achievement of all the major characteristics highlighted by the survey of established models for carrying out embodiment design. © 2013 CAD Solutions, LLC.

Keywords: Dialogue-based interaction | Embodiment design | Innovation

[88] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Assessing creativity of design projects: Criteria for the service engineering field, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 1(3), 131-159, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: An emerging thread of research is represented by the attempt of quantitatively assessing creativity, its dimensions, and how it influences the design process. The purpose of the task is to compare design options, thus allowing to select the most innovative and supposedly profitable alternative. The endeavor of previous works has consisted in the assessment of creativity concerning designers, methodologies, concepts, and products. As the scope of engineering design is expanding so to include not traditional aspects of the product development process, the paper proposes metrics tailored to evaluate the creativity of services. Such metrics are built as a result of the extension and adaptation of previously formulated criteria, including the evaluation of novelty and usefulness. A sample of successful innovative services is considered, giving rise to a considerable variability of creativity scores. The outcomes may represent a starting point for a wider discussion about which dimensions of creativity majorly impact the success of products and services in the marketplace.

Keywords: Creativity assessment | Degree of novelty | Design of services | Usefulness

[89] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Assessing the performance of computerized tools for inventive design: Insights from unsatisfactory outcomes, CIRP Design 2012 - Sustainable Product Development, 93-103, (2013). Abstract
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Abstract: Computers actually support, almost automatically, routine tasks such as those related to the optimization in design. Besides, the scientific community shows a growing interest in developing computer systems to aid non-routine tasks as a key to enhance individuals' creativity and innovation potential. In such a context, several attempts have been made to create tools based on the TRIZ logic to support inventive problem solving; some of them have been commercialized since decades, but still there is no established paradigm and all of them suffer from several limitations. So far the analysis of those limitations has been focused on the structure and on the nominal features of the software tools, while no in-depth and systematic investigation has been made to identify the reasons behind the partial failure of the existing systems. This paper proposes a set of general criteria to perform the evaluation of computerized tools supporting inventive design and reports an exemplary application, through protocol analysis, to the dialogue-based computerized algorithm for problem analysis, published by the authors in the past. © Springer-Verlag London 2013.

[90] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Experiencing protocol analysis of computer-guided design tasks, Proceedings of International Design Conference, DESIGN, DS 70, 1821-1830, (2012).
[91] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., A proposal of metrics to assess the creativity of designed services, ICDC 2012 - 2nd International Conference on Design Creativity, Proceedings, 1 DS73, 231-240, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: An emerging thread of research is represented by the attempt of quantitatively assessing creativity, its dimensions and how it influences the design process. The endeavour of previous works has consisted in the assessment of creativity concerning designers, methodologies, concepts and products. As the scope of engineering design is expanding so to include not traditional aspects of the product development process, the paper proposes metrics tailored to evaluate the creativity of services. Such metrics are built as a result of the extension and adaptation of previously formulated criteria, including the evaluation of novelty and usefulness. An exemplary sample of successful innovative services is considered, giving rise to a considerable variability of creativity scores. The outcomes may represent a starting point for a wider discussion about which dimensions of creativity majorly impact the success of products and services in the marketplace.

Keywords: Creativity assessment | Degree of novelty | Design of services

[92] Borgianni Y., Rotini F., Innovation trajectories within the support of decisions: Insights about S-curve and dominant design models, International Journal of Innovation Science, 4(4), 259-267, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: The research about the patterns of technology evolution is populated by descriptive models, explaining quite regular trends of product development processes. The most popular schemes share the idea of long innovation periods characterized by incremental improvements and punctuated by technological turmoil events. Within the engineering field, such pattern can be described by S-shaped curves depicting the growth of performances in charge of technological paradigms, which approach their natural limit after entering their maturity stage. The birth of a novel S-curve symbolizes the emergence of a new breakthrough technology, which is followed by the choice of a preferred paradigm in the industry, generally designated as Dominant Design. However, new exigencies expressed by practitioners have remarked the limitations of qualitative models. Whereas some contributions openly question the general validity of the described models, a remarkable amount of literature claims that certain conditions related to the innovation processes have to be respected to make the outlined frameworks be valid. A deeper understanding about the open issues raised by the paper would result in more conscious innovation practices. Indeed, the exploitation of reliable models pertaining innovation trajectories could result in assessing the advantages arising by introducing new product functions or characteristics, enhancing performances on which industry is currently competing, reengineering manufacturing processes.

[93] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Model and algorithm for computer-aided inventive problem analysis, CAD Computer Aided Design, 44(10), 961-986, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper presents the research activity developed by the authors in the field of computer-aided inventive problem solving: an original model and a dialogue-based software application have been developed by integrating the logic of ARIZ (Algorithm for the Inventive Problem Solving) with some OTSM-TRIZ (General Theory of Powerful Thinking) models in order to guide a user also with no TRIZ education to the analysis of inventive problems. The paper demonstrates that through a dialogue-based interaction it is possible to guide the user towards a proper formulation of the problem statement, which is an essential step of any conceptual design activity. The proposed software system, although still at a prototype stage, has been tested with students at Politecnico di Milano and at the University of Florence. The paper details the structure of the algorithm and the results of the first validation activity; then, it discusses about the possibility to integrate the proposed approach into a new generation of CAD systems. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | Conceptual design | Dialogue-based system | OTSM-TRIZ | Problem solving

[94] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Investigating the patterns of value-oriented innovations in blue ocean strategy, International Journal of Innovation Science, 4(3), 123-142, (2012). Abstract
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Abstract: Several scholars dealing with business innovation individuate a great role played by customer value in achieving market success. With this perspective the investigation of prescriptive means for New Value Proposition represents a promising, although still poorly explored, domain. The paper presents an original approach to investigating past success stories focused around approaches derived from "Blue Ocean Strategy", for this new dimensions of performance and value have been introduced. The lesson learned from this survey is that certain strategies based on the fulfilment of established or overlooked customer needs provide greater market appraisal. This article introduces some preliminary directions to support the rethinking of products and services.

[95] Cardillo A., Cascini G., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Embodiment design through the integration of OTSM-TRIZ situation analysis with topological hybridization of partial solutions, ICED 11 - 18th International Conference on Engineering Design - Impacting Society Through Engineering Design, 1, 509-520, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Many design approaches have been developed to support the tasks involved in the Conceptual and Embodiment design phases, but their nature has led to very different paradigms. The translation of the system concept into its structure still represents a critical task, since the models adopted for conceptual design are not directly compatible with those involved in the embodiment stage. Enhancing the interoperability of these models is therefore a key issue to improve the overall efficiency of the Product Design Cycle. According to this objective, in this paper an investigation is presented, aimed at testing the integration between OTSM-TRIZ approach to concept development and DAeMON, which is an original technique for multi-objective optimization developed by the authors. The functionality of the proposed model has been verified through its application to a case study concerning the redesign of a dot printer component. The results demonstrate the potential of the integrated paradigm in guiding the designer from the identification of the right problem to solve, to the embodiment of the solution. Furthermore, such experience allowed a preliminary investigation of a set of rules for developing a new framework for innovative embodiment tasks.

Keywords: Embodiment design | Hybridization | OTSM-TRIZ | Topological optimization

[96] Borgianni Y., Cardillo A., Cascini G., Rotini F., Design of innovative product profiles: Anticipatory estimation of success potential, ICED 11 - 18th International Conference on Engineering Design - Impacting Society Through Engineering Design, 9(PART 1), 246-256, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: According to the current trend to extend the domain of application of Engineering Design to the whole Product Cycle, i.e. from the definition of the product profile to the management of the dismantling procedures, the authors are investigating the possibility to define a practical toolkit to support the earliest stages of product development both in terms of prescriptions to generate new value propositions and assessment of the expected market appraisal. The present paper deals with the second objective and proposes a twofold version of Value Assessment Metrics (VAM) which allow to estimate the success potential of a new product through a balance of its functionalities and features with respect to the alternatives existing in the market. After reporting the methodological approach adopted to build the VAM, the paper presents their preliminary validation and an exemplary application to the proposition of an innovative lipstick.

Keywords: Blue ocean strategy | Functional classification | New product development | TRIZ

[97] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Computer-aided problem solving - Part 2: A dialogue-based system to support the analysis of inventive problems, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 355 AICT, 132-148, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper illustrates an original model and a dialogue-based software application that have been developed by integrating the logic of ARIZ with some OTSM-TRIZ models, in order to guide a user, also with no TRIZ background, to the analysis of inventive problems. The dialogue-based procedure brings to the construction of a model of the inventive problem, which is used both to trigger new solutions by highlighting different solving perspectives and to start an automatic knowledge search within technical and scientific information. The prototype system has been tested with students at Politecnico di Milano and at the University of Florence. The paper details the structure of the algorithm and the results of the first validation activity. © 2011 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | conceptual design | dialogue-based system | OTSM-TRIZ | problem solving

[98] Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Computer-aided problem solving - Part 1: Objectives, approaches, opportunities, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 355 AICT, 117-131, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Among the different aims and scopes of Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) systems a relevant topic is the support of inventive problem solving tasks. The paper presents the research activity developed by the authors in this domain, encompassing the review of the distinctive features of problems encountered by designers and the common approaches employed to overcome them. A further thread of the investigation carried out in this paper concerns the limitations of computer-based approaches exploiting acknowledged models for problem solving. Downstream of the performed analysis the authors highlight the requirements that a novel CAI application should fulfil, supporting the opportunities for building a dialogue-based system. © 2011 IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Innovation | conceptual design | dialogue-based system | inventive problem solving

[99] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Wood pellet manufacturing improvements through product-driven process value analysis, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 225(5), 761-772, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper reports an exemplary application in the field of wood pellets production of an original methodology to support business process re-engineering by mapping product requirements to product development phases in order to analyse their contribution to value creation. The methodology has been already published and validated by the authors in different industrial sectors through real case studies, all characterized by well-established business processes, needing improvements to preserve their competitiveness on the marketplace. In this paper the effectiveness of the methodology in identifying process criticalities is tested with regards to industrial processes experiencing under capacities in satisfying the market demand as well as concerning not yet established business ideas. According tothis perspective, the wood pellet production process is a suitable case study. In fact, this industrial sector presents high business opportunities in Italy, since the market demand of such kind of energy sources has grown dramatically in the last five years. However, the poor performance of current industrial processes not yet at a mature stage does not allow the complete exploitation of the biomass resources, thus the market demand of woody fuels remains unsatisfied. The paper first positions the work of the authors with respect to already established business processre-engineering techniques; then summarizes the original methodology and details its application in the biofuel field.

Keywords: Business process re-engineering | Customer satisfaction | Pellet manufacturing improvements | Process value analysis | Under development business opportunities

[100] Cardillo A., Cascini G., Frillici F., Rotini F., Computer-aided embodiment design through the hybridization of mono objective optimizations for efficient innovation process, Computers in Industry, 62(4), 384-397, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Current product lifecycle management (PLM) systems properly support the development of a product from the embodiment design stage to detail design and manufacturing phases; on the contrary, marginal support is provided to the earliest stages of conceptual design. Besides, the front end of product development is supported by an emerging technology, namely computer-aided innovation systems (CAI), which nevertheless are still poorly integrated with the following phases of the design process. The paper presents an original computer-based approach aimed at supporting embodiment design phases, which results very efficient for improving the interoperability of CAI and PLM systems and thus at extending the domain of application of these tools. The potential of the approach proposed by the authors is clarified through three exemplary case studies. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Computer-aided innovation | Embodiment design | Optimization systems | PLM | TRIZ

[101] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Evaluating the effects of poorly performed product development phases on customer satisfaction, Proceedings of the 21st CIRP Design Conference, Korea 2011: Interdisciplinary Design, 108-115, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The research of the authors within product development is addressed at developing a tool for innovation in industry, namely Integrated Product and Process Re-engineering (IPPR), whose overall objective is enhancing and harmonizing ideation, design and manufacturing with a product lifecycle approach. The module of IPPR indicated as Process Value Analysis (PVA) is aimed at ranking the phases of a business process according to their contribution to customer satisfaction with respect to the employed resources. The original contribution of the present paper is complementing the method with information concerning drops in customer satisfaction as a result of poorly performed process phases. By accepting the non-linear relationship between satisfaction and attributes' quality level and the different roles played by customer requirements according to Kano categories, the authors propose a preliminary method to provide quantitative evaluations of the effects of process phases that do not thoroughly fulfil the intended objectives. An exemplary application here presented refers to the cosmetic industry, by investigating the production process of lipsticks, to which PVA was previously applied with encouraging outcomes.

Keywords: Customer satisfaction | Kano categories | Lipstick production | Process phases performance | Process value analysis

[102] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Product-driven process value analysis, Global Product Development - Proceedings of the 20th CIRP Design Conference, 387-396, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: The paper describes a methodology to support business process re-engineering by mapping product requirements to product development phases in order to analyze their contribution to value creation. The methodology has been already validated by the authors in different industrial sectors through real case studies [1], that were all characterized by well established business processes, needing improvements to preserve their competitiveness in the marketplace. In this chapter the effectiveness of the methodology in identifying process criticalities is tested with regards to industrial processes experiencing under capacities in satisfying the market demand as well as concerning not yet established business ideas. The task is performed by considering the wood pellet production process as a case study. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011.

Keywords: Business process re-engineering | Customer satisfaction | Process value analysis | Product requirements

[103] Cascini G., Rissone P., Rotini F., From design optimization systems to geometrical contradictions, Procedia Engineering, 9, 473-483, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Within the framework of the Research Project PROSIT [1] aimed at the development of an integrated product design platform capable to link Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) with PLM/EKM systems, the authors have approached the analysis of the contradictions emerging during the design embodiment phase. In this case, since the functional architecture of the product is already fixed, design conflicts arise due to contradictory geometrical requirements. Design Optimization systems can play a relevant role for the identification of these "geometrical contradictions", even if with modified criteria of usage. The present paper first describes how Design Optimization can be adopted as a means to link CAI and PLM/EKM systems; then a detailed analysis of geometrical contradictions is reported together with the criteria proposed for their categorization. Finally, the discussion is focused on the adoption of the proposed classification of geometrical contradictions as a pointer to the most suitable inventive principles and geometrical effects to overcome the design conflicts. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Computer-Aided innovation | Shape optimization | Systematic design | Topological optimization | TRIZ

[104] Cascini G., Rotini F., Russo D., Networks of trends: Systematic definition of evolutionary scenarios, Procedia Engineering, 9, 355-367, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: TRIZ literature presents several papers and even books claiming the efficiency of Altshuller's Laws of Engineering System Evolution as a means for produce technology forecasts. Nevertheless, all the instruments and the procedures proposed so far suffer from poor repeatability, while the increasing adoption of innovation as the key factor for being competitive requires reliable and repeatable methods and tools for the analysis of emerging technologies and their potential impact. The present paper proposes an original algorithm to build a Network of Evolutionary Trends for a given Technical System with repeatable steps. Such a goal has been achieved by integrating well known models and instruments for system description and functional analysis. The overall procedure, still under further development, has been clarified by means of one of the case studies carried out for its validation. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: EMS model | FBS model | Functional basis | Laws of engineering systems evolution | Technology forecasting

[105] Becattini N., Cascini G., Rotini F., Correlations between the evolution of contradictions and the law of identity increase, Procedia Engineering, 9, 236-250, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: TRIZ literature largely claims the efficiency of Altshuller's Laws of Engineering System Evolution (LESE) as a means for producing technology forecasts. Besides, all the instruments and the procedures proposed so far suffer from poor repeatability, thus limiting the adoption of TRIZ instruments as reliable means for the analysis of emerging technologies and their potential impact. In a previous work [1, 2] the authors have presented their modelling approach based on a combination of well known TRIZ techniques and traditional engineering design reference models. The outcome is a Network of Evolutionary Trends which supports decision making by positioning alternative technologies and technical solutions according to the LESE. The choice of the favourite strategic direction is still assigned to the beneficiaries of the forecast, since decisions will be taken also based on their mission and values. Besides, it is necessary providing further means of judgement to the decision makers. According to this purpose, it is useful to assess the maturity level of the analyzed technologies. The present work is a study about the correlations existing between the evolution of contradictions and the Law of Ideality increase, as a means to estimate the stage of development of a Technical System. The paper details the method proposed to make a systematic comparison of the contradictions related to each technology. The approach is clarified by means of a case study related to the production of tablets in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Contradiction | Laws of engineering systems evolution | Technology forcasting

[106] Borgianni Y., Cardillo A., Cascini G., Rotini F., Systematizing new value proposition through a TRIZ-based classification of functional features, Procedia Engineering, 9, 103-118, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: In recent years, several TRIZ practitioners have focused their attention on the application of TRIZ concepts for new business strategy definition. Among the others, the Blue Ocean Strategy has attracted the largest consensus. Nevertheless, this methodological approach proves to be very elegant to describe past business innovation successes, while it provides just general directions if a new profile of "values" is requested for a given product or service. The present paper analyzes with a TRIZ perspective 32 case studies from the BOS literature and shows that more prescriptive guidelines can be identified from these experiences. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Functional features | New value proposition | System operator | TRIZ ideality

[107] Cascini G., Rissone P., Rotini F., Russo D., Systematic design through the integration of TRIZ and optimization tools, Procedia Engineering, 9, 674-679, (2011). Abstract
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Abstract: Marketing strategies are focusing on innovation as the key for being competitive; as a consequence, product development processes must be improved in order to have a link as close as possible between conceptual design and detailed design activities. Within this context, TRIZ and TRIZ-based methodologies and tools are still poorly integrated with product embodiment means: CAD/CAE systems are not suited for supporting the designer in the conceptual design phase and at the same time inventive/separation principles, standard solutions etc. can hardly be translated into a modification of a CAD model and the only opportunity is to restart the modeling process. A small consortium of Italian Universities is analyzing the opportunity to use Design Optimization tools as a means for linking Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) tools with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems: www.kaemart.it/prosit. Among the specific objectives of the project, this paper describes how to analyze TRIZ technical contradictions by means of Design Optimization tools, with the aim of translating them into physical contradictions. The suggestions provided by inventive/separation principles are therefore converted into a new Design Optimization problem for the development of a novel solution. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: Computer-aided innovation | Shape optimization | Systematic design | Topological optimization | TRIZ

[108] Cardillo A., Cascini G., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., Topology optimization: Hybridization of partial solution versus traditional multi-goal methods, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering, TMCE 2010, 2, 699-711, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: In a recent project [8] the authors have developed an approach to assist the identification of the optimal topology of a technical system capable to overcome geometrical contradictions that arise from conflicting design requirements. The suggested method is based on the hybridization of partial solutions obtained from mono-objective topology optimization tasks. In order to investigate efficiency, robustness and potentialities of hybridization, a comparison among the proposed approach and the traditional Topology Optimization methods is here presented. The application of the proposed hybridization approach to several case studies of multi-objective optimization problems available in literature has been performed with the aim to evaluate the robustness of the method, through a direct benchmark between the hybridized topology and the traditional methods. The obtained results demonstrate that the proposed method is computationally definitely less expensive than the conventional application of Genetic Algorithms to topological optimization, still keeping the same robustness in terms of searching the global optimum solution. Moreover, the comparison among the hybridized solutions and the solutions obtained through traditional topology optimization methods, shows that the proposed approach often leads to very different topologies having better performance. © Organizing Committee of TMCE 2010 Symposium.

Keywords: Computer-aided conceptual design | Computer-aided innovation | Embodiment design | Genetic algorithms | Topological optimization | TRIZ

[109] Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F., Process value analysis for business process re-engineering, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 224(2), 305-327, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: Two decades of studies about business process re-engineering have proposed several strategies for the reorganization of a production process aimed at costs saving and waste reduction. Nevertheless, there is still a substantial lack of suitable means to measure if and how much the production phases contribute to deliver value, i.e. satisfaction, to the end user. The present paper proposes a methodology aimed at supporting business process re-engineering activities by taking into account the impact each phase of a process has on the value perceived by the customers. The methodology swivels on process value analysis, that is performed through the evaluation of both the customer perceived benefits originated from the process phases, and the resources spent in the same phases. On the basis of customer satisfaction requirements, guidelines are defined in order to identify both process evolution strategies and resource reorganization activities allowing the market competitiveness of products and/or services that the process sells to be preserved and improved. The methodology has been applied to a case study in the field of the Italian footwear industry in order to assess its efficiency.

Keywords: Business process re-engineering | Customer perceived value | Footwear sector | Kano model | Process modelling | TRIZ | Value analysis

[110] Colombo G., Filippi S., Rizzi C., Rotini F., A new design paradigm for the development of custom-fit soft sockets for lower limb prostheses, Computers in Industry, 61(6), 513-523, (2010). Abstract
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Abstract: This paper presents a new 3D design paradigmfor the development of specific custom-fit products, such as the soft socket of prostheses for lower limb amputees. It is centered on the digitalmodel of the human body and, contrarily to the traditional process almost manually based, it considers the integration of methods and tools coming from different research and application fields: Reverse Engineering, Medical Imaging, Virtual Prototyping, Physics-based Simulation, and Rapid Prototyping. The paper describes the techniques adopted to acquire and create the digital model of the residual limb, the procedure to generate the socket model, the strategy developed for the functional simulation of the socket-stump interaction and, finally, the realization of the physical prototype. Each design step is described with the related problems and the obtained results. Both trans-tibial and trans-femoral amputees have been considered; however, for now the complete process has been validated for trans-tibial prostheses. Major outcomes of the proposed approach stand in a better quality of the final product, in a shorter involvement of the amputee implying a lower psychological impact, in a limited use of physical prototypes, and in a shorter development time. Moreover, the resulting paradigm answers to the Collaborative Engineering guidelines by optimizing the interaction between different domains and enhancing their contributions in a homogeneous development framework. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Custom-fit products | Human-centric soft product design | Physics-based modeling for soft products | Prosthesis development process

[111] Barbieri L., Bruno F., Luchi M.L., Malito G., Muzzupappa M., Rotini F., Design of automotive components using advanced CAE systems, 21st European Modeling and Simulation Symposium, EMSS 2009, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: Simulation and other computer aided tools are often used in automotive design, since the design process is strictly oriented to the optimization of the performances through an iterative synthesis and analysis cycle aimed to understand the effects of changes in the geometry and layout of the various components. The search for the optimal performances is at the moment carried out empirically by the "trial and error" approach because parameters and constraints are too many for a global optimization of the vehicle dynamics to be performed. Nevertheless it is possible to introduce in the current design process some optimization algorithms or tools that can guide the designer in the decision process. This paper presents a methodology, applied to the conceptual design of the upright for a Formula SAE prototype, in which a multi-body simulator, CAD and a topological optimization tool are sinergically employed in order to support the suspension design.

Keywords: Integrated approach | Multi-body | Topological optimization

[112] Cascini G., Rotini F., Russo D., Functional modeling for TRIZ-based evolutionary analyses, DS 58-5: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, 5, 371-384, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: TRIZ literature presents several papers and even books claiming the efficiency of Altshuller's Laws of Engineering System Evolution as a means for producing technology forecasts. Nevertheless, all the instruments and the procedures proposed so far suffer from poor repeatability, while the increasing adoption of innovation as the key factor for being competitive requires reliable and repeatable methods and tools for the analysis of emerging technologies and their potential impact. The present paper proposes an original algorithm to perform a functional analysis aimed at building a Network of Evolutionary Trends for a given Technical System with repeatable steps. Such a goal has been achieved by integrating well known models and instruments for system description and function representation. The overall procedure has been already validated in a number of industrial case studies and it's here clarified by means of an example about the production of tablets in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector.

Keywords: EMS model | FBS model | Functional basis | Laws of engineering systems evolution | Technology forecasting | TRIZ

[113] Cardillo A., Cascini G., Frillici F.S., Rotini F., A novel paradigm for computer-aided design: TRIZ-based hybridization of topologically optimized density distributions, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 304, 38-50, (2009). Abstract
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Abstract: In a recent project the authors have proposed the adoption of Optimization Systems [1] as a bridging element between Computer-Aided Innovation (CAI) and PLM to identify geometrical contradictions [2], a particular case of the TRIZ physical contradiction [3]. A further development of the research [4] has revealed that the solutions obtained from several topological optimizations can be considered as elementary customized modeling features for a specific design task. The topology overcoming the arising geometrical contradiction can be obtained through a manipulation of the density distributions constituting the conflicting pair. Already two strategies of density combination have been identified as capable to solve geometrical contradictions and several others are under extended testing. The paper illustrates the most recent results of the ongoing research mainly related to the extension of the algorithms from 2D to 3D design spaces. The whole approach is clarified by means of two detailed examples, where the proposed technique is compared with classical multi-goal optimization.

Keywords: Computer-Aided Conceptual Design | Computer-Aided Innovation | Embodiment Design | Topological optimization | TRIZ

[114] Cascini G., Rissone P., Rotini F., Business re-engineering through integration of methods and tools for process innovation, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 222(12), 1715-1728, (2008). Abstract
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Abstract: A business process may be considered a technical system that generates value by turning available resources into products or services to be sold. When the process is not able to exploit all available resources in terms of market demand, raw materials, etc., the value generated by the system decreases owing to a lack of functionality or performance. The current paper presents an original road-map, based on the integration of different methods and tools (namely IDEF, TRIZ, TOC), able to support the analysis of an industrial production process in order to identify business opportunities that are not exploited to their maximum extent. The proposed approach goes from the As-Is process to the definition of a To-Be model by moving from the actual reality to the economic domain and then back to the desired or expected future reality. The link between these two domains is constituted by the functional domain, and the identification of the functional needs is the step to define innovation challenges aimed at removing business limits. An application of the road-map to improve the production process of solid biofuels is also presented as a case study in order to clarify and validate the proposed approach. © IMechE 2008.

Keywords: Business process re-engineering and innovation | Functional modelling | Process modelling | Product development

[115] Boscaleri , Castagnoli F., Mencaraglia F., Rissone P., Rotini F., Ronchi E., Setti L., Morgera A.F., Cortiglioni S., Some technical solutions in stratospheric platform design devoted to protecting power sources from damages on landing, European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, 557-560, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: Researchers in astrophysics and earth observation are still interested in balloon campaigns for making measurements outside the atmosphere. It is possible to trim a bit more from the ballooning costs by increasing the number of parts that can be reused, and by the careful design, the integration and the consolidation of a standard gondola apparatus (something like the mass production of cars). This paper will focus on one of the aspects capable of reducing costs, namely reusable power sources such as solar panels (SP) and fuel cells (FC) and how to protect them during the most difficult phases of the flight (take-off, landing). We will describe two possible ways of deploying and stowing a SP, and report the results of a thermal simulation aimed at ascertaining whether FC may be used in a stratospheric balloon environment.

[116] Rotini F., Boscaleri A., Rissone P., A systematic approach to designing multi-experiment platforms for long duration ballooning, European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, 319-323, (2007). Abstract
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Abstract: The interest in LDB flights has grown dramatically over the years. However, since the success of a mission is strongly dependent on the costs, one possible way to improve the overall efficiency of a campaign is to perform different experiments during the same flight, even though this requires more versatile platforms. The design of this kind of system is very difficult to accomplish. In this paper the authors discuss the main issues related to the design of multi-experiment platforms for LDB flights, and try to provide some guidelines for making the approach more systematic. An application to a twoexperiment platform design problem is also briefly described.

[117] Rotini F., Boscaleri A., Baldi M., Calonaci F., Rissone P., Planning and optimisation of the stratospheric gondola project: Search for a standard, European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, 419-424, (2005). Abstract
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Abstract: In this paper the authors will describe the work which the University of Florence and IFAC-CNR (Florence) have performed in order to design an innovative platform for High-latitude LDB flights based on multi-experiments and versatility concepts. In order to satisfy the functional requirements and difficult structural constraints in terms of stiffness, strength and weight, the authors will describe an innovative approach to designing the gondola using problem-solving techniques, virtual prototyping and topology optimization in a systematic way. By means of these tools, a set of optimized geometries has been tested, starting from the first implementation of the BarSPOrt experiment's platform. Some of these solutions will be described.

[118] Boscaleri A., Baldi M., Calonaci F., Rissone P., Rotini F., Stepping through versatile attitude control system design for stratospheric platforms, European Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP, 431-436, (2005). Abstract
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Abstract: In addition to stepping through the typical hardware parts of an Attitude Control System borne for stratospheric platform, the paper describes some fast position sensors. The use of two axis magnetometers at high latitude, even though with a lower accuracy, is analyzed. A high-accuracy motorized sun tracker based on a Position Sensitive Detector photodiode capable of driving the gondola in pointing or scanning mode in any given arbitrary anti-sun direction is also presented. Lastly, as an important part of the entire sensor development project, the paper describes a simulation of the thermal behavior of a pressurized cylinder in which electronic photosensitive devices and a CPU system are housed. To employ electronic device built within a commercial temperature range and intended to stay on the ground, it is extremely important to have a pressurized and conditioned environment in order to avoid a reduction in the performances of some ACS components.

[119] Cascini G., Giovani G., Rissone P., Rotini F., Integrated design of turbomachinery through a STEP-XML platform for data exchange, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 219(7), 547-554, (2005). Abstract
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Abstract: Design tool integration is a primary goal for any technical department in order to satisfy time constraints imposed by the market competition. While commercial products actually present valuable integration features, custom tools developed on the basis of company know-how are still lacking from this point of view. In this paper the authors describe a procedure to build an XML platform capable of integrating design tools, preserving their architecture. This database allows the storage of product configurations and its dimensional parameters in a hierarchical structure that can be easily translated into STEP format. In such a way a virtual prototype of the part can be obtained by a descriptor-based modelling system that allows design cycle automation and complete design tool integration. The work has been developed within the framework of cooperation between Nuovo Pignone, the Florentine plant of General Electric - Oil and Gas, and the University of Florence. © IMechE 2005.

Keywords: Data exchange | Integrated design | STEP | XML