This paper describes a web-based process/material advisory system that can be used during conceptual design. Given a set of design requirements for a part during conceptual design stage, our system produces process sequences that can meet the design requirements. Quite often during conceptual design stage, design requirements are not precisely defined. Therefore, we allow users to describe design requirements in terms of parameter ranges. Parameter ranges are used to capture uncertainties in design requirements. Our system accounts for uncertainties in design requirements in generating and evaluating process/material combinations. Our system uses a two step algorithm. During the first step, we generate a material/process option tree. This tree represents various process/material options that can be used to meet the given set of design requirements. During the second step, we evaluate various alternative process/material options using a depth first branch and bound algorithm to identify and recommend the least expensive process/material combination to the designer. Our system can be accessed on the World Wide Web using a standard browser. Our system allows designs to consider a wide variety of process/material options during the conceptual design stage and allows them to find the most cost-effective combination. By selecting the process/material combination during the early design stages, designers can ensure that the detailed design is compatible with all of the process constraints for the selected process.

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