Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering


J.N. Siddall


Throughout this thesis the design of machine structures has been approached as a system comprised of three inseparable but distinct sub-systems; (1) computer hardware, (2) software, and (3) mathematical model. This work has evaluated the role of each sub-section and has developed a strategy to incorporate the capabilities of each sub-system into a cohesive approach to automated structural design.

A governing criterion of this work has been the desirability of retaining the engineering in the design process and devising a system that effectively utilizes his decision making abilities while relieving him of the tedious tasks of data assemblage and analysis.

Part One, the initial stage of this work, has been the development of a remote intelligent terminal system that has been designed to incorporate a selection of computer peripherals into a total system. This system can be fully utilized in a flexible manner by a user knowledgeable in FORKAN with a working knowledgeable of the timesharing system [missing text] the communication strategy developed. As well, a description is included of the generalized software applicable to the peripherals associated with the terminal and resident in the large scale computer.

In addition, Part One involves a description of the development of an operating system for the in-terminal computer as well as a library of programs that can be used with the system while it is operating in a stand-alone mode.

In Part Two of this work a software system has been developed that utilizes the terminal system and a large scale computer to demonstrate the application of this technology to a system for interactive design of machine structures. This software system is modular in approach allowing the user to enter the system at any point or terminate the program at any point - all files are automatically appended and stored by the system. Thus, no information is lost for partial runs.

Part Three is a description of the sub-optimal algorithm used in the automated design section described in Part Two. Results of trial designs of a standardized milling machine structure (CIRP structure) are presented.

In Part Four the terminal system and the associated software developed has been applied to an industrial design problem in the glass bottle industry. This application is presented to demonstrate how this type of intelligent terminal can be used as the central element in a hierachical computer system for Computer-Aided-Manufacturing (CAM).

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."