A knowledge-based system is presented for the selection of mechanical springs during preliminary design. The selection of spring type(s) and material(s) is based on rules and facts arising from design methods and experience. Knowledge is organized into frames and classes, as well as rules that embody the design knowledge. The query process concerning spring type(s) selection is case-dependent. The material(s) selection is based on a hierarchy of the desired features completely defined by the user. Multiple final solutions for both spring types and materials are found. All solutions are accompanied by the corresponding calculation formulae. The system can provide full explanations about its conclusions at any state of its execution and can easily be extended so as to include new spring types and materials. © 1993.
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