This paper describes a framework for the distributed modeling and evaluation of product design problems in a network-oriented design environment. The framework, intended to facilitate integrated product life-cycle design, uses distributed computer-based models and is applicable to collaborative design. The goal is to provide designers, manufacturers and customers with the ability to rapidly construct integrated design problem models accounting for interactions between different viewpoints and to incorporate specialized engineering analysis applications, CAD models and design problem models under a common design environment. An overview of the framework is provided and an application to the integrated design and environmental assessment of cardboard packaging is described. The example illustrates how design models can be used to configure products to meet customer performance expectations and also to diagnose potential problems.
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