Conceptual design is an early stage in the design process that involves the generation of solution concepts to satisfy the functional requirements of a design problem. Usually, there are many solutions to a design problem; therefore, there is scope for producing improved designs if one could explore a solution space larger than is presently possible. An approach would be to use the computer to synthesize a wide variety of concepts for a given problem, and allow designers to explore these before developing the most promising ones. Adopting a research approach based on developing basic representations, knowledge base, and reasoning procedures adequate for synthesizing concepts of existing devices and mechanisms, a computer program for synthesis of solutions to a class of mechanical design problems has been developed. For a given design problem, the program can produce an exhaustive set of solution concepts, in terms of their topological and spatial configurations, which can then be explored by designers. The program has been tested in two ways: (1) by comparing the candidate solutions produced by the program with those produced by designers in two real design case studies, and (2) by using three experienced designers to evaluate the solutions, generated by the program, for their novelty and usefulness. This paper presents the theoretical basis, research method, the theory and implementation of the synthesis approach. Also, the results of the above case studies and evaluations, and a discussion of further issues highlighted by the evaluations are presented.