RESEARCH PAPERS: Design Theory and Methodology

Classifying Functions for Mechanical Design

[+] Author and Article Information
C. F. Kirschman, G. M. Fadel

Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634

J. Mech. Des 120(3), 475-482 (Sep 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2829176 History: Received October 01, 1996; Revised May 01, 1998; Online December 11, 2007


As design methods are studied, the usefulness of function-based methodologies becomes clear. However, for these methodologies to be fully utilized, there must be some standardization of the functions used to provide a common language. This paper presents a taxonomy of elemental mechanical functions which can be used with many decomposition techniques. The taxonomy can be used as a pedagogical tool or as a basis for the derivation of a complete taxonomy. Also discussed are generic forms and how they interact with the taxonomy.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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