Abstract

Modular products fulfil various overall functions through the combination of distinct building blocks or modules. This paper outlines a method that helps the designer clarify how interfaces between modules influence module functions, and select the best interface location. The method utilizes Suh’s axiomatic design theory together with conventional DFMA tools (Design For Manufacture and Assembly). In this approach, the information contained in the functional and physical hierarchies is utilized to clarify the interface/function interaction. DFMA tools are used to obtain a measure of the information content or complexity of each interface.

Furthermore, a product-modelling tool designed to support these activities (and axiomatic design in general) is discussed. An example that illustrates the use of the method is provided.

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