Conference-2008-DETC Functional Composition Abstract
From Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research
Caldwell, B., Mocko, G., (2008), “Towards Rules for Functional Composition,” 2008 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, New York, NY, Paper No. DETC2008-49904.
Functional decomposition is used in conceptual design to divide an overall problem with an unknown solution into smaller problems with known solutions. The procedure for functional decomposition, however, has not been formalized. In a larger effort to understand and develop rules for functional decomposition, this paper develops rules for composition of reverse-engineered functional models. First, the functional basis hierarchy is used in an attempt to compose the functional model of a hair dryer, which does not produce the desired results. Second, a set of rules for composition is presented and applied to the hair dryer functional model. This composed functional model is more similar to the desired decomposition result than the functional model developed by changing hierarchical levels. Ten additional functional models are also composed and the results shown. The findings demonstrate that composition rules can be developed empirically through analysis of functional models.