The reuse of precedent designs is a significant profit factor in new product development. In industry there is a tendency to enhance the reuse process by applying digital scanning of 3D parts, sampling imported, normative CAD models or by deploying a digital library of design concepts. The data thus obtained should be inserted into the design model. The available techniques typically originate from reverse engineering applications. However, to support shape reuse during conceptual design a dedicated methodology and workflow are needed. Using our methodology, the designer selects existing products, or parts, or portions of them. Then he/she specifies where and how the selected portion should be inserted into the new design. The key issue of the methodology is the explicit distinction between the variables that the designer does or does not wants to control. The underlying technology, including shape matching, shape parameter fitting and shape merging must be mostly invisible to the user, except for those controls that intrinsically affect the resulting shape. One application of the methodology is a freeform feature copy-and-paste facility based on 3D scanning and fitting of existent designs. The technical feasibility of such an approach will be addressed.

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