Designing family of products require analysis and evaluation of performance for the entire product family. In the past, products were mainly mass-produced hence the use of CAD/CAE was restricted to developing and analyzing individual products. Since the products offered using a platform approach include a variety of products built upon a common platform, CAD/CAE tools need to be explored further to assist in customization of products according to the customer needs. In this paper we investigate the development of a Product Family FEA (PFFEA) module that can support FEA analysis of user customized product families members. Customer specifications for family members are gathered using the internet, users are allowed to scale and change configurations of products. These specifications are then used to automatically generate 3D solid models of the product and then perform FEA to determine feasibility of the customer specified product. In this paper, development of the PFFEA module is illustrated using a family of lawn trimmer and edger. The PFFEA module uses Pro/E to generate the solid model and ANSYS as the base FEA software.

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