A new product configuration design method based on extensible product family is presented in this paper. The extensible product family is a multi-layered model with extensible function, extensible principle, and extensible structure. Treating extensible element as a basic unit, the model can be used to associate extensible parts with reusable factors in the range from 0 to 1. The principle of configuration method has been implemented in software. Complicated rule editing and modification are handled by Ch, an embeddable C/C++ interpreter. Designers can establish and edit the configuration rules including formulas dynamically. According to the client requirements and nearest-neighbor matching, the results of the designed configuration can be obtained automatically. Furthermore, the multi-dimensional information about parameters and reusable factors can be displayed and analyzed graphically. If the client requirements or configuration rules are changed, the system can be easily re-configured to obtain designed results based on the new configuration quickly. The system has been successfully deployed and used to design complicated products with a large number of configurations and different specifications such as elevators, machine tools and smut-collectors.

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