Functional analysis of systems is a common engineering application during different stages of design. Conceptual designers as well as post-development designers use the process to gather useful information about the system that is under consideration. The functional basis and component taxonomy are collective approaches to describe these systems in unique languages. Since many designers naturally think in terms of physical components, it is more difficult for them to grasp fundamental concepts necessary to functionally model a system properly. A new design instrument, component functional templates, has been developed as a means to link the functional basis and component taxonomy together in one coherent visual form that can be used by novice designers as an invaluable skill-building tool. Principal components analysis (PCA) is used to extract historical data from many consumer products whose design information has been stored in an online repository produced by the UMR Design Engineering Lab. This paper presents the approach and derivation of the templates, along with valid examples of template groupings that result from the analysis. An application of the templates is presented in a case study on the drive train of a bicycle where the templates prove to sufficiently begin the modeling process and provide room for unique manipulation that accurately describes functional requirements of the subsystem.

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