Collaborative products are created by combining components from two or more products to result in an additional product that performs previously unattainable tasks. The resulting reduction in cost, weight, and size of a set of products needed to perform a set of functions makes collaborative products useful in the developing world. In this paper, a method for designing a set of products for optimal individual and collaborative performance is introduced. This is accomplished by: (i) characterizing the collaborative design space of the product set and collaborative product, (ii) defining areas of acceptable Pareto offset, (iii) identifying the combinations of designs that fall within the defined areas of acceptable Pareto offset for each product, and (iv) selecting the optimal set of product designs. An example is provided to illustrate this method and demonstrate its usefulness in designing collaborative products for both the developed and developing world. We conclude that the presented method is a novel, and useful, approach for balancing the inherent trade-offs between the performance of collaborative products and the product sets used to create them.

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