In today’s marketplace, most products must better satisfy customers’ needs in the shortest time and be competitively priced. In this context, the reuse of knowledge about the targeted product is critical for developing potential product platforms. One can facilitate the reuse of existing knowledge to achieve a desired design by establishing a method that considers the layout of modules (or components) with identified flow interfaces, volume and the fundamental functional description. The problem grows with the number of candidate modules and with information-rich descriptions. The proposed REUSE (Reuse Existing Unit for Shape and Efficiency) Method greatly facilitates this search by filtering candidates based on their similarity to desired characteristics and their performance efficiency. By reusing existing information from components and modules, this approach allows the detailed specification of cost (e.g., investment and production cost for a module) along with other desired characteristics. This method applies to the complete product realization enterprise from conception through product launch. It also enables traceability of design decisions to help capture rationale and justification. A case study involving a family of cameras illustrates the proposed method.

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