Aim of method usage:
  • determine solution principle
  • reduce complexity
  • describe function
  • analyze competitors
Method classification:
  • Methods for analysis and aims
  • Methods for solution generation
Process phase:
  • conceptual design

Useful links:

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General Function Structures

General function structures consist of symbols for energy flow, material flow, and information flow as well as their conversion. They are used to abstractly depict a system's functions without specifying the respective implementation. That way, already existing systems can be analyzed  for the adaptive design. When developing a new design, a general function structure is created from the requirements.
Varying the general functions structure can lead to new functional solutions. This works for both adaptations and new designs. Additionally, general function structures can help dividing problems into subtasks.


  1. Main task: formulate the main task as a general function structure.
  2. Find functions: extract functional information from task and formulate appropriately as sentences with object, predicate and the corresponding logical conditions.
  3. Abstraction: abstract sentences to generate general function structures.
  4. Schematic: create schematic from functions. Useful symbols can be found in section "tools".
  5. Alternative: instead of doing step 4, it is also possible to analyze and abstract an already existing product and thus create a schematic. Useful symbols can be found in section "tools".
  6. Variation: vary the schematic by using operations of variation.
  7. Selection: interpret, evaluate and select various schematics.
  8. Proceeding: divide the selected variants into subtasks and continue with them.
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  aktualisiert am Nov. 15, 2015, 4:27 p.m.
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