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Developing a Function-Means Tree

Developing a Function-Means Tree

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Developing a Function-Means Tree

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  1. Developing a Function-Means Tree What functions will the design have? By what means will those functions be achieved? Taken from engineering design: a project-based introduction by dym & little

  2. It helps to go beyond the terminology and to know what you’re really trying to do. • Think of the “functions” as what you must do. • Think of the “means” as how you might do it. • The Function-Means Tree is a tool for listing the primary functions of a design and various means of achieving those functions. • The Function-Means Tree should flow out of the Attributes List, PCC, Objectives-Constraints Tree, and Design Specifications.

  3. Before you start too far down the path of “brainstorming” various design alternatives… • Determine the primary functions that are required. • Show these on the top level of the tree • List various means by which each function may be implemented. • Show these on the next level of the tree • Determine secondary functions that would result from implementing each of the means. • Show these on the next level of the tree • The tree continues to alternate between means and functions until you reach a reasonable termination point.

  4. Here is a partial Function-Means Tree for a cigarette lighter. Primary function Possible means of achieving the primary function Secondary functions Secondary means Function Tertiary functions Means