This paper presents a design reuse approach to facilitate product conceptual design. While current design information management systems are useful in storing and retrieving product knowledge, providing effective assistance to intelligent design synthesis is still far from satisfactory, let alone the support to logical solution evaluation. Accordingly, this paper proposes an approach to automatically generate design solutions and evaluate them analytically according to multiple design objectives. To achieve these functions, a design synthesis method based on a multi-objective optimization algorithm is proposed. It makes use of existing product information to create multiple candidate solutions. Moreover, a component fitness assessment (CFA) method is proposed to evaluate the reusability of the design components. This CFA method is used in the selection of design components during the design synthesis. A design reuse system is developed to implement the methodology. It can effectively manage heterogeneous product information as well as provide computational support for design synthesis and evaluation.

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