Design for the life cycle practices enable the improvement of a product’s recycling, disassembly, and service characteristics, to name a few. In this paper, an approach to virtual prototyping is presented that supports product Design For Assembly, Disassembly, and Service (DFADS). The VP-DFADS system enables a designer to construct a product model, to interactively simulate an assembly, disassembly, or service process for that product, and to formulate and solve a simultaneous product/process design problem. Specific research objectives underlying this project include a reduction in VP model construction times, an improvement in information with which designers make DFADS decisions, and the development of a design synthesis method for DFADS. Although automated reasoning and synthesis technologies are outlined, the emphasis in this paper is on the integration of these technologies into the VP-DFADS system and on the usage of the system in supporting DFADS decisions. An application of the VP-DFADS system to automotive center console design illustrates the potential usefulness of the VP-DFADS approach.

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