The application of design knowledge determines the innovativeness of a technical scheme obtained by trimming (a tool for problem analysis and solving in TRIZ). However, limitations in the knowledge, experience and expertise of designers constrain the range of design knowledge that they can apply, thus reducing the effectiveness of trimming. In this paper, biological strategies are introduced to the trimming process to compensate for limitations imposed by the insufficient professional knowledge of designers, thereby improving design innovation. Therefore, this paper proposes a new design method that combines the trimming method and bio-inspired design (BID). First, a trimming analysis of the target system is carried out. Taking the missing functions of the trimmed system as a potential breakthrough point, a keyword search mode based on “V(verb)O(object)P(property) + the effect/features of the associated function” is used to search for biological prototypes in the biological knowledge base. Second, a fuzzy comprehensive evaluation method is used to analyze the biological prototypes from three dimensions, namely, compatibility, completeness and feasibility, and the best-matching biological prototype is selected. Finally, the biological solution is transformed into an engineering design scheme through a resource derivation process based on structure–function–attribute analogies. The proposed method can expand the range of design solutions by adding biological strategies as a new resource to solve trimming problems. The feasibility and effectiveness of the method are verified by redesigning a steel tape armoring machine.
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