Set-based design must define a specific set of principles to shape a formal design methodology. To structure this design approach, we use set-based thinking and engineering reasoning to guide the techniques that engineers can apply. Retroductive thinking is an iterative use of abductive, deductive, or inductive logic to the engineering design process that form the principles for using specific exploratory and analysis methods at each step of design. From this approach emerges a unique concept in set-based design: a design space that contracts and expands as the engineer investigates elements of the design problem. We establish an initial framework for handling candidate solutions to the engineering problem, which ultimately leads to a computational method for set-based designs.

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