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5.2. Using Contradictions and Principles


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 5. Basic TRIZ > 5.2. Using Contradictions and Principles

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Appendices A, B and C detail Altshuller’s key discoveries about inventions and can be used as a set of tools that can be used for scientific inventing. The approach to use is as follows.

1. Critical parameters

Use the table of 39 Parameters (in Appendix A) to identify critical parameters of your problem.

For example my lamp post problem had weight of a stationary object (parameter number 2) and length (parameter number 4) as critical parameters. I might also think about No 34, repairability (maintenance).

2. Contradictions

Identify contradictions between these parameters, where one parameter causes problems with another problem. In our example, contradictions include (a) that the weight of the light source combined with the distance from the ground causes undesirable force on the post, and (b) the distance from the ground makes it difficult to repair.

3. Find numbers of resolution principles

Use the Contradictions Matrix (in Appendix B) to find the numbers for the Principles that can be used to resolve the contradictions. For contradiction (a) in step 2, the feature to change is ‘weight of stationary object’ and undesirable result is ‘force’. Looking this up in the matrix gives Principles 8, 10, 19 and 35.

For contradiction (b), weight against repairability, this gives Principles Nos. 2, 27, 28 and 11

4. Investigate the resolution principles

Use the numbers from the Contradiction Matrix to look up resolution in the list of 40 Principles (in Appendix C).

In contradiction (a), Principle 8 is ‘counterweight’, which might be achieved with a tension wires on the side of the post. Principle 10 is ‘prior action’ maybe we shield the lamp from the wind so it is less likely to be bent at an angle where its weight it too great a force on the post.

For (b) we have Principle 2, Extraction, extract the disturbing part of the system and place it elsewhere, so we have solved the problem by placing the light source on the ground. See if you can get other ideas from the Principles.

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