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Conceptual design is an early stage of the whole mechatronics product development process, which is a problem-solving activity based on knowledge engineering. This paper is devoted to presenting a systematic knowledge framework of principle solutions in conceptual design. After the design catalogue is introduced, the mapping relationships among function, effect, physical quantity and principle solution sets are analyzed. The function catalogue, effect catalogue, physical quantity catalogue and principle solution catalogue are put forwards step by step. The framework of principle solution with physical quantity as its index for knowledge reuse is then put forward. The conceptual design of a robot arm is given as an example, which demonstrates that the methodology is obviously helpful for product innovation.