Designing an attachment structure that is both novel and meets the system requirements can be a difficult task especially
for inexperienced designers. This paper presents a design methodology for concept generation of a "parent/child"
attachment system. The "child" is broadly defined as any device, part, or subsystem that will attach to any existing
system, part, or device called the "parent." An inductive research process was used to study a variety of products,
patents, and biological examples that exemplified the parent/child system. Common traits among these products were
found and categorized as attachment principles in three different domains: mechanical, material, and field. The
attachment principles within the mechanical domain and accompanying examples are the focus of this paper. As an
example of the method, a case study of generating concepts for a bridge mounted wind energy harvester using the
mechanical attachment principles derived from the methodology and TRIZ principles derived from Altshuller's matrix of
contradictions is presented.