With the more profound requirements for knowledge resource application in the complex production collaborative design, a complex production design method based on knowledge model driven was put forward with the development trend of intelligent design theory. The knowledge mining oriented the key phases of complex production design process, knowledge modeling with its reuse are the core of the method. The system framework of the design method was structured. This method supports the whole process of product design, it truly realized sharing, reuse and seamless integration among product model, task model and process model through the ontology model as a knowledge carrier. Finally, the thrust bearing-a key component of hydropower generating units, for example verify the correctness of the design methodology and feasibility.