Looking at modern machine tools from a design point of view, we observe that a number of their basic characteristics and methods used for their optimised design are the same. This even applies to very different categories of machines with different proportions, dimensions, parameters and specific structures. The project introduced in this paper—Synergic machine tool design (SMTD – aims to find such shared characteristics and use them in creating a knowledge and simulation system: SYNTOS. From an application point of view the system is oriented towards the support and development of new machine tools, with a special focus on the early stage involving the design of machine tool structures and drives. The aim is to assess a wide range of options linked to different initial requirements, and to systematise them for the purposes of selecting the definitive solution. During this selection process, the purpose is to provide the user with a number of dependences that make it possible to assess different configurations of machine drives and whole machine tool structures. The project has been implemented in cooperation between CTU-RCMT, Kovosvit MAS, a.s. and TOS Varnsdorf, a.s., with support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (MPO).