CITRIS researchers are developing new techniques and algorithms to provide real-time geometric manufacturability feedback to designers as they work. These “Design for Manufacturing” (DFM) services will allow designers to compress design cycles, reduce time to market, and lower costs through greater realization of concurrent engineering.
Specific manufacturing operations for which Sara McMains, a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, and colleagues are developing such design feedback services include molding, casting, and cleaning. For molding and casting, they are developing tools to estimate and optimize molding equipment requirements, mold tooling costs, and cycle times. Efficient new approaches to geometric analysis and identification of molding and casting features that affect mold costs will provide early feedback to the designer.
By providing feedback about which design features are more cleaning-compatible, more cleaning-friendly designs will be created that reduce the need for cleaning and its impact on the environment. As the geometric complexity of mechanical parts has increased, the cost of cleaning to remove hard particle contamination generated during manufacturing has also increased considerably. High pressure water jets are necessary to achieve acceptable cleanliness. The energy and water consumed and waste generated due to cleaning often comprise the bulk of the environmental impact of manufacturing high precision automotive components.