Integrating DFM with CAD through Design Critiquing

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Gupta, Satyandra K.
Regli, William C.
Nau, Dana S.
The increasing focus on design for manufacturability (DFM) in research in concurrent engineering and engineering design is expanding the scope of traditional design activities in order to identify and eliminate manufacturing problems during the design stage. Manufacturing a product generally involves many different kinds of manufacturing activities, each having different characteristics. A design that is good for one kind of activity may not be good for another, for example, a design that is easy to assemble may not be easy to machine. One obstacle to DFM is the difficulty involved in building a single system that can handle the various manufacturing domains relevant to a design. In this paper we propose an architecture for integrating CAD with DFM. As the designer creates a design multiple critiquing systems analyze its manufacturability with respect to different manufacturing domains such as machining, fixturing, assembly, and inspection. Using this analysis, each critiquing system offers advice about potential ways of improving the design and an integration module mediates conflicts among the different critiquing systems in order to provide feedback to improve the overall design. We anticipate that this approach can be used to build a multi-domain environment that will allow designers to create higher-quality products that can be more economically manufactured. This will reduce the need for redesign and reduce product cost and lead time. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-94-96)