Abstract

All mechanical designs pass through a series of forma] and informal redesign steps, involving the analysis of functionality, manufacturability, cost and other life-cycle factors. The speed and efficacy of these steps has a major influence on the lead time of the product from conceptualization to launching.

In this paper we propose a methodology for automatically generating redesign suggestions for reducing setup costs for machined parts. Our approach is based on interpreting the design as a collection of machinable features. Our methodology generates alternate machining features by making geometric changes to the part, and adds them to the feature set of the original part. The designer may provide restrictions indicating that certain surfaces and volumes should not be changed, in which case all redesign suggestions generated by our approach honor those restrictions. Using features from the extended feature set generated above, one or more new designs may be found that need fewer setups than the original part.

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