Because of the nature of the die casting process, the part geometry severely restricts the die geometry and hence affects the quality of the part. However, as is often the case in other manufacturing processes, diecastings are currently designed purely based on their function. The manufacturability of the diecastings is not considered until the design has been nearly completed and detailed. This is due to the design support limitations of current CAE tools. In this paper, we present a new volume-based approach to support diecastability evaluation, especially in preliminary design. Our approach can be applied to arbitrarily shaped parts without pre-defined feature libraries. The focus is on the identification of geometric characteristics, e.g. heavy mass regions, that could be responsible for thermal-related part defects. A distance transform with city-block metric is used to extract this geometric property. Volume visualization techniques are also adopted to allow users to visualize the results in a clear and precise way.

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