Recent advances in rapid prototyping technology make it a useful tool in assessing the early designs of not only individual parts but also assemblies. These rapid assemblies should allow the designers to evaluate the desired functional requirements for the actual fabricated parts. However, the rapid prototyping errors, especially shrinkage, make it difficult to emulate such functional requirements in the prototype. This paper presents an algorithm for the optimal adjustment of the nominal dimensions of rapid prototyped parts to maximize the probability of adherence to the assembly functional requirements. The proposed modification of the nominal dimensions compensates for shrinkage. In addition, the algorithm preserves the general shape of the parts. Real coded genetic algorithms are used to maximize the probability of adhering to those requirements and a truncated Monte Carlo simulation is used to evaluate it. Several examples have been used to demonstrate the developed algorithm and procedures. Guidelines have been presented for the applicability of this adjustment method for various types of fits. The proposed method allows the designers to experience more realistically the intended fit and feel of actual manufactured parts assemblies.

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