Additive manufacturing (AM) has evolved from prototyping to functional part fabrication for a wide range of applications. AM process settings have significant impact to both part quality and production cost, which makes the process setting adjustment a key consideration during product development and manufacturing. This research aims to investigate the relationship among process setting adjustments, costs, and component design parameters. Platform-based product family design and process family planning are used in this research as the strategy to provide product diversity while controlling cost. In this paper, the concept of a variable product platform and its corresponding AM process setting variants are proposed to describe the characteristics of additive manufactured platform modules. AM production cost drivers are identified. A Fuzzy Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (FTDABC) approach is proposed to estimate the cost increment due to process setting adjustments. Time equations in the FTDABC are computed in a trained Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS). The process setting adjustment’s feasible space boundary searching is formulated as an optimization problem, with minimizing the cost increment and maximizing the design parameters’ variability as objective functions. The upper and lower limits of variable platform module’s design parameters are mapped from process setting adjustments in a Mamdani-type expert system. The proposed methodology is illustrated in the analysis of a honeycomb-shaped bumper, which is taken as a variable platform module for a family of R/C racing cars. The result provides boundaries for design parameters, which confines the AM-enabled design space for product platform modules.

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