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Reduce production costs

Product design does not occur in a vacuum and has a significant impact on manufacturing. In fact, 3D design carries even greater potential for streamlining production processes, especially when you take advantage of 3D CAD Design and Design for Manufacturability (DFM) tools and applications. Using these, you can avoid the manufacturing delays, cost overruns, and shop-floor retrofits.

  1. Overview

    Product design does not occur in a vacuum and has a significant impact on manufacturing. In fact, 3D design carries even greater potential for streamlining production processes, especially when you take advantage of 3D CAD Design and Design for Manufacturability (DFM) tools and applications. Using these, you can avoid the manufacturing delays, cost overruns, and shop-floor retrofits.

    Many manufacturing technologies now rely on the availability of a 3D CAD model as a starting point. For example, NC programming in three or more axes, rapid prototyping/3D printing, mould design, and even sheet-metal manufacturing now require 3D models that can be referenced to create NC toolpaths, SLA models, and sheet metal flat patterns with proper bend allowances.

    Although the advent of CAM software represented a quantum leap in machining productivity, no matter what process is utilised - milling, drilling, punching, laser/waterjet cutting, multi-access machining, or wire EDM - the critical requirement is starting with accurate, clean 3D geometry.

    But the ability to import design data into a CAM system is just the beginning:

    What happens when you need to make design changes or process an engineering change order (ECO)?

    Are your CAD and CAM systems integrated, so that changes propagate automatically between the "designed" and "machined" model

    Has someone checked the model for manufacturing issues with a DFM tool? For example, do the holes line up? Has someone completed tolerance stack-ups, conducted interference checks, or optimised the design to reduce material usage?

    What are the documentation consequences of making changes during machining?

    All of these issues carry the potential for causing downtime, incurring costs, or increasing scrap/rework.

  2. Statistics

  3. Solution

    Built into SolidWorks, DFM checks for features that are expensive or impossible to manufacture. These features are highlighted, and the user is provided an interactive list of the problems uncovered. 

    More and more companies are turning to rapid prototyping and manufacturing to reduce the turnaround time for both prototype parts and customised final parts. These systems operate from 3D modelling input generated in standard template library (STL) format - this is a format output from the 3D CAD model by simply saving in that format. SolidWorks can output the 3D model complete with detailed dimensioning and tolerancing information added according to industry standards. 

    There is a wide range of 3D digitizing and inspection equipment that also requires 3D CAD models. With the complete details at hand in the 3D CAD model, you can more easily verify moulded, forged, stamped, and cast parts, including the details of undercuts, draft, thickness, and surface topology: machinists can measure and section 3D parts live at the touch of a button; assemblers and fabricators can explode assemblies, and zoom in and hide parts from view to see details they could never see before in 2D drawings.

  4. Benefits

    • Scrap and rework costs reduced
    • Improve profitability
    • Shorter lead times
  5. Resources

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