In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering
ComputerAided Design for Rapid Tooling: Methods for Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
Approved:
ii
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
As I am putting the finishing touches on this document that has recorded my work for the past three years, I still clearly remember the feeling when I first read the dissertation of Dr. Stewart Coulter in April 1998. I was anxious and tried to understand what was required for a Ph.D. in the United States. Although getting lost at that time, I was shocked by the work and the writing skills shown in the dissertation. To write a dissertation like that seemed only a dream so far away. Now I have completed my doctoral research and finished my dissertation. My years here in Atlanta have been one of the greatest personal growth in my life. These accomplishments, however, would not have been possible without the help of several people listed as follows. I am grateful for the tremendous roles they have played in my life. First sincere appreciation is expressed to my advisor Dr. David W. Rosen for his continuous encouragement, guidance, and patience throughout my graduate studies. He has provided generous support and has been the primary motivation for this research. His insights have guided me to a level of understanding higher than what I thought possible. I would like to thank the other committee members for their comments and suggestions. In particular, I owe special thanks to Dr. Farrokh Mistree and Dr. Janet Allen, who opened the world of decisionbased design and its usage in several areas for me. Their continued guidance and inspiration have also helped me grow both
intellectually and personally. I also owe special thanks to Professor Charles Eastman, who guided me in the field of solid modeling. The idea of the reverse glue operation was first thought out in my taking a course given by Prof. Eastman. I am profoundly grateful to Dr. John Muzzy and Dr. Thomas Starr for sharing their insights on polymer injection molding and powder injection molding. I feel very lucky to be able to work in two distinguished laboratories, System Realization Laboratory (SRL) and Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (RPMI), at the same time in the past three years. Several colleagues in SRL gave me iii
great support to this research. Special thanks is given to Shiva Sambu who worked with me together on developing the design for Rapid Tooling system and performing the case studies of a robot arm and camera roller (Chapter 6, 7, 8). I would like to thank Yao Lin for helping me in understanding Design of Experiments and the usage of statistic software. Thanks also to Brian Davis for teaching me how to use the Coordinate
Measuring Machine. I cherish the support and compassion given freely by other close colleagues in SRL Angran Xiao, Hongqing Wang, Zahed Siddique, Sunji Jangha, Carolyn Conner Seepersad, Marco Fernandez, Benay Sager, Scott Cowan, Scott Duncan, and Ruhul Kulkarni. Thanks for making my study in Georgia Tech enjoyable. I would like to thank my colleagues in RPMI for their generous help in this research: to Reggie Ponder, for teaching me how to use SLA machines; to Giorgos Hatzilias, for teaching me how to use Morgan Press Injection molding machine; to Giang Pham, for teaching me how to use Sumitomo Injection molding machine; to Kent Dawson, for sharing his experiment data and his knowledge on the properties of injection molded parts; to YoungBin Park, for teaching me how to use Instron universal testing machine. I am also a student member in Graphics, Visualization and Usability (GVU) Center at Georgia Tech. I am very grateful to the two courses given by Dr. Jarek Rossignac, who helped me to understand the beauty of computational geometry. The region generation algorithm in this research was first developed as a course project in one of these courses. The geometric modeling course given by prof. Eastman inspired me to further develop some ideas in the field of automatic mold design. Special thanks goes to Guoquan Zhou, a graduate student of Prof. Eastman, for sharing his code of a simple solid modeling system. The financial support from the National Science Foundation (NSF DMI 9618039) is greatly appreciated. It makes this work possible. Three and a half years of graduate study was a long way to go. I consider myself blessed to know my wife, Mrs. Ying Wu. Her love and support make these years really enjoyable. I offer deepest thanks to her for her understanding and sacrifice throughout iv
this process. I am also in debt to my parents and parentsinlaw for what they have done for me. Without their continued support and belief in me, I would not have gotten to this point. This dissertation stands as a testament to their success. I am also thankful to Sai Zeng, Lei Wu, Cheng Zhang, Lunyu Ma, Qi Zhu, Yong Huang, and Liang Zhu, who have given me the great gift of friendship.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES NOMENCLATURE SUMMARY CHAPTER 1 FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPE USING RAPID TOOLING 1.1 PRIORS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPE AND RAPID TOOLING 1.1.1 Product Realization and Prototype 1.1.2 Rapid Prototyping 1.1.3 Injection Molding and Rapid Tooling 1.1.4 Rapid Manufacturing 1.2 DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES 1.2.1 Current Usage of Rapid Tooling and Related Problems 1.2.2 Motivating project Rapid Tooling TestBed 1.2.3 Challenges of RTTB and My Research Approaches 1.2.4 Research Opportunities in Mold Design and DesignforManufacture 1.3 RESEARCH FOCUS IN THE DISSERTATION 1.3.1 The Principal Goal, Research Questions and Hypotheses in the Dissertation 1.3.2 Validation Philosophy and Strategy 1.3.3 Contributions from the Research 1.4 OVERVIEW OF DISSERTATION iii vi xi xiv xix xxi
1 2 2 3 6 8 9 9 11 12 16 23 24 26 29 30
CHAPTER 2 33 A LITERATURE REVIEW: MOLD DESIGN AND DESIGNFORMANUFACTURE 2.1 TOPICS IN CHAPTER 34 2.2 MOLD DESIGN METHODS AND ALGORITHMS 35 2.2.1 Parting Direction 35 2.2.2 Parting Line 37 2.2.3 Parting Surface 38 2.2.4 External and Internal Undercut Detection 39 2.2.5 Synthesis Approaches of Basic Elements 39 2.2.6 Intersection of VMap 41 2.2.7 Detection of NonDrafted Surfaces 42 vi
2.3
2.4
2.5 2.6
2.7
MOLD CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND TOOLS 2.3.1 Approach Based on Extending Parting Lines 2.3.2 Approach Based on Sweeping 2.3.3 Industrial Approach CAD REPRESENTATION 2.4.1 Representation of 3D Surfaces and Solids 2.4.2 Manipulation of Solid Models 2.4.3 High Level Representations DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURE: STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES 2.6.1 DecisionBased Design 2.6.2 Compromise Decision Support Problem 2.6.3 Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) LITERATURE REVIEW SUMMARY
43 43 43 44 46 49 51 53 56 62 62 62 69 71
CHAPTER 3 THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN METHOD 3.1 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN METHOD 3.2 PROBLEM FORMULATION FOR MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN 3.2.1 Analysis of Existing Problem Formulations 3.2.2 Problem Formulations of MultiPiece Mold Design 3.3 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN PROCESS 3.4 BASIC ELEMENTS OF MPMDM 3.4.1 Demoldability of Mold Pieces 3.4.2 Analysis of the Basic Elements 3.4.3 The Generation Approach of Concave Regions 3.5 REGION COMBINATION OF MPMDM 3.5.1 Combining Criteria and Their Evaluation Approach 3.5.2 Verification of Draft Angle 3.5.3 Analysis of Region Combination Process and Related Representations 3.5.4 Region Combination Algorithm and Design Knowledge 3.6 MOLD PIECE CONSTRUCTION APPROACH BASED ON REVERSE GLUE 3.6.1 Principle and Related Representations of the Approach 3.6.2 Generation Approach of Glue Faces 3.6.3 Reverse Glue Algorithm and Parting Surface 3.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 RTMDS AND ITS USAGE FOR MOLD DESIGN 4.1 OVERIEW OF RAPID TOOLING MOLD DESIGN SYSTEM 4.2 SUPPORTING MODULES AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATIONS 4.2.1 ACIS Manipulation Module and Part Representation 4.2.2 Problem PDLP and LINGO 4.2.3 GUI and Control Options vii
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
THE IMPLEMENTATION AND LIMITATIONS OF MOLD DESIGN MODULES 4.3.1 Region Generation 4.3.2 Region Combination 4.3.3 Mold Piece Construction INTUITIVE EXAMPLE PARTS 4.4.1 Test Example 1: A Box with a Rib 4.4.2 Test Example 2: A Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves INDUSTRIAL CASES 4.5.1 Industrial Example 1: A Housing 4.5.2 Industrial Example 2: A Thin Wall Part 4.5.3 Industrial Example 3: A Complex Housing EVALUATION OF EXAMPLES AND CASES 4.6.1 Region Generation Process 4.6.2 Region Combination Process 4.6.3 Mold Piece Construction Process 4.6.4 The Whole Process of RTMDS SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 4
129 130 132 135 136 137 141 145 146 150 152 155 155 156 157 158 159
CHAPTER 5 FORMULATING DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR RAPID TOOLING AS GEOMETRIC TAILORING PROBLEM 5.1 PROPERTIES OF RAPID TOOLING 5.1.1 Mold Material Properties 5.1.2 Mold Fabrication Properties 5.1.3 Part Properties of the AIM Tooling 5.2 PRINCIPLES OF FUNCTIONAL TESTING AND GEOMETRIC TAILORING 5.2.1 Principle of Functional Testing Buckingham Theorem 5.2.2 Similarity Methods 5.2.3 Fundamentals of Geometric Tailoring 5.3 DESIGN DECISION TEMPLATE FOR MGT 5.3.1 MGT Decision Template and its Methodology 5.3.2 Formulation of the MGTDT 5.4 USAGE OF MGTDT 5.4.1 Formulating Functional Properties in the MGTDT 5.4.2 Formulating and Solving the MGT Problem 5.5 INITIAL CASE STUDIES 5.5.1 Building Prototypes of a Tensile Bar 5.5.2 Building Prototypes of a Rib Part 5.5.3 Building Prototypes of a Ring Gear 5.6 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 5 CHAPTER 6 A DECISIONBASED DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING SYSTEM viii
162 163 163 165 166 167 167 168 169 171 174 176 178 178 181 181 182 188 198 209
212
6.1 6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5 6.6
OVERVIEW OF DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING SYSTEM PROCESSING PLANNING OF THE AIM TOOLING 6.2.1 SLA Process Planner 6.2.2 Stereolithography Mold Life Predictor 6.2.3 Rapid Tooling Cost Estimator MPGT DECISION TEMPLATE AND MPGT PROBLEM FORMULATION 6.3.1 MPGTDT 6.3.2 MPGT Problem Formulation SOLVING THE MPGT PROBLEM 6.4.1 Solution Strategy 6.4.2 Solution Process and Implementations COMPARISON OF THE CURRENT USAGE AND DFRTS SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 6
213 216 216 218 221 222 223 226 229 229 233 238 242
CHAPTER 7 FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES OF A ROBOT ARM 7.1 A ROBOT ARM DESIGN PROBLEM DESCRIPTION 7.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS 7.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS MODELING 7.3.1 MPGT Decision Template for the Robot Arm 7.3.2 Modeling Design Functions 7.3.3 Modeling Fabrication Processes 7.3.4 MPGT Problem Formulation 7.4 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS SOLVING 7.4.1 Solving Discrete Variables 7.4.2 Solving Other Variables 7.4.3 Selecting A Solution 7.4.4 PostSolution Analysis 7.5 PHYSICAL VALIDATION 7.5.1 Build Time Validation 7.5.2 Accuracy Validation 7.5.3 Surface Finish Validation 7.5.4 Material Property Validation 7.5.5 Geometry and Weight Validation 7.5.6 Mold Life Validation 7.5.7 Summary of Physical Validation 7.6 EVALUATION OF ROBOT ARM CASE POST DFRTS 7.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 7 CHAPTER 8 FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES OF A CAMERA ROLLER 8.1 A CAMERA ROLLER DESIGN PROBLEM DESCRIPTION 8.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS 8.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS PROBLEM ANALYSIS ix
246 247 248 253 253 256 261 262 265 265 269 274 274 278 278 279 280 281 281 283 284 285 287
8.4
8.5
GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS MODELING 8.4.1 Modeling Design Functions 8.4.2 Modeling Fabrication Processes 8.4.3 MPGT Problem Formulation GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS SOLVING 8.5.1 Solving Discrete Variables 8.5.2 Solving Continuous Variables 8.5.3 Selecting A Solution 8.5.4 PostSolution Analysis PHYSICAL VALIDATION EVALUATION OF CAMERA ROLLER CASE POST DFRTS SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 8
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CHAPTER 9 ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 9.1 ANSWERING THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS 9.1.1 Research Question Overview 9.1.2 Answering Research Questions 9.2 ACHIEVEMENTS: REVIEW OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS 9.3 CRITICAL ANALYSIS: LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH 9.4 FUTURE WORK APPENDIX A RTMDS IMPLEMENTATION A.1 CODE FILES OF RTMDS A.2 CLASSES OF RTMDS A.3 IMPLEMENTATION ON ACIS A.4 IMPLEMENTATION ON LINGO APPENDIX B CAMERA ROLLER CASE STUDY: COMPLETE SOLUTIONS OF THE MODIFIED MPGT PROBLMES B.1 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES 1~6 OF PO1 B.2 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES 1~6 OF PO2 B.3 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES 1~6 OF PO3 B.4 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES 1~6 OF PO4 REFERENCES VITA x
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1.1 Relationship Between Hypotheses and Dissertation Sections. Table 1.2  Validation of Hypotheses 1 and 2 addressed in different chapters. Table 4.1 The Complexities of the Example Parts in Section 4.4 and 4.5. Table 4.2 The Information for Test Example 1. Table 4.3 The Information for Test Example 2. Table 4.4 The Information for Industrial Example 1. Table 4.5 The Information for Industrial Example 2. Table 4.6 The Information for Industrial Example 3. Table 4.7 Experimental Data of Region Generation Process. Table 4.8 Experimental Data of Region Combination Process. Table 4.9 Experimental Data of Mold Piece Construction Process. Table 4.10 Experimental Data of Mold Design Process. Table 5.1 Tensile Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene. Table 5.2 Flexural Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene. Table 5.3 Word Formulation of the MGTDT. Table 5.4 Mathematical Formulation of the MGTDT. Table 5.5 Experimental Plan For Testing the MGT. Table 5.6 MGT Tensile Bar Problem Formulation. Table 5.7 Scenarios of Goal Weights and Related Results. Table 5.8 Material property validation results for polystyrene. Table 5.9  MGT Rib Problem Formulation By the Designer. Table 5.10 Design Factors and Their Ranges. Table 5.11 Results of the Experiments for Rib Part. Table 5.12 Complete MGT Rib Problem Formulation. Table 5.13 Scenarios of Goal Weights. Table 5.14 Rib Part MGT Results. Table 5.15 Maximum Torque of The Speed Reducer. Table 5.16  MGT Ring Gear Problem Formulation By the Designer. Table 5.17 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Ring Gear. Table 5.18 Results of the Experiments for Ring Gear. Table 5.19 Complete MGT Ring Gear Problem Formulation. Table 5.20 Scenarios of Goal Weights. Table 5.21 Ring Gear MGT Results. Table 6.1 SLA Process Planning Word Formulation [Sambu, 2001 #967]. Table 6.2 SLA Process Planning Mathematical Formulation. Table 6.3 IJM Process Planning Word Formulation [Sambu, 2001 #967]. Table 6.4 Factors Selected for Mold Life Prediction [Sambu, 2001 #967]. Table 6.5 IJM Process Planning Mathematical Formulation. xi 26 28 136 138 141 146 150 153 155 156 157 159 166 166 176 177 182 184 185 187 190 192 192 195 196 196 199 201 203 203 205 206 207 216 217 218 219 220
Table 6.6 Cost and Time Estimates for Different Steps in Rapid Tooling Process (Sambu, 2001). 221 Table 6.7 Word Formulation of the MPGTDT. 223 Table 6.8  Mathematical Formulation of the MPGTDT. 224 Table 6.9 MPGT Problem Word Formulation. 226 Table 6.10 MPGT Problem Mathematical Formulation. 227 Table 7.1 The Information for Robot Arm. 248 Table 7.2 MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation by the Designer. 253 Table 7.3 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Robot Arm. 256 Table 7.4  List of Experiments for Response Surface Generation. 256 Table 7.5 Results of the Experiments for Robot Arm. 258 Table 7.6  Results of Validation Experiments for the Robot Arm. 260 Table 7.7 MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation. 262 Table 7.8 Modified MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation. 269 Table 7.9  Starting Points Investigated for Each Slicing Scheme. 272 Table 7.10 Solutions of System Variables for Different Slicing Schemes. 272 Table 7.11 Solutions of Goals for Different Slicing Schemes. 273 Table 7.12 Solutions of the MPGT Problem for the Robot Arm. 274 Table 7.13  Target Modification Experiments. 276 Table 7.14 Results of Target Modification Experiments. 277 Table 7.15  Individual Functional Target Modification Experiments. 277 Table 7.16 Results of Individual Functional Target Modification Experiments. 277 Table 7.17  SLA Build Time for the Mold Pieces of Robot Arms. 278 Table 7.18 Accuracy of the Robot Arms. 279 Table 7.19  Surface Finish Experiment Results on Prototype Parts. 280 Table 7.20  Material Property Validation Results for Polystyrene. 281 Table 7.21  Injectionmolded part dimensions and weight. 282 Table 7.22  Injection Molding Parameters Used for the Robot Arm. 283 Table 7.23  Summary of Physical Validation Results for MPGT of Robot Arm. 285 Table 7.24  Solutions of Sequential and Concurrent Solution Process. 286 Table 7.25  Goals Achievements for Sequential and Concurrent Solution Processes. 286 Table 8.1 The Information for Robot Arm. 294 Table 8.2 Estimated Mold Life and Required Number of Each Mold Piece. 300 Table 8.3 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Camera Roller. 304 Table 8.4  List of Experiments for Response Surface Generation. 304 Table 8.5  Experiments to Study the Effect of Mesh Size. 305 Table 8.6 Results of the ZRotation Experiments for Camera Roller. 306 Table 8.7  Results of Validation Experiments of Zrotation. 308 Table 8.8 Results of the Volume Experiments for Camera Roller. 309 Table 8.9  Results of Validation Experiments of Volume. 311 Table 8.10 MPGT Camera Roller Problem Formulation. 314 Table 8.11  Dimensions of the Different Mold Features. 317 Table 8.12  Surface Finish and Build Time Achievements for Slicing Schemes. 320 xii
Table 8.13  Starting Points Investigated for Each Slicing Scheme. Table 8.14  Solutions Obtained for Slicing Scheme 1 for Different Starting Points. Table 8.15  Objective Function Values Obtained for Different Slicing Schemes. Table 8.16 Solutions of the MPGT Problem for Camera Roller. Table 8.17  Values of Goals and Intermediate Responses for the Solution. Table 8.18  Target Modification Experiments. Table 8.19 Results of Target Modification Experiments. Table 8.20 Percent Change of the Goals for Target Modification Experiments. Table 8.21  Values of System Variables for Target Modification Experiments. Table 8.22  Injection Molding Parameters Used for the Camera Roller. Table 8.23  Solutions of Sequential and Concurrent Solution Process. Table 8.24  Goals Achievements for Sequential and Concurrent Solution Processes.
321 322 323 323 323 325 325 325 326 328 330 330
xiii
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1  The Cost of an Design Change Related to Development Phase Figure 1.2  A Schematic Drawing of a SLA Figure 1.3  A CAD Model and a SL Model of a Robot Arm Figure 1.4  A Stereolithography Model for Assembly Studies and Tests with Regard to Collision Behavior Figure 1.5 Direct AIM Tooling Process Figure 1.6 Processes of Using Direct AIM Tooling to Build Prototypes Figure 1.7 RTTB System and My Focus Figure 1.8 Different Geometries of Some Industrial Parts Figure 1.9 Design for Rapid Tooling Figure 1.10 An Illustrative Mold for Injection Molding Figure 1.11 Mold Design Process and My Considerations Figure 1.12 Standardized Master Frame Used in Morgan Press at RPMI Figure 1.13 A Multipiece Molds for a Part Given by Protoform GmbH Figure 1.14 Relations of DFRT, DFM and Geometric Tailoring Figure 1.15 Validation Square (Pedersen, 1999) Figure 1.16  Overview of Dissertation Chapters Figure 1.17  Pictorial Overview of the Dissertation Figure 2.1  Literature Review Topics and Relationship with Hypotheses. Figure 2.2 Two Examples of Vmap. Figure 2.3 A Part with Mold Pieces Generated by Two Approaches. Figure 2.4 Mold Construction Process of Unigraphics/MoldWizard for an Industrial Part. Figure 2.5 An Example Mold Design Given by Magics RP. Figure 2.6 An Example Mold Design Given by IMOLD. Figure 2.7 An Example Mold Design Given by Moldplus. Figure 2.8 An Example Mold Design Given by QuickSplit. Figure 2.9 An Example Mold Design Given by IDEAS. Figure 2.10 Coedges of a Part. Figure 2.11 The Distinction between Geometric and Topological Information within the ACIS Solid Modeler (Spatial Technology, 2000). Figure 2.12 An Example of Gluing Operation. Figure 2.13 Boolean Operations. Figure 2.14 An Example of Behavioral Modeling (PTC). Figure 2.15  Word formulation of a Compromise DSP problem (Mistree, et al., 1993). Figure 2.16  Mathematical formulation of a Compromise DSP problem (Mistree, et al., 1993). xiv 2 4 5 5 7 9 12 13 15 16 17 18 19 23 27 30 32 34 41 43 45 45 46 46 47 47 50 51 52 53 55 63 64
Figure 2.17  The Compromise DSP with Modifications based on the Linear Physical Programming Model (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). Figure 2.18  Class Function Regions for a Generic ith Objective (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). Figure 2.19  The Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Chen, 1995). Figure 2.20 Summary of Chapter 2 and Preview of Chapter 3. Figure 3.1 The Elements of the MultiPiece Mold Design Method. Figure 3.2 Relationship between the Elements of MPMDM and Dissertation Hypotheses. Figure 3.3 An Approach Based on Vmap. Figure 3.4 Examples for the Problem Formulation. Figure 3.5 Mold Pieces for a Pocket with Empty VMap. Figure 3.6 Steps of the Mold Design Process. Figure 3.7 Demoldability of Mold Pieces. Figure 3.8 Demoldability of Neighboring Mold Pieces. Figure 3.9 Dividing of Concave Regions. Figure 3.10 Splitting of a Combined Region. Figure 3.11 Concave Regions and Combined Regions. Figure 3.12 Combined Region Example. Figure 3.13 Edge Classification. Figure 3.14 Different Splitting Faces and Orders. Figure 3.15 PD Evaluation Approach. Figure 3.16 A Region with Different Mesh Size. Figure 3.17 Different Draft Angles. Figure 3.18 Relationships Between Regions and Minimum Draft Angle. Figure 3.19 Edges and Faces of a Region in a CXF Combining Step. Figure 3.20 Edges and Faces of Two CRs in a Combining Step. Figure 3.21 Different Combining Results of a Part. Figure 3.22 Face Dividing for A Region of Cavity. Figure 3.23 Two Example Parts for Combining Order. Figure 3.24 Regions and Mold Pieces of a Part. Figure 3.25 An Example of a Boolean Mold Base and Mold Pieces. Figure 3.26 Glue Faces of an Example Part. Figure 3.27 Generation of Inner Glue Faces. Figure 3.28 Process of Face Generation. Figure 3.29 An Example for Coedge Splitting. Figure 3.30 An Example of Different Parting Surface. Figure 3.31 Partial Theoretical Validation. Figure 3.32  Summary of Chapter 3 and Preview of Chapter 4 Figure 4.1 The Organization and Data Flow of the RTMDS. Figure 4.2 The Process to Generate an Input File for RTMDS. Figure 4.3 Focus of the ACIS Entity Classes in RTMDS. Figure 4.4 The Relationship of Topology Entity Classes in ACIS. Figure 4.5 Screen Capture of the RTMDS Interface. xv
66 68 69 71 73 74 76 76 77 80 81 83 85 86 87 88 89 91 96 98 98 99 100 102 104 105 107 107 109 111 113 114 116 118 119 121 123 125 126 127 128
Figure 4.6 Setting Tolerance Values in RTMDS. Figure 4.7 A Simple Example of Face Splitting. Figure 4.8 Two Examples of Face Splitting. Figure 4.9 A Complicated Example of Face Splitting. Figure 4.10 The Combining Order of Faces in a Same Plane. Figure 4.11 An Example for Setting Tolerance Value. Figure 4.12 Mold Pieces for a Pocket with Empty VMap. Figure 4.13 A Test Example of a Rib Part. Figure 4.14 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Test Example 1. Figure 4.15 Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for Test Example 1. Figure 4.16 A Test Example of a Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves. Figure 4.17 Illustration of the Running Results of Test Example 2. Figure 4.18 Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2. (Step 1~7) Figure 4.19 Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2 (Step 8). Figure 4.20 A Housing for A Phone Adapter. Figure 4.21 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 1. Figure 4.22 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for Industrial Example 1. Figure 4.23 A Thin Wall Part for A Phone Adapter. Figure 4.24 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 2. Figure 4.25 Generated Mold Pieces for Industrial Example 2. Figure 4.26 A Complex Housing. Figure 4.27 Region Combination (2 regions). Figure 4.28 Mold Pieces for Industrial Part 3. Figure 4.29 Relations of Region Generation Time with Face/Edge Number. Figure 4.30 Relations of Region Combination Time with Face/Edge Number. Figure 4.31 Relations of Mold Piece Construction Time with Face/Edge Number. Figure 4.32 Relations of Mold Design Running Time with Face/Edge Number. Figure 4.33 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for Hypothesis 1. Figure 4.34 Summary of Chapter 4 and Preview of Chapter 5. Figure 5.1 Maximum Tensile and Shear Strength of SL5170 Versus Temp. Figure 5.2 Stair Stepping Effect of Layer Manufacturing and Reason. Figure 5.3 Fundamental Terms and Concept of the ESM [Cho, 1999 #964]. Figure 5.4 Steps of a Scenario based on the MGT Decision Template. Figure 5.5 The Decision Template for the MGT and Design Freedom. Figure 5.6  A Cantilever Beam. Figure 5.7 The Illustration of a Tensile Bar Example. Figure 5.8 Photo of SLA Tools and Prototype Tensile Bars. Figure 5.9 Photo of Prototype Tensile Bars Used for Tensile test. Figure 5.10 Quality Distribution and Geometric Tailoring. Figure 5.11 The Illustration of a Rib Example. Figure 5.12 Geometry Variables of the Rib by Adding Draft Angle. Figure 5.13 Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Rib Part. Figure 5.14 Graphical Relations of The Maximum Deflection and Variables. xvi
129 131 131 132 133 134 136 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 146 148 149 150 151 152 153 153 154 156 157 158 158 160 161 164 165 169 172 174 179 183 186 187 188 189 191 193 194
Figure 5.15 Parts Produced by SLA Molds. Figure 5.16 SLA Molds and Pullout Failure. Figure 5.17 The Ring Gear and the Speed Reducer of a Cordless Drill. Figure 5.18 Some Terminology Describing a Spur Gear (Shigley and Mischke, 1989). Figure 5.19 Fatigue of Ring Gear. Figure 5.20 Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Ring Gear. Figure 5.21 Graphical Relation of the Maximum Stress with PD and W. Figure 5.22 A Photo of the Prototype Ring Gears. Figure 5.23 A SLA Mold Piece in a Standard Mold Plate. Figure 5.24 Summary of Hypothesis Validation. Figure 5.25 Summary of Chapter 5 and Preview of Chapter 6. Figure 6.1 Relations of DFRT, Geometric Tailoring and DFM. Figure 6.2 Infrastructure of the DFRTS and Related Sections. Figure 6.3 Research Scope of the DFRTS. Figure 6.4 Screen Capture of the SLA Process Planner. Figure 6.5 Screen Capture of SL Mold Life Predictor. Figure 6.6 Relations of Designers Requirements and MGTDT/MPGTDT. Figure 6.7 Relations of the MPGTDT and MPGT Problem. Figure 6.8 Possible Values of PO and LTi for a Example Part. Figure 6.9 The Solution Strategy for the MPGT Problem. Figure 6.10 Two Subproblems of the MPGT. Figure 6.11 The Solution Process of the DFRTS. Figure 6.12 Surface Finish Test Piece. Figure 6.13 The Current Usage of RT and Related Decision Order of Variables. Figure 6.14 The DFRTS and Related Decision Order of Variables. Figure 6.15 A Two Variable Design Space [Karandikar, 1991 #269]. Figure 6.16 Summary of Chapter 6 and Preview of Chapter 7. Figure 7.1 A Robot Arm Design. Figure 7.2 Generated Regions for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.3 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.4 Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.5 A Completer Mold Design for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.6 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.7 Processrelated Goals of Robot Arm Design. Figure 7.8 Example ANSYS Output of Analysis for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.9 Graphical Relations of Responses and Variables. Figure 7.10 Validation Experiment Design for the Response Surfaces. Figure 7.11 Some Process Planning Goals. Figure 7.12 Two Considered Mold Designs for the Robot Arm. Figure 7.13 Four Considered Part Orientations for the Mold Designs. Figure 7.14 Eight Considered Slicing Schemes for the Part Orientations. Figure 7.15 InterRelationship Diagram of Goals and Variables. Figure 7.16 Objective Function vs. Iteration No. for Modified MPGT Problem. xvii
197 198 198 199 200 204 205 208 208 210 211 213 214 215 218 221 222 225 230 231 232 234 235 239 240 241 245 247 249 250 251 252 252 253 257 259 260 262 266 267 268 275 276
Figure 7.17 Mold Piece Layout on SLA 3500 Platform [Sambu, 2001 #967]. 279 Figure 7.18 Pieces of Robot Arm Used in Surface Finish Experiments. 280 Figure 7.19  Gap Between the Parting Surfaces due to Mold Warpage. 282 Figure 7.20  Short (left) and Complete (right) Shots obtained from IJM. 284 Figure 7.21  Chipped Mold and Parts Obtained from the Mold. 284 Figure 7.22 The Ranges of Goals for the Robot Arm Problem. 287 Figure 7.23 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for H1 and H2. 288 Figure 7.24 Preview of Chapter 8. 289 Figure 8.1 A Production Camera Roller with a Camera. 291 Figure 8.2  Loading Conditions on the Camera Roller. 292 Figure 8.3  Surface Finish and Tolerance Requirements. 292 Figure 8.4 Dividing Cylindrical Faces for the RTMDS. 293 Figure 8.5 Graphical Results of Region Combination Process. 295 Figure 8.6 Changing Region Number of Selected Faces in the RTMDS. 296 Figure 8.7 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Camera Roller Phase 1. 297 Figure 8.8 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Camera Roller Phase 2. 298 Figure 8.9 A Completer Mold Design for the Camera Roller. 299 Figure 8.10 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for the Camera Roller. 299 Figure 8.11  Mold Life of Different Features in Mold Pieces. 300 Figure 8.12 Problem Identified in the Preliminary Experiment. 301 Figure 8.13  Different Features in Camera Roller. 302 Figure 8.14  Modified Camera Roller Part. 302 Figure 8.15  Geometry Variables in the Modified Camera Roller. 303 Figure 8.16  ANSYS Output of ZRotation for Camera Roller (Exp.1: NC= NR = 3). 305 Figure 8.17 Graphical Relations of zrotation and Variables. 308 Figure 8.18 Graphical Relations of Volume and Variables. 310 Figure 8.19 Process Planning Goals for the Mold Pieces. 313 Figure 8.20 Four Part Orientations for the Mold Design [Sambu, 2001 #967]. 319 Figure 8.21  Promising Slicing Schemes for PO1 [Sambu, 2001 #967]. 320 Figure 8.22  Objective Function vs. Iteration Number for MPGT Problem. 322 Figure 8.23 Mold Design for the Tailored Camera Roller Part. 327 Figure 8.24 Physical Mold Pieces and Injection Molded Camera Roller. 328 Figure 8.25 Comparison the Camera Roller before and after Geometric Tailoring. 329 Figure 8.26 The Dimensions of the Third Mold Piece. 330 Figure 8.27 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for H1 and H2. 332 Figure 8.28 Preview of Chapter 9. 333 Figure 9.1 Context for Research Questions and Hypotheses. 335 Figure 9.2 Validity Square. 337 Figure 9.3 An Ideal System Working Between the Designer and Manufacturer. 347
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NOMENCLATURE
ACES ACIS! AIM Tooling ANOVA ANSYS! Brep CAD CCD CE CMM CPL CR CSG CVR CXF di+, diDBD DFM DFRTS DOE cDSP DSP FEA GF GUI IJM LINGO! LT LP LPP MB MCD MD MFC MGT MGTDT ML Accurate Clear Epoxy Solid Threedimensional Geometric Modeler ACES Injection Molding Tooling Analysis Of Variance Finite Element Analysis Software Boundary Representation Computer Aided Design Central Composite Design Concurrent Engineering Coordinate Measuring Machine Closed Parting Loop Combined Region Constructive Solid Geometry Concave Region Convex Face positive and negative deviation variables in compromise DSP DecisionBased Design Design for Manufacture Design for Rapid Tooling System Design of Experiments Compromise Decision Support Problem Decision Support Problem Finite Element Analysis Glue Face Graphical User Interface Injection Molding Engineering Optimization Software Layer Thickness in SLA process Linear Programming Linear Physical Programming Mold Base Mold Configuration Design Mold Design Microsoft Foundation Classes Material Geometric Tailoring Material Geometric Tailoring Decision Template Mold Life xix
MPC MPD MPGT MPGTDT MPMDM NF OptdesX! PC PD PE PIM PL PO PS R2, R2adj RCEM Response RM RMCD RSE RSM RTMDS RTTB RP SLA Vmap
Mold Piece Construction Mold Parting Direction MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring Decision Template MultiPiece Mold Design Method Neighboring Face Engineering Optimization Software Personal Computer Parting Direction Parting Edge Powder Injection Molding Parting Line Part Orientation in SLA Process Parting Surface The ratio of the model sum of squares to the total sum of squares, and that ratio adjusted for the number of parameters in the model Robust Concept Exploration Method Performance parameter of the system, i.e., a system constraint or goal Rapid Manufacturing Regionbased Mold Configuration Design Response Surface Equation Response Surface Methodology Rapid Tooling Mold Design System Rapid Tooling TestBed Rapid Prototyping Stereolithography Apparatus Visibility Map
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SUMMARY
Physical models and prototypes are fundamental to superior product development and production. Rapid Tooling techniques have the potential to dramatically reduce the time and cost in producing limited quantities of functional prototypes in final material. However, the current usage of Rapid Tooling has two problems: (1) mold design for parts with a wide variety of geometries may take a long time; (2) design iterations between designers and manufacturers may take a long time before different design requirements are achieved in the prototypes. They overshadow the time and cost benefits of Rapid Tooling. In this dissertation, these two problems are addressed by developing a Mold Design Method and a DesignforManufacturing Method respectively. Based on Computation Geometry, a Multipiece Mold Design Method is developed to automate several important mold design steps, including determining parting directions, parting lines, and parting surfaces, and constructing mold pieces for multipiece molds. The method has three steps. First concave regions and convex faces are generated from a given part. Second the generated concave regions and convex faces are combined into several regions. Finally mold pieces are constructed for the combined regions based on a reverse glue operation. The method is employed to develop a Rapid Tooling Mold Design System, which has been used to design molds to fabricate prototype parts with widely varying complexities. Two test parts and five industrial parts are presented in the dissertation to illustrate the usage of the mold design system. The
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running time of the system is tested for each part. The mold design results are also verified by physical experiments. Based on DecisionBased Design, a Design for Rapid Tooling System is developed to aid manufacturers to tailor a submitted part efficiently and effectively. A basic idea of this work is that for Rapid Tooling the burden of designformanufacture can be transferred to the manufacturer by geometric tailoring decision templates. The designers requirements on functional prototypes are formulated in the decision templates, which are in the compromise DSP format. Three testing examples illustrate that the design freedom given by the designer to the manufacturer is important for reducing the iterations between the designer and manufacturer. By synthesizing
decisions of part design, rapid prototyping process, and injection molding process variables, a solution strategy and a threestage solution process are proposed for the system. Compared with the current usage of Rapid Tooling, better decision order of design variables is used in the design for Rapid Tooling system for the geometric tailoring problem. Two case studies, a robot arm and a camera roller, are used to test the system. Physical prototypes of the tailored part designs are produced for the validation of the DFM method.
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CHAPTER 1
The product realization process, driven by market factors, is changing dramatically. Building better physical prototypes in shorter period of time becomes more important in product development and production. One way to achieve this goal for injection molded products is through Rapid Tooling. In this chapter we will give a brief introduction to Rapid Tooling and design for Rapid Tooling. The project by which this research is motivated is presented to highlight some of the challenging issues involved in the development of a Rapid Tooling Testbed. Research opportunities and foundations for this research will also be presented followed by the research questions, goals and hypotheses. In the last Section an overview of the entire dissertation is given.
1.1 PRIORS FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPE AND RAPID TOOLING The principal objective in this dissertation is to develop methods to facilitate the usage of Rapid Tooling for a part design. However, before the current usage of Rapid Tooling and research opportunities are presented in Section 1.2, several important notions are introduced in this section to establish a context for the reader. These notions include the importance of functional prototype (Section 1.1.1), Rapid Prototyping (Section 1.1.2), Rapid Tooling (Section 1.1.3) and Rapid Manufacturing (Section 1.1.4). The focus of this research, which includes research questions and related hypotheses, is presented in Section 1.3. Finally the overview of the entire dissertation is presented in Section 1.4). 1.1.1 Product Realization and Prototype
The product realization process, driven by market factors, is changing dramatically. There are increasing global competition, decreasing levels of demand for discrete products, and declining profitability. Consequently, only the companies who are able to launch quality products ahead of their competitors can continue to enjoy healthy markets. Smith and Reinertsen (1991) studied competitiveness of different products and stated that A company able to launch a quality product ahead of their competition not only realizes 100% of the market before rival products arrive but also tends to maintain a dominant position for a few years even after competitive products have finally been announced. This is also evidenced by a vicepresident of Hewlett Packard who testified that a reduction of one month in the printer development time would result in additional profits in excess of the entire product development cost (Kazmer and Speight, 1997). As many executives now realize how vital it is to move new products to market rapidly, designers, who play a key role in the product realization process, face the constant pressure to cut the product development time and costs. In the mean time, designers also face the sustained pressure on avoiding design errors. It is well known that cost of design errors and related changes increases substantially with each step of product development. According to Wohlers Associates, the cost of an engineering change increases roughly by an order of magnitude (see Figure 1.1) as the design progresses from one significant development phase to the next.
Product Development Phase CONCEPTUAL MODELLING DETAIL DESIGN TEST MANUFACTURING PRODUCT REALSE Cost of Design Change $10 $100 $1,000 $10,000 $100,000
Figure 1.1  The Cost of a Design Change Related to Development Phase (Wohlers Associates). Prototypes of the design can aid designers to find defects as early as possible and correct them when it is still relatively cheap and easy. As stated in a paper from Harvard 2
Business Review (Bowen, et al., 1994), prototypes not only enable products to be developed and launched more quickly, but also result in products that are both higherquality and more effective in fulfilling their intended purpose in the marketplace. As computers become more powerful, Virtual Prototyping (VR), which involves analyzing Computer Aided Design (CAD) models for different end applications, is developing quickly. Various analysis and simulation packages enable assessment of product functionality; for example, kinematic modeling enables motion simulation, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) can replicate a wind tunnel and assess fluid flow, FEA (Finite Element Analysis) can be used to determine loadcarrying capacity and to predict temperature distributions. Other analysis tools simulate various manufacturing and assembly processes; for example, software packages, like Moldflow and CMold, are available to model most of the usual materialsforming processes such as injection molding, investment casting, and so forth. Other packages simulate the various assembly operations, providing insight on setting up a manufacturing line (Siddique and Rosen, 1997; Gadh and Ratnakar, 1998). In many cases, these VP techniques and simulation software systems can help designers to evaluate their designs quickly and cheaply. Unfortunately, despite the promise of these tools with the advances in computer simulation, not all aspects of design testing can be formulated in mathematical models. Also as products and processes become increasingly complex, the confidence and accuracy of a Virtual Prototype system may still not be able to satisfy a designers expectations. Therefore, physical prototypes are still fundamental to superior product development and production. In the words of Michael Schrage of the MIT Sloan School of Management, For companies that genuinely care about incremental and breakthrough innovations, organizational redesign and core process reengineering are not enough. Companies that want to build better products must learn how to build better physical prototypes. (Schrage, 1993) Similar themes also pervaded in an address at the IMS International Conference on Rapid Product Development given by DaimlerBenzs Dr. Werner Pollmann. He examined prototyping at DaimlerBenz and wrote as follows: Purchase of a car depends strongly on subjective impressions. Next to technical properties like horsepower or security equipment, properties like noise, handling, or styling are key factors for a purchase decision. But these properties can only be evaluated by physical prototypes. For that reason, availability of high quality functional prototypes will remain an important element of product development and cannot be substituted by digital models and analysis. (Pollmann, 1994) From late 1980s, a new kind of technology, which is based on additive fabrication, was developed to make physical prototypes more quickly. These techniques were named Rapid Prototyping (RP), or Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF). They are discussed in Section 1.1.2 as the basis of Rapid Tooling, which is discussed in Section 1.1.3. 1.1.2 Rapid Prototyping
Rapid Prototyping, also called Solid Freeform Fabrication, or Layered Manufacturing (LM), refers to the fabrication of physical parts layerbylayer directly from CAD data. It involves successively adding new materials, in layers, to create a solid of some predefined shape. Therefore it is a fundamentally different method of fabrication
from traditional approaches like turning and milling, which are based on removing materials, or rolling or casting, which are based on deforming materials into desired shapes. Currently there are over 30 RP technologies available for model production based on the principle of additive fabrication, including Stereolithography (SL), Selective laser sintering (SLS), InkJet Printing, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The major differences among these technologies are in two aspects: (1) material used; and (2) part building techniques. Figure 1.2 is a schematic drawing to show the building technique of Stereolithography (SL), the most prevalent technology on the market, which was pioneered by 3D Systems. A short explanation on how the process operates is as follows. Initially, the elevator is located at a distance from the surface of the liquid equal to the thickness of the first, bottommost layer. The laser beam will scan the surface following the contours of the slice. The interior of the contour is then hatched using a hatch pattern. The liquid is a photopolymer that solidifies when exposed to the ultraviolet laser beam. The elevator is moved downwards, and the subsequent layers are produced analogously. Finally, the part is removed from the vat, and cured in a special oven.
Figure 1.2  A Schematic Drawing of a SLA. Rapid Prototyping has several advantages due to its unique fabrication process. It is faster. Also the geometric complexity of the part has a significantly smaller impact on the fabrication process. That is, when creating a part layerbylayer, a simple cube and a sculptured solid are equally easy to manufacture for RP. So some designs, which are so complicated that it was impossible to make them before, can now be fabricated via RP technologies. Figure 1.3 is a robot arm design based on the principle of Tensegrity Structures in Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (RPMI) at Georgia Institute of Technology. The new design is light yet strong, which is suitable for a highspeed robot. Furthermore, multimaterial structures and parts with embedded electronics can be created using the layerbylayer fabrication of RP (Merz, et al., 1994; Kumar and Dutta, 1998; Jackson, 2000). 4
Figure 1.3  A CAD Model and a SL Model of a Robot Arm (RPMI at Gatech). Currently there are roughly 7000 RP systems installed worldwide (according to Wohlers Associates at www.WohlersAssociates.com). The use of RP technologies has resulted in a significant reduction in the prototyping time for numerous industrial cases (Jacobs, 1992; Jacobs, 1996; Wohlers, 1998). One demonstrative example shown in Figure 1.4 is Blaupunkts front cap. According to (Edelmann, 2000), Blaupunkt, a German mobile electronics company, developed three functional models of a swiveltype front cap with the help of Stereolithography. The company was able to save 7 weeks development time using the Stereolithography process compared with the conventional milling method. Also the cost for prototypes was cut tremendously. The traditional method milling from solids would have cost the company between 30,000 and 40,000
Figure 1.4  A Stereolithography Model for Assembly Studies and Tests with Regard to Collision Behavior (Blaupunkt).
DM, the costs with Stereolithography were 12,000 DM. Karapatis and coauthors (1998) classified the functions of prototypes in four main classes: the visual prototype, which is just a solid, real CAD model used to reveal design defects and gain marketing clearance; the functional prototype (form & fit), which is mainly used to detect assembly problems; the material prototype, which has the same geometrical and mechanical properties as the final part; the production prototype, which is made by the same process as the final part. To make material and production prototypes of injection molding parts, a new kind of techniques, Rapid Tooling, was developed based on Rapid Prototyping technologies in 1990s. They are discussed further in Section 1.1.3. 1.1.3 Injection Molding and Rapid Tooling
Many consumer products involve the design and fabrication of injection molded thermoplastic parts. Injection molding is the most widely used process for manufacturing thermoplastic products (Mitchell, 1996). It has many benefits like forming near net shape product with nothing or very little secondary machining process, and producing parts that combine the functionality of many parts into one. The main character of injection molding process is that shapeless material is formed by a tool (i.e. molds) with a complementing cavity in the shape of the desired part. Injection molded parts are produced by closing mold pieces and injecting molten material into the formed cavity. After the molten material solidifies, the part is ejected from the mold. This process is also applicable to metals and ceramics by a new technology known as powder injection molding (PIM) (German and Bose, 1997). Tools, which define the shape of the part, play a vital role in the injection molding process. Traditionally, the manufacture of tooling for both prototype parts and production components represents one of the longest and most costly phases in the development of most new products. It typically took a month to produce a prototype mold and another three months to complete mold design and manufacturing (Beckert, 1999). The cost and time implications of the tooling process are particularly problematic for lowvolume products aimed at niche markets, or alternatively for rapidly changing highvolume products. By using Rapid Prototyping technologies in the fabrication of tools or patterns, a new kind of techniques, named Rapid Tooling (RT), can reduce tooling cost and time especially when only small quantities of a part are needed (Jacobs, 1996). More importantly the parts made by Rapid Tooling can be made of endstate materials like polystyrene, which are required in the testing of functional prototypes in some industrial cases. Since the first Rapid Tooling process (QuickCast) was developed by 3D Systems in 1992 (Jacobs 1996), there are more than 20 Rapid Tooling methods until today (Wohlers, 2000), like Epoxy Tooling, Composite Tooling, Kirksite Tooling, Spray Metal Tooling, Direct ACES Tooling, DTM RapidTool. Different tooling processes have different time and material requirements. Williams (1999) classifies Rapid Tooling processes into two categories: transfer and direct. Transfer Rapid Tooling process utilizes RP model as a master pattern. An epoxy 6
is cast around the master to form a mold. Direct Rapid Tooling process uses Rapid Prototyping machines to fabricate the tools directly. Tromans and Wimpenny (1998) compared direct and indirect tooling, and predicted that the use of rapid prototyping technology to manufacture tooling will evolve from its indirect use as master patterns for soft tooling, eventually providing direct methods of manufacturing tools on rapid prototyping machines. Several reasons they gave included accuracy of the tools, time and easiness of the process. For similar reasons, Wohlers (2000) also believed the direct approaches would gain an edge in the long term (6 to 10 years). In addition, since only the Direct Rapid Tooling processes are investigated in our lab (Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute), in this dissertation the author will only consider the direct Rapid Tooling processes. Specifically, this research of design for Rapid Tooling is mainly focused on one typical direct Rapid Tooling process, direct AIM (ACES Injection Molding). The main steps of the direct AIM tooling are shown in Figure 1.5. After finishing the mold design in CAD models, a SLA system is used to build the mold using the ACES (Accurate Clear Epoxy Solid) build style. The mold is shelled out on the bottom side to leave a cavity which can be backfilled with various materials including aluminumfilled epoxy, ceramics, and lowmelting metals. After some optional supplement processes such as milling or polishing, the mold is ready to be used in an injection molding machine.
Direct AIM Tooling
Figure 1.5 Direct AIM Tooling Process. Direct Rapid Tooling has been used in many industrial cases and proven useful in building functional prototypes. An example given here came from Xerox Corporation (Jacobs, 2001). An internal Xerox customer required 100 polystyrene switch actuators in a very short time period. After evaluating various alternatives, Jeffery Heath and his team decided to try Direct AIM. The team was able to injection mold the required 100 polystyrene parts just 5 days after the CAD design was completed! Compared to traditional tool making approaches like CNC and EDM, direct Rapid Tooling has its limitations in controlling the accuracy and material properties of the resulting tools, which is discussed further in Section 1.2. These limitations are being addressed in development efforts and are expected to be mitigated in the near future. As RP and RT technologies become more mature, Rapid Manufacturing (RM), that is, using RP and RT technologies to manufacture end use parts directly becomes more feasible.
1.1.4
Rapid Manufacturing
Although this research is based on the prototype development, the methods presented in the dissertation also have implications on Rapid Manufacturing. Therefore the current development of Rapid Manufacturing, especially Rapid Production Tooling, is described briefly in this section. If RP and RT today can produce functional models quickly and inexpensively, a logical question is why not use them to produce actual production parts? For most applications today, the idea is not practical due to the limitations of speed, part size, accuracy, surface finish, and material properties. However, some RP and RT techniques have already been used to manufacture finished products, especially for lowvolume manufacturing and customized products. In the development of Rapid Manufacturing, Wohlers observed as follows, "Initially, it will happen where the unit price of a part is high and the volume is low, and also where the part is small about the size that would fit within a 6in. cube In the automotive industry, at first, such activity will be limited to highend personalized vehicles where volumes are lower In the medical area, rapid manufacturing will continue to make inroads in applications such as custom implants. Small customized parts for helicopter interiors such as structural parts for seats, cabinetry, or nameplates are other potential applications. Currently, several commercially available processes for producing products exist. As an example, 3D Keltool given by 3D Systems, has achieved more than 3 million shots for unfilled thermoplastics and over 500,000 shots with glassfiberfilled thermoplastics. Although most of these processes are transfer Rapid Tooling, the direct Rapid Tooling techniques are continuously improved. New technologies are also in development. For example, the researchers in Sandia are developing a system which uses laser to melt powdered materials in layers to produce the final part. The part is as metallically dense as one made by conventional means (Bylinsky, 1998). Recently this technology (Laser Engineered Net Shaping LENS) has been commercialized by OptomecTM. The pressure of time, quality and cost, together with increasing product variety, more customized products and worldwide competition is driving technology development and implementation in the area of rapid manufacturing. Hilton (2001) presented a conceptual model of the disposable tool, which uses lowercost, lowervolume tools to produce products instead of highcost, highvolume tools. It is an optional approach considering the tradeoff between tool performance with cost and time. Currently, at least 25 different groups are investigating rapid production tooling (Jacobs, 2001). In (Ashley, 1994), a long list of top US companies, including Ford Motor Co. and Pitney Bowes Inc., had joined a total of nine new research consortia devoted to the development of processes by which largevolumecapable production tooling could be produced quickly and inexpensively. In order to compress the product development process, the technologies including Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Tooling and Rapid Manufacturing are introduced in this section. In the next section, design for Rapid Tooling will be discussed in order to outline the research focus for the dissertation in Section 1.3.
1.2 DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES The motivation and foundation for investigating the proposed research are described in this section. First an overview of the current usage of Rapid Tooling is described in Section 1.2.1 with two related problems identified. The Rapid Tooling Testbed is presented in Section 1.2.2 to provide a context and foster a better understanding of the motivation. Two main challenges related to the testbed are described in Section 1.2.3 to justify the research approaches used in this research. Finally research opportunities are discussed in Section 1.2.4 before the focus of this research is presented in Section 1.3. 1.2.1 Current Usage of Rapid Tooling and Related Problems
Rapid Tooling has the potential to dramatically shorten the time required to produce functional prototypes or products. However, several problems may extend the leadtime to get the functional prototypes or products. These problems should be addressed to realize this potential. In this section the current usage of Rapid Tooling is examined to show these problems. The whole process of using direct AIM tooling to get functional prototypes includes part design, mold design, mold fabrication by SLA, and part fabrication by injection molding (refer to Figure 1.6). Designers carry out part design, which results in a CAD model of the part to be fabricated. The CAD model is then sent to manufacturers, for example, a Rapid Tooling service bureau. According to the part design, the manufacturers will design and build molds to produce prototype parts. Finally the prototypes are sent back to the designers for functional testing. So the manufacturer, in this dissertation, actually includes mold designer, rapid prototyping engineer, and injection molding engineer.
Designer Manufacturer
Mold build by RP
Injection Part
Figure 1.6 Processes of Using Direct AIM Tooling to Build Prototypes. As described in (Jacobs, 1996), a designer is required to do the data preparation for using Rapid Tooling. That is, the designer should send a fabricatable CAD model (usually in STL file format) to a manufacturer. If some features of the part design are found inappropriate for the manufacturing process, the designer is required to change the features according to the feedbacks given by the manufacturer. Often, many iterations of changing are required before satisfactory prototypes can be fabricated. Some tasks, like the mold design for a given part, are elaborate and difficult for the manufacturer, especially if the part is designed without considering the manufacturing requirements. By using RP machines, the fabrication of mold pieces may only take one or two days. However, it may take one week to generate a qualified mold design that is 9
compatible with the RP machine and the injection molding machine. Some requirements given by the designer (such as tight accuracy and surface finish) may make the mold design and process planning rather difficult, or even impossible. Whenever the designer is required to modify the part design, the manufacturer needs to go through the whole processes (mold design, RP process planning, and IJM process planning) again for the new part design. Therefore, two kinds of problems are identified in the current usage of Rapid Tooling, which may significantly impede the applications of Rapid Tooling in the product development processes. (1) Several steps in the processes of using Rapid Tooling may take a long time. In the phase of part design, a designer often spends a lot of time in DesignforManufacture (DFM) step in order to get a fabricatable part design. The task of DesignforManufacture proves to be a heavy burden for designers since most designers are still not familiar with Rapid Tooling requirements. Even worse, as a new kind of manufacturing method, Rapid Tooling is developing so quickly that no accurate information about how to design for Rapid Tooling is available on any published handbooks. All these factors may make the DesignforManufacture step take a long time. In some cases, it even makes designers hesitate to use Rapid Tooling because of the unfamiliarity with the DFM. The mold design for a given part also proves to be an elaborate and difficult job for the manufacturer. For example, designing the parting lines and surfaces for a mold is one of those thankless industrial jobs that requires intelligence and experience but isnt the least bit interesting or fun. (CAD/CAM Publishing Inc., 1999) Even worse, the mold design step may repeat several times whenever the part design is changed. Materialise (www.Materialise.com), a leading Rapid Prototyping provider, once gave a report named Data Preparation as a Bottleneck, which stated that: The actual production time of the rapid tool insert varies from 15 to 35 hours, and the post processing takes around 20 to 40 hours of work. Where traditional tooling uses 8 to 10 weeks to make the tool, rapid tooling does the job in one to two weeks. The cost benefit of rapid tooling compared to traditional tooling is about 25% to 30%. However, the leadtime necessary for obtaining the tool design lays a shadow over the time and cost benefits of the rapid tooling process. The leadtime from part design to tool design can be more than three weeks, which eliminates the time and especially the cost benefits of the rapid tooling process. (2) The iterations of design changes may take a long time. Since most designers are not familiar with the Rapid Tooling technologies, some requirements of a part design may be unreasonable, or even out of the capability of the RT technologies. Whenever these factors are identified in the mold design and process planning phases, the designer is notified to change them according to the feedbacks given by the manufacturer. Sometimes, negotiation between designer and manufacturer is necessary. It is well known that the two types of engineers do not speak the same language, a situation which has often been described by saying that design engineer do not bother to speak to manufacturing engineers and just throw their drawings over the
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wall separating them. Currently many Rapid Tooling facilities are located at Service Bureaus (Wohlers, 1999), which are separated from designers geographically and organizationally. This makes communication between designer and manufacturer even more difficult. Thus we believe Rapid Tooling will never be rapid if the designer still needs one or two weeks to modify his/her design to facilitate Rapid Tooling process after initially submitting the design, and the tool design for the given part will take another week before the mold can be fabricated. Therefore the key question to be investigated in this dissertation is: How to reduce the leadtime in the usage of Rapid Tooling to produce functional prototypes for a part design? Being related to the two problems identified in this section which cause long leadtime in the application of Rapid Tooling, this question can be answered in two levels: (1) How to reduce the time of several timeconsuming steps? and 2) How to reduce the number of iterations between the designer and manufacturer? To effectively answer these two questions, research opportunities in design for Rapid Tooling are discussed in Section 1.2.4. Based on the opportunities, the research questions and related hypotheses are presented in Section 1.3. In the next section, the motivating project (RTTB) of this research is presented to provide a context and foster a better understanding of the DFM method to be presented in this dissertation. 1.2.2 Motivating Project Rapid Tooling TestBed
The research in this dissertation is motivated by the Rapid Tooling TestBed (RTTB), which is sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF DDF DMI9618039). The RTTB is intended to be an experimental testbed that supports exploration of design and designformanufacture issues related to rapid prototyping and rapid tooling for injection molding (Allen and Rosen, 1997; Rosen, 2000). It supports the design of parts and molds, the selection of prototyping technologies and vendors, and the fabrication of those parts and molds. As depicted in Figure 1.7, the RTTB is divided into three stages: the design stage, the design for manufacture stage, and the manufacturing stage. During the design stage, requirements are entered into the testbed. These requirements consist of a part representation along with the design specifications for the part. In the DFM stage, suitable part and mold materials, rapid prototype technologies, and injection molding technologies, are selected for the fabrication of both the injection molding tooling and the part. In addition, the injection molding tooling is designed and the part is tailored to facilitate the manufacturing of both the mold and part. The final stage involves the actual manufacturing of both the tools and the part. The work in this dissertation is related to geometric tailoring and generation and selection of mold configuration, which are marked in black lines in Figure 1.7. Before these two modules, the appropriate material and process have been determined for the given part (Herrmann and Allen, 1999).
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Manufacture
Part Representation
Geometric Tailoring Generation & Selection of Mold Configuration Mold Fabrication Part Fabrication
Design Specification
Event Timeline
Figure 1.7 RTTB System and My Focus. As a result of the RTTB project, customer of the rapid tooling testbed will receive nearly productionrepresentative components in a variety of polymer, ceramic, and metal materials within 34 days of submitting a product model. Related to RTTB project, challenges and the related research approaches are discussed in the next section. 1.2.3 Challenges of RTTB and My Research Approach
The Rapid Tooling TestBed is intended to assist a designer in obtaining useful prototypes for his/her part design, where useful means that the prototype mimics some desired production characteristics. A part given by the designer may have different kinds of shapes. The designer may care about different kinds of production characteristics and requirements. Therefore, the research in this dissertation is not considering the application of Rapid Tooling for a part or just one kind of parts. Instead general methods for handling different kinds of part designs are explored. To develop these methods, two challenges of RTTB are identified in this dissertation. (1) A part may have a wide variety of geometries. To implement different design functions, a part designed by the designer may have different geometries. Figure 1.8 shows some industrial parts considered in this dissertation. It is quite obvious that different designs require different shapes. In Section 1.2.1, the first problem identified by the author in the current usage of Rapid Tooling is that several steps, especially the mold design step, take a long time. One reason for the problem is the wide variety of possible geometries that a part may have. Because the mold design is tightly related to the shape of the part, the manufacturer may need to spend a long time in this step.
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Figure 1.8 Different Geometries of Some Industrial Parts. (2) A part may have a wide variety of design requirements. A designer can have a wide variety of design requirements for the part design. Related to the different geometries in the part, there are different kinds of variables and parameters. Also the attributes or design goals are quite different according to the design functions. For example, the production characteristics of a part can be the maximum stress, or the deflection of a feature. In addition the designer may give requirements such as cost, time, surface finish and accuracy of some important surfaces. 13
In most situations, the designers preferences on these design requirements are quite different. So the customer of RTTB can be classified in different categories with the most frequently asked question they may have as shown below: Some care more about time: How soon I can get my parts? Some care more about tolerance: What tolerance can be achieved for specified design features? Some care more about cost and tolerance: How are the tolerances correlated with cost? Some care more about functions: What will be the material properties, internal stresses, etc.?
This list goes on. It is quite obvious from the list that the tradeoffs between the different design requirements are an important consideration in the RTTB system. In Section 1.2.1, the iterations between the designer and manufacturer are identified as a problem in the current usage of Rapid Tooling. These iterations mean the designer and manufacturer need to make tradeoffs between their requirements. This is rather difficult and timeconsuming. The author believes one reason for this problem is the lack of tools to help the designer and manufacturer to make the tradeoffs between their requirements. Therefore, the research approaches to be presented in this dissertation are based on Computational Geometry and Decisionbased Design, which correspond to the challenges of wide varieties of geometries and design requirements respectively. (1) Mold design based on Computational Geometry. For the wide variety of geometries considered in the mold design, the author believes that the computer can aid the manufacturer to dramatically reduce the time needed in this step. Whenever the designer changes the part design slightly, the manufacturer should be able to repeat the mold design in even less time. Solving geometric problems with the aid of computer requires carefully designed geometric algorithms and data structures, which are exactly the research areas of computational geometry. Computational geometry emerged from the field of algorithms design and analysis in the late 1970s. It has grown into a recognized discipline partly due to the advent of powerful computers, and the explosion of application domains computer graphics, geographic information system, robotics, computer aided design and manufacture in which geometric algorithms play a fundamental role. According to (Goodman and O'Rourke, 1997), computational geometry means the study of geometric problems from a computational point of view, including computational complexity, computational topology, and questions involving the combinatorial complexity of arrangements and polyhedra. Computational geometry and the research opportunities in mold design are further analyzed in Section 1.2.4. Based on the analysis, the research questions and related hypotheses on mold design are presented in Section 1.3.2.
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(2) DesignforManufacture based on DecisionBased Design. The cost, leadtime and quality of injection molded parts are tightly related to the part design, mold design, and fabrication process planning (Pye, 1989; Rosato and Rosato, 1995). These tight interrelations make the tradeoffs between the wide variety of design and manufacturing requirements rather difficult to make. In this dissertation, the fabrication process planning, in which the manufacturing parameters and variables are determined, is considered as a design process to distinguish it from the actual fabrication process itself. So the main design processes of using RT to get the prototypes include part design, mold design, RP process planning, and IJM process planning. Currently these design processes are sequential. That is, mold design is started after the designer fixes all the part design variables and sends the CAD model of the part to the manufacturer. Similarly, the RP process planning needs the mold design before it starts, and the injection molding process planning needs the information of part design and mold design. These sequential processes can be shown in Figure 1.9.(a) as one of the product development spirals.
Better Part Design
Attributes
Function Cost Time Quality, etc
Part Design
Testing
Designer
Manufacturer
Injection Molding Process Planning
Functional Prototypes
Figure 1.9 Design for Rapid Tooling. In the above sequential design processes, the designer and manufacturer make decisions about part design variables, mold design variables, RP process variables, and IJM process variables. These decisions will affect the attributes such as cost, time and function of the prototypes, as shown in Figure 1.9.(b). So from the viewpoint of decisionmaking, the author believes the decisions in each design process are not necessarily sequential or in the same order as that of the information flow. To some extent, they should be integrated or concurrent because of the interrelations between the variables. The work presented in Chapter 5 and 6 is toward this direction. In this dissertation, the framework of DecisionBased Design, DBD, is used for describing the part realization process. In DecisionBased Design, decisions serve as markers to identify the progression of a design from initiation to implementation to termination. In DBD, decisions represent a unit of communication; one that has both domaindependent and domainindependent features (Shupe, 1988; Mistree et al., 1989).
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By approaching design from the perspective of making decisions, it becomes possible to envision a unified approach for designformanufacture problem, which is further analyzed in Section 1.2.4. Related to the research approaches used in this dissertation, research opportunities in mold design and designformanufacture are identified in the next section. 1.2.4 Research Opportunities in Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
Considering the two challenges of the Rapid Tooling TestBed, the research approaches used in this research are presented in the last section. In this section, the opportunities for making contributions in mold design and DesignforManufacture are further discussed before the research focus is presented in Section 1.3. Mold Design for Different Geometries A mold is a highly sophisticated design that consists of several components for even a very simple part. A typical layout and descriptions of parts in the mold is shown in Figure 1.10. The function of the mold is threefold: injecting the plasticized plastics in the desired shape, solidifying the injecting molding part (cooling for thermoplastics and heating for thermosets), and ejecting the solidified parts out of the mold. Correspondingly, the mold has five sets of components: (1) the components for injection (e.g. sprue bushing); (2) the cavity and core; (3) the components for cooling (e.g. cooling channels in core and cavity); (4) the components for ejection (e.g. ejector pins and ejector
plate); and (5) the components for assembling other parts in the machine (e.g. leader pins). The components of core and cavity are to form the shape of the part. Therefore they are the most important component in the mold design. To design such a mold for a part with varied geometries is a rather complicated process involving several steps. The author classified the main steps as shown in Figure 1.11 which are based on the handbooks of (Rees, 1995) and (Rosato and Rosato, 1995). They are simplified as sequential processes although some steps may actually be parallel and some loops may exist.
Determine impression number in a mold Determine mold type (integral/ insert) Determine Parting directions
Determine external and internal side actions and movement requirements, if any
Add ancillary items (guide bushes, guide pillars, spure bush, etc.)
Figure 1.11 Mold Design Process and My Considerations. The mold design process is divided into two phases: configuration design and detail design. The mold configuration design includes the selection of parting direction, parting surface, ejection method, feeding method, and cooling method. These selections significantly affect the mold cost and DFM features. The mold detail design is mainly to construct the mold pieces according to the mold configurations. CAD systems like Pro/Mold and SolidWorks can help mold designers to reduce the time in this phase.
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In prototype tooling, many components of the mold are standardized. Specifically, the usage of interchangeable mold inserts into a standardized mold base, or master frame, significantly simplifies the mold design. The inserts encompass the mold core and cavity, from which parts are molded. The master frame contains standardized components, such as the ejector system, gating, nozzles, and builtin water jackets for cooling. Standardizing these components in the master frame eliminated much of the work associated with design and manufacturing the components in a new mold. Figure 1.12 is a picture showing the master frame used in Morgan Press at RPMI with a SLA mold insert.
Ejector Plate
Figure 1.12 Standardized Master Frame Used in Morgan Press at RPMI. The usage of the standardized master frame saves time in several steps including the design of sprue, runner, ejection pins, and cooling lines. However, the design and construction of the mold inserts (core and cavity for twopiece mold) are still timeconsuming due to the varied geometries of a part. Several commercial software systems have been developed to aid mold designers in designing mold inserts. However, these software systems are mainly on mold construction instead of mold configuration design. And lots of improvements are expected from mold designers. In (Beckert, 1999), Steve Sivitter, vice president of Delcam International Inc., gives suggestions for mold design software according to their survey of mold designers as below: Moldmakers look for design software that allows core and cavity surfaces to be separated automatically and that can automatically determine the natural parting line for shapes and use that curve to create the split surfaces. Because plastic parts must have sloping surfaces to be removed from the mold, software must also be able to check, create or modify the draft on surface models. Whats more, software should also allow for even multisurface, variable radius fillets to be created quickly and easily. 18
Therefore, the configuration design of parting direction, parting lines, and parting surface, and the construction of mold pieces are investigated in this dissertation. They are shown in Figure 1.11 enclosed with thick boundary lines. Another technique in prototype tooling that is also considered in this research is multipiece molding. Being different from twopiece molds, multipiece molds are the molds that contain more than two mold pieces. Each mold piece can be handloaded into a mold base mounted on the injection molding machine platens. During mold injection and part cooling process, the molds are accurately and securely clamped into the holding device. Finally each mold can be handremoved from the mold base to release the part. Although the technique is only suitable for producing a small number of parts, it can fabricate the prototypes of parts with more complicated geometries. An example of multipiece molding, which is provided by Protoform GmbH is shown in Figure 1.13. The injection molded part has several undercuts (features that would prevent the part from ejection out of the mold), therefore it cannot be formed by only two mold pieces.
Figure 1.13 A Multipiece Molds for a Part Given by Protoform GmbH. Since multipiece molds have more than a pair of opposite parting directions, it is more difficult and timeconsuming to generate a good mold design. The author believes the design for multipiece molding also provides plenty of research opportunities. Therefore,
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it is proposed to develop a systematic approach from geometrical perspective to automate several important mold design steps, including selecting parting directions, parting lines, and parting surfaces, and constructing mold pieces for multipiece mold design. The MultiPiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM) is developed in this dissertation to address this question. The MPMDM and its associated steps are introduced in Section 3.1 and 3.3. The associated system (Rapid Tooling Mold Design System) is introduced in Section 4.1. DesignforManufacture for Different Requirements Designformanufacture (DFM) is concerned with understanding how product design interacts with the other components of the manufacturing system and in defining product design alternatives which help facilitate global optimization of the manufacturing system as a whole (Stoll, 1991). In the past 10 years the area of DFM is under intense investigation. A large number of DFM methods and tools have been developed in various manufacturing domains for a part design. Although there are a number of ways to categorize these approaches, the author will use four categorization methods (analyzing approach, design modification scope, measure of manufacturability, and responsibility of DFM) to identify research opportunities for the usage of Rapid Tooling. More detailed descriptions on some of these approaches are presented in Section 2.5. (1) Analyzing approach. Based on what analyzing approach may be taken, the DFM approaches are classified roughly as follows: Rulebased approaches. In these approaches, rules are used to identify infeasible design attributes from direct inspection of the design description. A typical example of the rulebased approaches is the guidelines in a handbook. These guidelines enumerated design configurations that posed manufacturability problems. The designer had to carefully study these guidelines and avoid these configurations that resulted in poor manufacturability. Planbased approaches. In these approaches, manufacturing plans for the design are generated first. If there is more than one possible plan, then the most promising plan should be used for analyzing manufacturability.
Rapid Tooling has several manufacturing operations. Therefore it is rather difficult to formulate design guidelines and to determine the manufacturability of a design directly from the design description. Thus the planbased approach is more suitable for Rapid Tooling. (2) Design modification scope. A part design usually consists of three kinds of requirements. First is the basic shape of the part, or topology. Most parts are shaped the way they are for a specific reason. Second is the geometry, or parametric values of the part. Third are other requirements, including fit (e.g. tolerance, accuracy), function (e.g. materials, physical and mechanical
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properties, thermal properties, electrical properties), appearance (e.g. color, texture, and contour), time, cost, safety and environmental issues. Different DFM approaches focus on different design requirements. So they can be classified according to their design modification scopes. For example, if the guidelines in a handbook focus on the design configurations, then the design modification scope is the topology of the part design. The design requirements that need to be tested in the functional prototypes produced by Rapid Tooling varied, including the form, fit, function, and appearance. In this dissertation, the design modification scope of the DFM approach includes geometry, tolerance, accuracy, physical and mechanical properties, time, and cost. The changing of the part shape or topology is not considered in this research. (3) Measure of Manufacturability. Based on the scales on which manufacturability is measured, the DFM approaches are classified as follows (Gupta, et al., 1995): Binary measures. The approaches using this manufacturability rating simply report whether or not a given set of design attributes is manufacturable. Qualitative measures. Designs are given qualitative grades (such as poor, average, good, or excellent) based on their manufacturability by a certain production process. Abstract quantitative. This type of approaches involves rating a design by assigning numerical ratings along some abstract scale, for example a manufacturability index between 1 and 10. Time and cost. In general, a designs manufacturability is a measure of the effort required to manufacture the part according to the design specifications. Since all manufacturing operations have measurable time and cost, this type of approaches use time and cost as an underlying basis to form a suitable manufacturability rating.
For the approaches based on the measure of manufacturability by binary measures, qualitative measures, and abstract quantitative, it can be difficult to interpret the measures or to compare and combine them. However, the ratings based on time and cost can easily be combined into an overall rating. Since several requirements are considered in this dissertation and the tradeoffs between them should be made, the measure of manufacturability by time and cost is more suitable for Rapid Tooling. (4) Responsibility of DFM. According to the people who are responsible for DFM, the DFM approaches are classified as follows. Designerbased approaches. In several DFM approaches, it is taken for granted that the designer takes the full responsibility of DFM. In these approaches, the purpose of DFM is to ensure that the designer considers manufacturing issues during the design. (Dissinger and Magrab, 1996) So this type of approach tries to developed tools from design guidelines to automated manufacturability analysis systems, which are to be used by the designer. However, automated analysis 21
meets difficulties if a part or a manufacturing process is complex. It is rather difficult, if not impossible, to formulate all manufacturers experience and decisions into rules and algorithms. Approaches based on an integrated team of designer and manufacturer. Ideally designer and manufacturer should cooperate in DFM problem. Concurrent Engineering (CE) advocates designers to work with manufacturing engineers during the design process. However, these approaches are more on organizational structures and information sharing than on integration of decisions. The author believes the collaborations between the designer and manufacturer are not guaranteed even if they can work as a team. More importantly, a coordination method and a uniform decision framework need to be developed for the collaborative decisionmaking. Manufacturerbased approaches. Recently much of the research on DFM has looked to the VLSI (very large scale integrated circuits) community because of the tremendous success of the VLSI industry. A group of researchers in a NSF workshop on structured design methods observed that a clean interface, which separate design efforts at increasingly high levels of abstraction from the growing complexities of the fabrication processes, is the key to the rapid success of the VLSI development (Antonsson, 1996). That is, a VLSI designer does not have to fully detail his/her design; a process compiler will fill in the processdependent details. So in this kind of approach, the designer actually transfers part of the burden of DFM for a fabrication process to the manufacturer.
The Rapid Tooling TestBed is partly motivated by developing approaches to achieve a clean interface between the designer and manufacturer for Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling processes (Allen and Rosen, 1997; Rosen, 1998). The research presented in this dissertation also proceeds in this direction. Since the objective is to develop productionrepresentative prototypes, part of the DFM for Rapid Tooling is actually designforprototyping. The author believes these DFM tasks (Geometric Tailoring which is defined later) can be transferred to the manufacturer. In doing so, it is important to develop an approach and a system to aid the manufacturer to integrate design and manufacturing requirements, and to gain a better understanding of the tradeoffs between these requirements. As a summary, a DFM approach, which is based on process planning, considering the tradeoffs of many design requirements, and executed by the manufacturer, is explored in this dissertation for Rapid Tooling process. But the current state of research does not address the issues of how to transform DFM to the manufacturer and how to integrate DFM with the process planning in the manufacturer side. Therefore, it is proposed to develop a formal, technical approach founded in DecisionBased Design to tailor a submitted part design according to both product and process considerations for Rapid Tooling process. In light of the DFM approach explored in this dissertation, the following definitions for geometric tailoring and design for Rapid Tooling are offered to provide a context for the remainder of the dissertation.
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Geometric Tailoring, in this dissertation, is to change the geometry of a part to lower fabrication cost and time, and to produce functional prototypes to mimic the production functions, because the material and fabrication process to get molds and parts are different from those in producing products. Geometric Tailoring is actually part of designformanufacture. Design for Rapid Tooling, in this dissertation, is the integration of the requirements of geometric tailoring, mold design, and fabrication process planning to make decisions on their variables for producing the prototypes of a part design.
Considerations on Topology, Assembly, etc. Geometric Tailoring (Chp 5) Mold Design
Figure 1.14 Relations of DFRT, DFM and Geometric Tailoring. The relations of Design for Rapid Tooling (DFRT), DesignforManufacture and Geometric Tailoring are shown in Figure 1.14. The research work related to Geometric Tailoring is elaborated in Chapter 5, and the research work related to DFRT is presented in Chapter 6. With the research opportunities identified and two definitions presented, the focus of this dissertation will be described in the next section. 1.3 RESEARCH FOCUS IN THE DISSERTATION The research focus in this dissertation is embodied as follows: a set of research questions that captures motivation and specific issues to be addressed, !" a set of corresponding research hypotheses that offers a context by which the research proceeds, !" a set of verification studies performed in this work, and !" a set of resulting research contributions that embody the deliverables from the research in terms of intellectual value, a repeatable method of solution, limitations, and avenues of further investigation.
!"
The research questions are presented in Section 1.3.1 along with the corresponding research hypotheses and related tasks. The validation strategy for this work is presented in Section 1.3.2. The resulting research contributions are introduced in Section 1.3.3. 23
1.3.1
The principal goal in this dissertation is the development of methods to reduce the leadtime in the usage of Rapid Tooling to produce functional prototypes for a part design. The principal research goal is to be achieved by two subgoals: 1) To reduce the time of several timeconsuming steps in mold design, and 2) To reduce the number of iterations between the designer and manufacturer. As discussed in the previous section, Computational Geometry and DecisionBased Design provide the foundation on which this work is built. Given these foundations and goals, the motivation for this research is embodied in two primary research questions which are stated as follows. Primary Research Questions: Q1. How to aid the mold designer to reduce the mold design time for a wide variety of part geometries in the design for Rapid Tooling process? Q2. How to reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer in the usage of Rapid Tooling for a wide variety of design requirements? These research questions are related directly to the subgoals in this research. The following hypotheses are investigated in this dissertation in response to the primary research questions. There is a onetoone correspondence between the hypotheses and primary research questions. Hypothesis 1: MultiPiece Mold Design Method provides a method to automate several key steps of the mold design process, which can greatly reduce the mold design time for a wide variety of part geometries. Hypothesis 2: Geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling can be integrated with process planning based on decision templates and solved by the manufacturer, which can reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer. Since Questions 1 and 2 are quite broad, three supporting research questions and subhypotheses are proposed to facilitate the verification of Hypothesis 1. Three supporting research questions and subhypotheses are proposed to facilitate the verification of Hypothesis 2. The supporting questions and subhypotheses for Hypothesis 1 are stated as follows. Q1.1. What are appropriate basic elements to automate several mold design steps for a wide variety of part geometries? Q1.2. How to generate mold configurations by a systematic design process based on the basic elements? Q1.3. How to generate mold pieces from a given mold base effectively and efficiently according to a mold configuration design? SubHypothesis 1.1: Concave region and convex face are two kinds of basic elements that provide an efficient and effective approach for exploring and developing molds design method for Rapid Tooling.
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SubHypothesis 1.2: The Region based combining process and related algorithms provide a systematic method to generate mold configurations of multipiece molds design. SubHypothesis 1.3: The Reverse Glue Mold Construction Method and related algorithms provide an efficient and effective method for constructing multipiece mold designs for Rapid Tooling. There is a onetoone correspondence between the supporting questions and subhypotheses. Although developed for Rapid Tooling, subhypotheses 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 also have implications on the mold design for the production injection molding (refer to Section 3.4, 3.5 and 3.6). The second hypothesis is related to the DesignforManufacture problem for Rapid Tooling. The supporting questions and subhypotheses for Hypothesis 2 are stated as follows. Q2.1. How to reduce the iterations between the designer and manufacturer in producing functional prototypes that have different material properties from products? Q2.2. How to formulate the design for Rapid Tooling problem which integrates decisions on design and manufacturing variables and other design and manufacturing requirements including goals, constraints, and preferences? Q2.3. How to solve the design for Rapid Tooling problem effectively and efficiently? SubHypothesis 2.1: The designer can initiate a material geometric tailoring (MGT) formulation based on a MGT decision template; therefore the manufacturer, who completes and solves the MGT problem, can produce productionrepresentative prototypes more quickly. SubHypothesis 2.2: The design for Rapid Tooling problem can be formulated by several compromise DSPs and tasks, which can then be integrated into a design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS). SubHypothesis 2.3: A threestage solution process can be utilized to get a satisficing solution effectively and efficiently based on design and manufacturing models and continuous/discrete variables. The research questions and hypotheses provide a frame upon which the different developments and contributions from this research will be achieved. The relationship between the hypotheses and the various sections of the dissertation are summarized in Table 1.1. Verification and validation of the issues are discussed in the next section, and testing of the individual hypotheses commences in Chapter 3, lasting until Chapter 6. Further verification of the hypotheses comes from application of the Rapid Tooling Mold Design System and Design for Rapid Tooling System on producing prototypes for two industrial parts. The application of the systems is presented in Chapter 7 and 8. Chapter 9 contains a review of verification of hypotheses. In the next section the strategy for hypotheses validation in this dissertation is presented. 25
Table 1.1 Relationship Between Hypotheses and Dissertation Sections Hypothesis and Tasks
H1. Geometric reasoning algorithms for mold design H1.1 Basic elements and related algorithms H1.2 Region based combining process and related algorithms H1.3 Reverse Glue Mold Construction method and related algorithms H2. Designformanufacture method for Rapid Tooling H2.1 Material geometric tailoring formulation and solution H2.2 Design for Rapid Tooling problem formulation H2.3 Design for Rapid Tooling solution Process
Section Tested Chap 4 Chap 7 Chap 8 4.4, 4.5, 7.2, 8.2 4.4, 4.5, 7.2, 8.2 4.4, 4.5, 7.2, 8.2 Chap 5 Chap 7 Chap 8 5.5, 7.3, 8.3 7.3, 8.4 7.4, 8.5
3.4 3.5 3.6 Chap 5 Chap 6 Chap 5 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 6.4, 6.5
1.3.2
According to Simpson (1998) the validation process for engineering design "is to show the research and its products to be sound, well grounded on principles of evidence, able to withstand criticism or objection, powerful, convincing and conclusive, and provable." The validation of a design method can be difficult and therefore a validation strategy needs to be developed carefully. Referring to a validation strategy developed by (Pedersen, 1999), Siddique presented a validation strategy in his dissertation (Siddique, 2000) to test a Product Family Reasoning System (PFRS). The validation strategy is sound, and therefore is adapted in this dissertation to test RTMDS and DFRTS. The argument of this dissertation is embodied in a structure characterized by research questions, hypotheses, and hypothesistesting (the Scientific Method). In the context of Natural Science, research questions refer to observations (articulating the truth), hypotheses refer to explaining the observations (understanding the truth), and hypothesistesting refers to validating the explanation (accepting knowledge about the truth). Hence, in the context of Engineering Design, hypothesistesting becomes the vehicle by which new scientific knowledge is accepted and added to the current pool of knowledge. This ties the research validity discussion strongly to a fundamental problem addressed early in epistemology and later in the philosophy of science: what is scientific knowledge, and what constitutes confirmation of a knowledge claim? Pedersen (1999) discusses the answer to this question from two major philosophical schools: the Reductionist / Formalist / Foundationalist school and the Holistic / Social / Relativist school. 26
Research validation is asserted to be a process of building confidence in its usefulness. As stated the purpose of this research is to develop the Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) and Design for Rapid Tooling System (DFRTS) to facilitate producing functional prototypes for a set of part designs, which may have wide varieties of geometries and requirements. The usefulness of the RTMDS and DFRTS is associated with whether the method is effective and efficient. Pedersen (1999) partitions the validation process into (1) Qualitative Process and (2) Quantitative Process. Structural Validation A Qualitative Process (Adapted from Pedersen, 1999) Effective is referred to as being structurally valid. In context of design method validation, this implies three things. It implies (1) accepting the correctness of the individual constructs constituting the method; (2) accepting the internal consistency of the way the constructs are put together in the method; and (3) accepting the appropriateness of the examples / case studies that will be used to verify the performance of the method. The validity of the method constructs individually and integrated deals with the structural soundness of the method in a more general sense, and is therefore denoted as Theoretical Structural Validity. The validity of demonstrating the method with the chosen case studies deals with the structural soundness of the method for some particular instances, and is therefore denoted Empirical Structural Validity, and both validity are evaluated qualitatively. Performance Validation A Quantitative Process (Adapted from Pedersen, 1999) Efficient is referred to as being valid from a performance perspective. In the context of design method validation, this implies three things. It implies (1) accepting that the outcome of the method is useful with respect to the initial purpose; (2) accepting that the hypothesized constructs are contributing to making the outcome useful; and (3) accepting that the usefulness of the method is beyond the case studies. The validity of the method performance and the outcome performance which is based on documenting the usefulness for some particular instances, is denoted Empirical Performance Validity. Similarly, the validity of the method performance and the outcome performance which is asserted beyond some particular instances, deals with generality and is therefore denoted Theoretical Performance Validity.
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To perform the validation in a systematic manner Pedersen (1999) introduced a "validation square" (Figure 1.15). The validation square is applied in this dissertation to test the hypotheses. More specifically: (1) Mathematical proofs and constructions of tools used in different steps of the RTMDS and DFRTS will be used to provide structural validation. (2) Partial performance validation of the hypotheses will be performed by determining the usefulness of the different mathematical tools on simple examples. (3) Further performance verification of the RTMDS and DFRTS will be provided using integrated case studies. In the mold design problem, math models of basic elements and their combining process will be developed. Some of the properties of these math models will be formally proven to provide theoretical structural validation of RTMDS. Mathematical construction of the tools along with some of the wellmatured mathematical concepts, used in both mold design and DFM problems, will provide partial structural validation of the hypotheses. Simple examples are used to test the usefulness of the mathematical tools and the algorithms developed for mold design and DFM problem of Rapid Tooling. Although these examples will be simple, results obtained from applying developed tools and algorithms will be used to validate the performance of RTMDS and DFRTS. Two case studies are implemented to further validate the performance of RTMDS and DFRTS, and to validate and verify this research. The two case studies are: A robot arm design A camera roller design
Hypotheses 1
Theoretical Performance Validity Theoretical Structural Validity Empirical Structural Validity Empirical Performance Validity
X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
Hypotheses 2
Theoretical Performance Validity Theoretical Structural Validity Empirical Structural Validity Empirical Performance Validity
Validity of hypotheses 1 and 2 is addressed in different chapters of the dissertation, which are summarized in Table 1.2. With the validation strategy for this dissertation presented in this section, the contributions from this research are presented. 28
1.3.3
Rapid Tooling technologies enable the injection molding of near productionrepresentative prototypes (accuracy and material properties, etc.) to be made within less time and in a lower cost. But the current state of research does not address the issue of how to reduce the leadtime in the usage of Rapid Tooling. The basic idea of this work is that by using mold design methods, mold inserts for a given part can be designed quicker; and by using designformanufacture methods, the time of iteration between designer and manufacturer can be reduced. The hypotheses and subhypotheses, taken together, define the research presented in this dissertation and hence the contributions from the research. Contributions related to Computeraided Mold Design: A problem definition for multipiece mold design and a solution process for the formulated problem. The notions of concave region and convex face in mold configuration design and a means of generating them for a given part. A combining approach to generate regions from the basic elements based on linear programming and mold design knowledge. A mold construction method based on the reverse glue operation and a geometric reconstruction problem for any mold base. A demonstration of transferring part of DFM responsibility (geometric tailoring) to the manufacturer is feasible for Rapid Tooling. The development of design decision templates which are used as the digital interface between the designer and manufacturer for Geometric Tailoring problem. The development of an integrated system for Design for Rapid Tooling problem and a solution process with three stages. A tool to aid the mold designer in designing molds for a part design. An integrated system to aid the manufacturer to change part design and process planning according to design and manufacturing requirements. Several industrial cases are investigated in the system which is important components of the Rapid Tooling TestBed.
This being the first chapter of the dissertation, these contributions cannot be substantiated; therefore, they are revisited in Section 9.2 after all of the research findings have been documented and discussed. An overview of the dissertation is presented next.
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1.4 OVERVIEW OF DISSERTATION To facilitate this discussion, an overview of the chapters in the dissertation is shown in Figure 1.16. Having been lain the foundation by introducing the research questions and hypotheses for the work in this chapter, the next chapter contains a literature review of research related to different product family avenues. Research areas that are reviewed include: (1) mold configuration design methods (Section 2.2); (2) mold construction methods and tools (Section 2.3); (3) CAD representation (Section 2.4); (4) DesignforManufacture strategies and approaches (Section 2.5); and (5) design technologies (Section 2.6). A discussion on how these concepts relate to the overall objective of the
Chapter 1 Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling # # # Chapter 2 A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture # # Intorduction, Motivation, Foundation Research question, hypotheses
Problem Identification
Review different mold design methods from existing literature Review different DFM methods and solving techniques Present technological foundations
# # # # #
Problem definitions and steps of MPMDM Basic elements and generation method Combining critera, process and algorithms Mold construction method and algorithms Implementation, limitation and test examples Provide proof of concept and initial verification of method Modeling of Geometric Tailoring Design decision templates with design representation Proof of concept and initial verification of method Modeling of DFRTS MPGT decision template and problem A solution strategy and process for DFRTS
Development of Method
# # # #
# # #
# #
# #
Closure
# #
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dissertation is presented in Section 2.1. The general objective and steps of MultiPiece Mold Design method are presented in Chapter 3. Section 3.1 gives an overview of the problem definition, highlighting the issues and design steps associated with the method. The basic elements of MPMDM and an approach to generate them are presented in Section 3.2. The criteria and algorithm for combining the basic elements into regions are discussed in Section 3.3. Finally, a mold construction method based on the reverse glue operation and glue faces reconstruction is presented in Section 3.4. In Chapter 4 the implementation and initial testing of the mold design methods and algorithms are discussed. The overview of RTMDS including software tools, modules and limitations are presented in Section 4.1. Two simple test examples are discussed in Section 4.4 for the partial testing of the system. Three more complicated industrial cases are presented as the further verification of the RTMDS in Section 4.5 followed by a summary of the system presented in the chapter (Section 4.6). Material geometric tailoring problem for Rapid Tooling is presented in Chapter 5. The properties of Rapid Tooling are discussed in Section 5.1. Related to the principle of functional testing and similarity methods, the fundamentals of geometric tailoring are presented in Section 5.2. Material geometric tailoring and MGT decision template are discussed in Section 5.3. The usage of the MGT decision template, including formulating function properties and solution approaches, is presented in Section 5.4. Three test examples are discussed in Section 5.5 for the partial testing of the method. After the material geometric tailoring study is completed in Chapter 5, the design for Rapid Tooling problem, which consists of geometric tailoring, mold design and process planning, is discussed in Chapter 6. An overview of the DFRTS is presented in Section 6.1. Software tools related to the modules of the system are introduced in Section 6.2. The problem formulation of design for Rapid Tooling is presented in Section 6.3. Based on the solution process for the DFRTS described in Section 6.4, a comparison of the current usage of RT and DFRTS is provided in Section 6.5. Application of RTMDS and DFRTS to a robot arm and a camera roller to illustrate the use of the method in mold design and DFM is presented in Chapter 7 and 8 respectively. For each case study, an overview of the problem is given along with pertinent analysis information, the steps of the methods are performed, and the ramifications of the results are discussed. Chapter 9 is the final chapter in the dissertation and contains a summary of the dissertation, emphasizing answers to the research questions and resulting research contributions in Sections 9.1 and 9.2, respectively. Limitations of the methods and possible avenues of future work are discussed in Section 9.3 and Section 9.4. Finally, some closing remarks are given in Section 9.5. A pictorial overview of the dissertation is illustrated in Figure 1.17. It proceeds from bottom to top, beginning with the foundation provided in this chapter: Computational Geometry and DecisionBased Design. This figure provides a road map for the dissertation, and it is referred to at the end of each chapter to help guide the reader through the work as the research progresses from chapter to chapter.
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Part Design
Parametric CAD Model of Part A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System Part Design Requirements
(Chp3 & 4)
(Section 6.3)
The Designer's MPGT Problem Formulation
Given Part Design Find Design Parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minimize Deviation
(Section 6.2.1)
B. RP Process Planner
Surface Finish Accuracy Cost Time
(Section 6.2.2)
C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer
(Section 6.2.3)
E. Rapid Tooling Cost Predictor
Time Cost
Processor
Tailored Part Design and related Mold Design, RP and IJM Process Parameters
CDSP Template
Chp 4: RTMDS and its Usage Chp 6: Design for Rapid Tooling
Part P F1 F3 F2 F4 F6 F8 F5 F7 Part P
PD1
Part P F1 F9
F9
(1)
Fn
F3 F2
F6 F8 F5 F7 Fn
(2)
F4
Mold Base
F1 F3 F9 F6 F5 F8 Fn Rk R3
R1 F2
M1 (3)
PD1
2 F
1 F 3 F
Given An alternative to be improved throughmodification; Assumptions usedto modelthe domainof interest. The systemparameters: n number of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints p equality constraints q inequalityconstraints m number of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function fk(di ) function of deviation variables to be minimizedatpriority level k for the preemptive case. Find Values for the systemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n  + Values for the deviation variables di , di i = 1, ... , m Satisfy Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear) gi(X) = 0 ; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear) Ai(X) + di  di+= Gi ; i = 1, ..., m Bounds i = 1, ..., n Ximin Xi Ximax ; Deviationvariables di, di+ 0 ; di. di+ = 0 ; i = 1, ..., m Minim ize Preemptive deviation function(lexicographic m inimum )
Z =[ f1(di,d+ ),..., fk(di, di+ )] i
PL1
M2
PD2
F4 R2
PD2
PL2
F4
F5 F7
Mk
n F
Z = !W (d + d+ ) w here i i i
!W = 1, W 0
i i
F7
CAD Representation
DFM Strategies
Design Techniques
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
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CHAPTER 2
In this chapter a survey of relevant work in different aspects of mold design and designformanufacture will be presented. In Section 2.1 a more thorough description of how the research topics covered in this chapter are relevant to this dissertation is provided. Mold configuration design methods proposed by different researchers for determining parting directions, parting lines, parting surfaces, and undercut features are presented in Section 2.2. Mold construction methods and commercial mold design software systems are investigated in Section 2.3 for constructing mold pieces. A review of representation and manipulation methods of solid models is presented in Section 2.4. Highlevel CAD representation methods are also discussed in this section to provide a background for the decision templates in Chapter 5. Different DFM metrics and methods are presented in Section 2.5. The difficulties associated with these methods are also highlighted. Three design technologies, the DecisionBased Design, Compromise DSP, and Robust Concept Exploration Method, are reviewed in Section 2.6. They provide foundation for the design for Rapid Tooling system in Chapter 6. In the final section of this chapter (Section 2.7), a summary of the material presented and a preview of what is next are provided.
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2.1 TOPICS IN CHAPTER In Section 1.2 motivation to mold design and designformanufacture (DFM) was given along with the foundations of the research approaches used in this dissertation. In this chapter a literature review on different topics related to mold design and designformanufacture will be presented (Figure 2.1). Topics covered are: (1) Mold configuration design methods: Methods used to determine parting directions, parting lines, parting surfaces, and undercut features, have been presented by different researchers. They are reviewed in this section as a starting point for developing a multipiece mold design method. This topic is related to Hypotheses 1.1 and 1.2. (2) Mold construction methods and tools: Methods used to construct mold pieces have been identified and reviewed. Several commercial mold design software systems are also investigated on their splitting approaches. This topic is related to Hypothesis 1.3. (3) CAD representation: Both the representation and manipulation of solid models are reviewed. They provide a base for developing a computeraided mold design method and related algorithms. The solid modeling approaches are related to Hypotheses 1.1 to 1.3. In this section highlevel CAD representation methods are also investigated to provide a background for decision template, which is related to Hypothesis 2.1. (4) DFM strategies and techniques: Both processoriented methods and informationorientation methods are reviewed. The DFM approaches in VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits) design are also investigated to provide a background for the DFM system developed in this research. The DFM approaches provide a background for Hypothesis 2.1 and 2.2. (5) Design technologies: Several design technologies, including the DecisionBased Design, Compromise DSP, and Robust Concept Exploration Method, are reviewed. They provide foundation for the design for Rapid Tooling system, which is related to Hypotheses 2.2 and 2.3.
H1 (H1.1, H1.2, H1.3) H2 (H2.1, H2.2, H2.3)
CAD Representation
DFM Strategies
Design Technologies
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
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With the importance and relationships of the topics covered in the literature review highlighted, Mold configuration design methods are discussed in the next section. 2.2 MOLD DESIGN METHODS AND ALGORITHMS The methods by which information is extracted from the model for use by the mold design software can be collectively termed geometric reasoning. There appears to be no definitive accepted definition of geometric reasoning, although the term has been used for the last fifteen years or so. Woodwark (1989) explained it in the following manner. While computer graphics and image processing have been with us for thirty years or so, and look like mature disciplines, it is really only the algorithmic processes that have been computerized. There are many more complex, less easily pinneddown things that are still want to do with shape information and cannot. In the organization of this conference, we called these activities Geometric Reasoning. Jared, et al., (1994) give a refined definition of Geometric Reasoning as the process by which application requests related to geometric properties and attributes are satisfied from a geometric properties and attributes are satisfied from a geometric model using both inferential and algorithmic method. Geometric reasoning is one method of providing answers for solving variety of geometries in design for Rapid Tooling. In this and the next section some geometric reasoning methods on automatic mold design are presented based on literature survey. The automation of mold design for injection molding process is studied in many publications. However, works scatter in the determination of parting direction, parting line, parting surface, and undercut detecting individually. In this section, the reviewed works are arranged according to their focused area in the mold design. The definitions of parting direction, parting line, paring surface and undercut are given in mold design handbooks (Rosato and Rosato, 1995), and hence not repeated here. 2.2.1 Parting Direction
In the determination of parting direction, there are mainly three kinds of approaches. (1) Compute the exact global accessibility cones based on Vmap. A representative problem formulation of this approach is given by Chen, et al., (1993). It formulates demoldability as a visibility problem. A notion of visibility map (or Vmap) of surfaces is presented to define the possible parting direction for pockets of the given part, which are some spherically convex polygons. By computing the intersection of Vmaps, the problem of finding a pair of parting directions that minimizes the number of cores is transformed to find a pair of antipodal points p and p that maximize the number of Vmaps which contain either p or p. Based on this formulation, several papers presented other approaches for the selection of parting directions of mold (Weinstein and Manoochehri 1996; Vijay, et al., 1998). Visibility map is also used in other areas like NC machining (Woo, 1994; Gupta, et al., 1996). The basic element of the approach is a pocket, which can be generated by subtracting a part from its convex hull, or by testing adjoining surfaces as shown in (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996). 35
(2) Compute the exact global accessibility cones based on automatic molding feature recognition. Gu, et al. (1999) use a universal hintbased feature recognition algorithm to recognize all features of a molded part. Their features included holes, steps, pockets, protrusions, etc. Different feature types have their candidate parting directions (CPD) stored in the system. Finally each CPD is evaluated using an object evaluation function and the CPD with maximum evaluation value is selected as the optimal parting direction of the part. Fu, et al. (1999) classify undercut features (features that prevent the removal of a part from the molds along the parting directions) as Inside Internal Undercut, Outside Internal Undercut, Inside External Undercut, and Outside External Undercut. Based on the undercut feature characteristics and geometric entities (threeedge, fouredge and more than fouredge), algorithms to recognize them are presented in the paper. More recently, Yin, et al. (2001) present their approach to construct core and cavity based on the recognized undercut features. For a given part, a volumebased feature recognition method using nondirectional blocking graph is developed to recognize undercut features. Then the optimal parting direction is determined by minimizing the number of undercuts for different candidate parting directions. Krishnan (1997) describes automated twopiece and multipiece mold design for injection molding. The part is constructed by stacking 2.5D primitives called Centities along the Z direction through either a Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) or Destructive Solid Geometry (DSG) operation. Since the primitives considered are only 2.5D solid that are stacked along the Z direction, the complexity of the part is limited. The parting surface directions are also constrained to be along the Xaxis or Yaxis direction. Dhaliwal, et al. (2000) described a featurebased approach to automated design of multipiece sacrificial molds which are to be manufactured by CNC machining. However, how to separate mold from the part is not considered since the author considered only sacrificial molds, which can be destroyed after the part has been produced. (3) Compute approximate global accessibility cones by sampling a set of discrete directions. Hui and Tan (1992) heuristically generated candidate parting directions from normal vectors of planar faces and from centerlines of holes and bosses. Two criteria, the blockage factor and the performance value, are used to determine the main parting direction and subsidiary parting direction. To evaluate the geometry of an undercut, Hui (1996) developed a partitioning scheme to subdivide the cavity solid of a component along a given direction. In the search for main and side core directions, the search space is the set of all normals to individual faces of the object and the opening of cavity solid. A search tree is built for side core selection. Urabe and Wright (1997) selected three principal coordinate directions as the candidate parting directions, then calculate the number of undercuts, the projected area, the number of cone surface for each candidate direction and used them as major mold
36
factors to determine the main parting direction. This approach was limited to simple 3D parts. Lu and Lee (2000) proposed an approach for analyzing the interference element and release direction in die cast or injection molded components. First a threedimensional raydetection method is used to recognize and extract the interference elements. Then distribution of the release directions can be computed, and the candidate release directions can be prioritized based on the minimization of the number of side cores. Review of Methods: Three kinds of approaches are reviewed in this section. It is well know that feature recognition of a part is rather difficult, especially as feature interactions are rather important in the multipiece mold design. Sampling a set of discrete directions cannot guarantee that a suitable mold design will be find. Therefore this research will utilize the approach of computing the exact global accessibility cones based on Vmap. However, the basic elements used in this research are different from those of the reviewed approaches. 2.2.2 Parting Line
There are few published works on the determination of parting lines. Pye (1989) suggested that the parting lines should be around the position of maximum dimension of a product when viewed in the draw direction of an injection molding process. The basic element in judging parting lines is part faces in all the approaches. Also in the approaches, either the parting direction is already set, or the parting direction will not cause any undercuts (because of convex polyhedra). Tan, et al. (1988) proposed a parting line generation method for a triangular subdivision of the product models surfaces. In the method, a draw direction is selected first. Then, the algorithm triangulates and classifies the surfaces into visible faces and invisible faces. Since the parting lines are located in the outermost and the innermost boundaries of the product model when viewed in the draw direction, they are those edges on the product model separating the visible faces from the invisible faces. The limitation is that it does not apply to models with nondrafted faces (faces parallel to the mold opening direction). Ravi and Srinivasan (1990) proposed the sectioning and silhouette methods for parting line generation. The section method locates the parting line by computing the intersection of the product model with a plane normal to the draw direction. The silhouette method is capable of dealing with nonplanar parting surfaces. It projects the product model onto a plane normal to the draw directions to obtain the projected boundary of the product. The projected boundary is then swept back along the draw direction. The intersection between rays from the projected boundary and the surfaces of the product model form portions of the parting line. Serrar (1995) developed a semiautomatic method for selecting parting loops. In this method, the user first selects an edge from the parting loop. Then the system finds the branches (adjacent edges), and successively highlights these branches until the user confirms which branch belongs to the parting loop. This process is repeated until the loop is closed. 37
Wong, et al. (1996) used a slicing strategy to locate the parting lines of a product model along a draw direction. A recursive uneven slicing method is developed to locate several parting surface for further evaluation. The approach is primarily proposed to deal with freeform surfaces in product design. Majhi, et al. (1999) discussed the problem of computing an undercutfree parting line that is as flat as possible in mold design for a convex polyhedron. Two flatness criteria for parting lines are given and algorithms are presented to compute a parting line based on the criteria. Review of Methods: In the reviewed approaches, the parting directions have already been determined. Therefore the parting lines are determined only for the given parting direction. Also only two mold pieces were considered in these approaches. In this research, a mold design method is developed in which parting lines and parting directions are determined at the same time. The method is also suitable for multipiece mold design. 2.2.3 Parting Surface
Parting surface is the surface separating the mold halves. Ganter and Truss (1990) introduced a method for locating parting surface based on a set of evenly distributed points lying on the surface of a sphere enclosing the object. Ravi and Srinivasan (1990) presented a comprehensive decision model for selection parting surfaces. A total of nine criteria were used, including projected area, flatness, draw distance, draft, number of undercuts, volume of flash, and dimensional stability. They presented algorithms for most of these criteria, but did not present deterministic algorithms for generating a variety of candidate parting surfaces or parting directions. Although it was not automated, the comprehensiveness of their approach aids designers in decision making. Tan, et al. (1988) presented a parting surface generation method by projection. After getting the parting lines for a given parting direction, the algorithm creates planar parting surface elements for each edge of the outer loop generated by a convex hull algorithm. Therefore the whole parting surface of the mold is segmented and not in one plane anymore. This approach is simple, however, the results do not fit with the molding heuristics, that is parting surface is better to be planar to increase the shutoff force. Nee and coauthors present the core and cavity creating approach of IMOLD@ (Nee, et al., 1998; Nee, et al., 1999). After the parting lines are determined, all the parting edges are classified into different groups and their extruding directions are determined. The parting surfaces are the unions of the surfaces by extruding the parting edges to the boundary of the core and cavity in directions perpendicularly outwards to the parting direction. Review of Methods: Although several methods have been proposed for the determination of parting surface from parting lines, none of them explored theoretic foundations of generating parting surfaces. In this research, the generation of parting surface (in this dissertation they are called glue faces because of the reverse glue operation) is transformed into a 38
geometric reconstruction problem. A formal problem formulation and several algorithms are also presented. 2.2.4 External and Internal Undercut Detection
Undercut is one of the most important considerations in the mold design. Several methods are developed for their recognition from given CAD models. Hui and Tan (1992) choose points on the edge of a solid as a set of test points. These test points are then checked for obstruction in the direction considered. A technique that is similar to that of hiddenline removal is used. A semiinfinite ray that originates from the point is cast in the parting direction under evaluation. A series of test points are then generated on the ray to decide if the point is obstructed. Rosen (1994) focused on finding undercuts and determining whether or not they are external or internal. The shadow casting approach is used to find undercuts. However, no parting lines are considered. So the results are actually only potential undercuts. Shin and Lee (1993) developed a procedure to identify the interference faces between the product and the mold from the core plate (or cavity plate) alone without considering the product. Based on the results, an algorithm based on Euler operation is developed to generate the side cores and the corresponding core and cavity plates of a mold. In the approach, core plate need to be specified by a designer and glued to the generated cores manually. Fu, et al. (1999) presented undercut feature definition, classification, parameters and the recognition criteria. It classified undercut feature as Inside Internal Undercut, Outside Internal Undercut, Inside External Undercut, and Outside External Undercut. Based on the undercut feature characteristics and geometric entities, algorithm for classification and recognition are presented. Stefano (1997) propose an approach based on the analysis of the topology of concave object parts to identify and extract features from a solid model representation for casting process. Two topological invariants are defined for feature classification. Extracted features can then be used for automatic core pattern development and mold design. Review of Methods: Undercuts are main considerations in the determination of mold design. In this research they are considered in the combination criteria in the mold design process. Therefore no feature recognition algorithms are considered, which saves a lot of work. 2.2.5 Synthesis Approaches of Basic Elements
As stated in Section 2.2.1, the approaches for determining parting directions used different basic elements, which include pockets (Chen, et al., 1993; Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996; Vijay, et al., 1998), features (Gu, et al., 1999; Lu and Lee, 2000; Yin, et al., 2001), and faces (Hui and Tan, 1992; Urabe and Wright, 1997). All the approaches use a similar synthesis approach to evaluate a parting direction. That is, (1) For each candidate direction dk, V(dk) = ! weight_factori mold_factori;
i
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(2) Parting direction d: V(d) = Min [V(dk)]. In Step (1), mold factors are some rules used to determine the parting directions, which may include number of undercuts, projected area, draft angles, etc. Weight factors distinguish the importance of one mold factor relative to another. The assignment of these weight factors is based on how the corresponding mold factor affects the cost, quality, and productivity of the mold. Depending on how to evaluate mold factors, there are two kinds of approaches. (i) Evaluate mold factor for each pocket/features. In (Chen, et al., 1993), candidate directions are the directions computed from the Vmap of pockets. Only one mold factor, number of undercuts, is considered. So the mold factor for each candidate direction is actually the number of Vmaps that do not contain the candidate direction. In (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996; Lu and Lee, 2000; and Yin, et al., 2001), a similar approach is used in evaluating parting directions. Besides number of undercuts, Gu et al. (1999) also considers the projected area and thickness of the molded part, which are evaluated based on the bounding box of a part. Since face connectivity and faces that do not belong to pockets or features are not considered in these approaches, they can explore the combinations of pocket/feature rather quickly, usually with the aid of visibility map. However, this may cause problems in constructing mold pieces for nonconnected faces. Also if we want to consider more mold design knowledge, we need to add more mold factors. Since several mold factors like minimal draft angle are also related to faces that do not belong to pockets or features, it is not clear how they should be added. (ii) Evaluate mold factor for all faces. In this approach, mold factors are evaluated for all faces. So more mold factors can be considered. Urabe and Wright (1997) consider boxed area, projected area, number of nohidden faces, number of undercuts and cone surfaces. Hui and Tan (1992) consider number of undercuts and projected area. A more comprehensive decision model is presented in (Ravi and Srinivasan, 1990) for the selection of parting surfaces for casting parts. A total of nine factors were used, including projected area, flatness, draw distance, draft, number of undercuts, volume of flash, and dimensional stability. Related approaches and expressions for most of these criteria are also presented. Since it is quite timeconsuming to test these mold factors for all faces, only a small number of candidate parting directions or parting surfaces are considered in these approaches. Urabe and Wright (1997) consider the principal axis directions as the candidate directions. Hui and Tan (1992) consider the normals of planar surfaces and the axis of a cylindrical or helical surface as the candidate directions. Review of Methods: In this research the first synthesis method is used. However, the basic elements used in the mold design process are different from pockets or features, as discussed in Section 3.4.2. In the synthesis process mold design knowledge is also considered in this research.
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2.2.6
Intersection of VMap
Woo (1994) defines Visibility Map (Vmap) from Gauss Map to formulate the visibility problem. For a planar surface F, the Vmap of F is a hemisphere centered on the unit outward normal. So the Vmap of a region is the range formed by the intersection of the allowable draw ranges for each individual surface (Figure 2.2.a). By calculating the intersection of Vmaps, the range of feasible solutions can be represented as a subset of a spherical surface.
Feasible withdrawal directions CR Drawrange
(b) A Case given in (Dhaliwal et al., 2000) Figure 2.2 Two Examples of Vmap. Since all Vmaps and their intersections are calculated on spherical surfaces, several approaches and algorithms based on spherical polygons have been presented for different applications (Chen and Woo, 1992; Woo, 1994; Gupta, et al., 1996; Kweon and Medeiros, 1998). Using the central projection to convert a spherical problem to a planar one, Chen and Woo (1992) present four spherical algorithms, which include detection of convexity on the sphere, computation for spherical convex hull, determination of the spherical convexity of a union, and the intersection of hemispheres. They are used in numerical control (NC) machining planning. Kweon and Medeiros (1998) utilize Vmap to represent accessible directions for measurements of tolerance. The concept of Vmap dimensionality is proposed to provide a method of clustering Vmaps. Related algorithms and data structures are presented and tested for CMM inspection.
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The algorithms and related data structures to calculate the intersection of Vmaps on spherical surfaces are rather complicated. Typically, computations take long time especially for a complex part. As an example, most recently Dhaliwal, et al. (2000) present an algorithm for computing exact global accessibility cones for various faces of a polyhedral object. One example given in the paper, which is shown in Figure 2.2.b, would take 77 minutes on a Sun Ultra10 workstation. Balasubramaniam, et al. (2000) developed a method by taking advantage of computer graphics hardware to generate 5axis roughing tool paths directly from a tessellated representation of a body. Graphics cards make use of the depthbuffer implemented using hardware to perform fast hidden surface removal and render the object in a given scene. If all the individual faces on the object have been assigned different colors, then the accessibility of each face in a given direction can be detected by rendering the object using the given direction as the viewing direction, and querying the colors that appear on the pixel map after rendering. Review of Methods: The idea of Vmap is also used in this research. However, the calculation of draw ranges is omitted. Instead a parting direction is calculated directly from the given faces by solving an optimization problem. The optimization problem is further simplified by approximating the spherical surface by a set of triangles. Therefore the intersection of Vmaps of a set of faces can be determined by solving a linear problem. The approach present in this research is much easier and quicker than the spherical algorithms presented in the reviewed approaches. 2.2.7 Detection of NonDrafted Surfaces
Surfaces parallel to the parting direction must be drafted at least a minimum draft angle for injection molding process (Rosato and Rosato, 1995). In order to guarantee a fully drafted model, it is critical to automate the detection of nondrafted surfaces. Relatively few published works cover this topic. Serrar (1995) presents a nondrafted surface detection algorithm for a given part. In his approach, the parting direction is given as the input. So the only task is to find faces with outward normals forming an angle between 90omin_draft_angle and 90o+min_draft_angle with the parting direction. However, since draft angle of a face is tightly related to a given parting direction and parting lines, it is better to detect nondrafted surfaces in the determination process of parting direction and parting lines. Review of Methods: In the reviewed approaches, the parting direction is given as the input, which greatly simplifies the problem. In this research, the detection of nondrafted surfaces is integrated with the determination of parting direction and parting lines, which is more general and useful. After the methods on computeraided mold configuration design are presented, the methods and commercial tools on mold piece construction are described in the next section.
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2.3 MOLD CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND TOOLS After parting direction and parting lines are selected (Section 2.2), mold designer can use general CAD software such as Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, and CATIA to construct mold halves manually. However it is a tedious process that takes a long time. Currently two approaches are proposed for automatically splitting the core and cavity inserts for twopieces mold design. 2.3.1 Approach Based on Extending Parting Lines
A mold base can be cut into two pieces by a parting surface. For parting lines not in a plane, Tan, et al. (1988) presents a parting surface generation method. After getting the parting lines for a given parting direction, an outer loop and inner loops are generated. A convex hull algorithm is applied to the outer loop. Each edge of the hull is projected to an adjacent side face of the mould block. The projection direction is perpendicular to the parting direction but parallel to the surface normal of the side face of the mould block. All planar faces generated by projecting hull edges can form a parting surface for the part. Shin and Lee (1993), Serrar (1995) and Nee, et al. (1998) use a similar approach to form the parting surface to split mold base into two halves. Review of Methods: This approach is quite straightforward. Extending the given parting lines outward into faces can split mold base into two mold pieces. However, for nonflat parting lines, the parting surface generated by this approach is also not flat. This is not accordant with the best practice of mold design, that is parting surface is better to be planar to decrease the manufacturing complexity and to increase the shutoff force to reduce material flash (Ravi and Srinivasan, 1990). For example, for a part as shown in Figure 2.3.a, one mold piece generated by the approach of extending parting lines is shown in Figure 2.3.b, and the mold piece generated by algorithm Two_Mold_Piece_Generation (Section 3.6.3) is shown in Figure 2.3.c. Compared with the mold piece in Figure 2.3.b, the mold piece in Figure 2.3.c is cheaper to fabricate because of less benchwork, and its parting surface has higher accuracy and surface finish. Consequently we can expect less material flash in its injected parts.
(a) A part
Figure 2.3 A Part with Mold Pieces Generated by Two Approaches. 2.3.2 Approach Based on Sweeping
Conceptually removing an injected part from a mold in a parting direction is similar to sweeping part faces in the same parting direction. Hui and Tan (1992) described an 43
algorithm using sweep operations and Boolean operations to generate mold core and cavity. First sweeping the mold part in the parting direction to generate a solid. Then using two mold plates to subtract each end of the solid can generate two mold pieces. The algorithm does not consider the internal parting lines. So for a shape with a through hole, the algorithm will not generate the desired mold pieces. Urabe and Wright (1997) also presented a mold construction method based on the sweeping of FACE_STRUCT into BODYs. Then they are united with plates and mold walls to form core and cavity. Review of Methods: The sweeping approach has two problems: (1) The mold construction process takes a long time by sweeping each face and doing Boolean operations with mold plates, especially for a complex part. For example, for an industrial part with normal mesh size as shown in Figure 4.26, there are more than 5493 faces. Among them if only half faces need to be swept, it is quite easily to take several hours to generate the mold pieces by a PC machine. (2) It is well known that Boolean operation for coincident geometry is a very difficult problem. Most CAD packages still cannot handle it properly, especially for the subtraction of two bodies with many vertices, edges or faces in exactly same positions. So although the sweeping approach is theoretically feasible, one may meet problems related to Boolean operations in the implementation of the approach. 2.3.3 Industrial Approach
Currently there are several commercial mold design software systems that can automatically split core and cavity for a part. The author investigated six leading systems as listed below. For each system, an example is given to show the splitting approach it uses. (1) MoldWizard Unigraphics/MoldWizard is a highly automated product for designing plastic molds. It incorporates industry best practices to guide users through the steps required to construct a mold. Some brief steps for constructing core and cavity for an industrial part are shown in Figure 2.4. First parting lines for the given part are identified by the interactive input from designers (Figure 2.4.b). Then for each parting edges a sweeping direction is specified and parting surfaces are generated (Figure 2.4.c). These parting surfaces together with others generated from inner loops can cut mould box into two mold pieces. Figure 2.4.d shows one of the mold pieces.
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(2) Magics RP Materialise (www.materialise.com) develops a Rapid Tooling module in its Magics RP system, which automates the design of the insert tool. Figure 2.5 shows an example generated by the system. (3) IMOLD IMOLDTM is a supplementary program for Unigraphics and SolidWorks. It has a module, Core/Cavity Builder, to handle the paring of cores and cavities for both solid and surface product models. An example generated by the system is shown in Figure 2.6.
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(4) Moldplus Moldplus (www.moldplus.com) is a supplementary program for Mastercam. It can generate parting surfaces for given parting lines. Figure 2.7 shows an example of parting surface. (5) QuickSplit QuickSplit is a splitting tool developed by Cimatron Ltd. (www.cimatron.com) that can separate core and cavity with sliders and inserts. Figure 2.8 shows an example generated by the system.
(a) Part
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(6) VGXTM Core/Cavity Design VGXTM Core/Cavity Design is the mold design model of IDEAS. An example part and its mold design are shown in Figure 2.9. Nee (1999) presents the generation approach of parting surface used in IMOLD, which is based on extending parting lines. For other systems, the author did not find any published works related to their splitting approach. However, according to the mold results generated by the systems, it seems that all the systems use the approach based on extending parting lines. Test reports for each system are not given by its software company nor found in any published works. Hogarth (1999) describes a test done by Minco Tool & Mold (Dayton, OH) to split a part with more than 5000 faces. The splitting process by Unigraphics/MoldWizard took four hours. In the same article, Cimatron claims a 90% saving of core/cavity splitting time by using QuickSplit in projects that used to take 20~40 hours. Although not the same part nor computer, an industrial part with 5493 faces, which is shown in Figure 4.27, was tested with a splitting approach to be presented in Section 3.6. The splitting process took less than 1 minute. Review of Methods: According to the mold design results given by the companies, the approach based on extending parting lines is used in all the reviewed software systems. Consequently the disadvantages of the approach of extending parting lines (Section 2.3.1) can be found in these systems. 2.4 CAD REPRESENTATION The CAD representation of parts is a critical element in this research. In a computer aided mold design method, a part design need to be represented by some data structures and manipulated by some algorithms. Also the generated mold pieces for the part should be represented in CAD models. Besides the shape of a part, the design features and design intents are also critical in a designformanufacture system. The decisiontemplate proposed in this dissertation (Section 5.3) is actually a highlevel CAD representation of a part design. Therefore, the CAD representation of a part design is reviewed in this section. The representation and manipulation of 3dimensional surfaces and volumes are studied in the field of solid modeling, which is a critical element in a growing number of application areas, including CAD/CAM, robotics, simulation, analysis and graphics. Conceptually, work in solid modeling has proceeded in three levels of abstraction (Hoffman, 1989): 1. Symbolic and arithmetic foundations represent the lowest level of abstraction and are concerned with the computer hardware support of integer and floating point arithmetic as well as with the abilities of a programming language to express computations and manipulate memory. Examples include the development of data structures and handling of issues of mathematical robustness. 2. Mathematical and algorithmic infrastructure describes the fundamental operations as implemented in the foundation above. Examples include operations for 48
creating solid, for performing interference tests among solids, and for developing efficient algorithms for basic manipulations. 3. Application and user interface is the highest level of abstraction, focusing on the development of applications in terms of the infrastructure created by the above. Mold design is primarily concerned with problems that lie in the second category. Decision template is concerned with problems that lie in the third category. There are numerous important concepts from the core solid modeling literature that are directly relevant to the work described in this dissertation. The remainder of this section very briefly reviews some solid modeling concepts and terminology which will be used throughout this dissertation in particular, concepts concerned with manipulation and representation of solid models. Some related work on highlevel CAD representation is also provided. For more indepth coverage of the field of solid modeling, readers can refer to the texts by (Mantl, 1988; Hoffman, 1989; Mortenson, 1997; and Woodwark, 1989), as well as papers of (Requicha and Rossignac, 1992; and Miller, 1989). The classic text on computer graphics of (Foley, et al., 1990) also covers solid modeling and its relationship to graphics and rendering. For information regarding commercial solid modeling systems, readers can refer to the product and reference information for Spatial Technologies ACIS modeler (www.spatial.com) as well as the EDS/UNIGRAPHICS Parasolid solid modeling kernel (www.ugs.com). 2.4.1 Representation of 3D Surfaces and Solids
Solid modeling systems are able to distinguish between the inside and outside of the object. This capability distinguishes solid modelers from wire frame models, which store only enough information to describe the edges bounding an object. There are three broad classes of schemes for representation of solid models (Mantl, 1988): 1. Decomposition approaches that model a solid as collections of primitive objects connected in some way. Examples of these data structures include Quadtree for twodimensional objects and octree for solid objects. 2. Constructive approaches that model a solid as a combination of primitive solid templates. The most famous constructive approach is Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG). CSG adopts the building block approach to solid modeling in its pure form. The user of a CSG modeler operates only on parameterized instances of solid primitives and Boolean set operations on them. The part is stored in the database as a tree in which the leaves of the tree correspond to primitives and the nodes correspond to the Boolean operations. 3. Boundarybased approaches that model a solid using a data structure that represents the geometry and topology of its bounding faces. A face is bounded by edges, and edges are bounded by two vertices. Parts are stored in the database as a linkedlist of vertices, edges, and faces. The database must store information about the connectivity of the faces and the equations defining the geometry of the faces.
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Currently the boundaryrepresentation (brep) approach has emerged as the dominant representation scheme in solid modeling and CAD systems. This is due in large part to the representational power and flexibility of boundary models, as well as to recent advances in numeric computation that overcame earlier problems with models becoming unstable and inconsistent. The three object types (face, edge, and vertex) form the basic constituents of boundary models. Correspondingly there are polygonbased, vertexbased and edgebased boundary models. Among them, one of the most popular brep structures is the WingedEdge representation and its variations. A basic idea in this representation is the introduction of coedges. A coedge records the occurrence of an edge in a loop of a face. Coedges have partner pointers that point to the other coedge list associated with the edge. An example of a simple part is shown in Figure 2.10. Normally an edge is adjacent to two faces; therefore, the edge has two coedges, each associated with a loop in one of the faces. The two coedges always go in opposite directions along the edges.
Figure 2.10 Coedges of a Part. The work described in this dissertation assumes a boundaryrepresentation solid model represented in wingededge data structure. A brep usually consists of a graphical structure that models an entitys topology. The connections between the nodes in the brep graph represent the connections between the topological components of the entitys boundary. These topology nodes then contain pointers to their underlying geometric entities; for example, a face of a solid is a topological entity (represented as a collection of bounding edges) and it has associated with its surface (represented as an equation). An illustration of the distinction between geometric and topological information from the ACIS Solid Modeling Kernel is given in Figure 2.11.
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Figure 2.11 The Distinction between Geometric and Topological Information within the ACIS Solid Modeler (Spatial Technology, 2000). In this research, only manifold solids are considered. Intuitively, a manifold solid is one in which each point on the boundary of the object has a neighborhood that is equivalent to a twodimensional disk. Practically, this means: (1) each edge belongs to exactly two faces; (2) each vertex is surrounded by one sequence of edges and faces; (3) faces intersect at common edges and vertices only; and (4) there is volume on only one side of a face. The manifold conditions also exclude solid whose bounding surfaces are selfintersecting. Nonmanifold objects can be of mixed dimension and may have vertices, edges, and faces that do not meet these requirements. Review of Methods: The representation method of solid models is considered in developing data structures for a mold design method. They also determine the capability of a mold design system in manipulating solid models. After the representation of a part is introduced, the manipulation of parts is presented in the next section. 2.4.2 Manipulation of Solid Models
This section briefly describes some of the common operators used to manipulate geometric and solid models. In addition to operators such as transformations, rotations,
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and scaling, there are additional functions specific to the nature of geometric modeling. These operations include Euler operations and Boolean operations, which are used in Chapter 3 and 4 in this dissertation. Euler Operators Based on the theory of plane models, Euler operators act on the topology of a boundary representation data structure. Starting from an idealized primitive solid consisting of one face and one vertex, one can create a solid through a series of local and global manipulations. Local manipulations can create (or delete) vertices, edges, and loops; global manipulations can be used to create (or delete) holes or to divide a body into multiple bodies. Gluing is a highlevel Euler operator, which can combine simpler solids to more complicated ones. For two 6sided cylinders (Figure 2.12), they can be glued into one along a pair of entirely coincident faces. The gluing operation consists three steps (Mantl, 1988): (1) the merging of two halfedge data structures into one data structure that has two shells; (2) the joining of the shells; (3) the merging of coincident edges and vertices of the face.
Figure 2.12 An Example of Gluing Operation. Boolean Operations. Solid models can be considered as bounded point sets. Boolean operations union (), intersection () and difference () can be defined on solid models based on their action on point set. For nonmanifold models we are interested in, regularized Boolean operations correspond to the counterparts of the ordinary Boolean operations. If A is a solid, i(A) is the interior of A (point set A minus its boundary) and c(A) is the closure of A (point set A plus its boundary); the regularized Boolean operations are defined as follows (Mantl, 1988): *, Union: *, Intersection: *, Difference: A*B = c(i(A* B)); A*B = c(i(A*B)); A*B = c(i(A*B));
Figure 2.13 Boolean Operations. The Boolean operations can also be represented as gluing operation. From the boundary classification of A and B, all their Boolean combinations are: , Union: , Intersection: , Difference: AB = A out B B out A; AB = A in B B in A; AB = A out B (B in A)1;
where denotes the gluing operation, and (B in A)1Examples denotes the complement of B in A, i.e., B in A with the orientation of all faces reversed. Review of Methods: Euler operators and Boolean operation are used in the mold design method to be presented in Chapter 3. The notations reviewed in this section will be used in the presentation of the mold design method and revisited in Chapter 3. 2.4.3 High Level Representations
As solid modeling has become better understood, increasingly sophisticated and robust solid modeling systems have emerged. Given that adequate solid modeling tools are available at ones disposal, one begins to ask questions such as: How should functionality be represented? In this section several highlevel representation methods are reviewed, which provide a context for the decision template to be presented in Chapter 5. Features and featurebased approaches have proven popular in a variety of CAD/CAM application domains. The concept of a feature attempts to reason about 53
design and manufacturing activities by modeling the relationship between the local geometric and topological configurations of a design and the higherlevel abstractions. In this way, semantic information can be conveyed along with the shape. Significant work has been directed toward featurebased design and manufacturability evaluation of part designs (Shah, 1991; Rosen, 1992; Regli, 1995; Shah and Mantyla, 1995). Currently most researchers are convinced that no single set of features can satisfy the requirements of every possible design and manufacturing domain (Regli, 1995). Generally a feature is regarded as a functional entity that is meaningful in certain domains. Different feature types exist. Some typical feature types include (1) form features, which are portions of the geometry; (2) precision features, which are deviations from nominal form, size or location; (3) technological features, which are nongeometric parameters related to the function or performance; (4) material features, which related to material properties; and (5) assembly features, which include part relative orientations, interaction surfaces, and fits. However most featurebased models address form features only (e.g. hole and rib). Rosen and coauthors (1994) proposed a computational framework, which was called GoalDirected Geometry, for early design stages. Tools for parametric geometry, variational modeling, and featurebased design were combined with a multiobjective optimization code to provide robust support for parametric design problems, where parameter values are desired that best meet a set of goals and constraints. Geometric and engineering models of a design are combined into a multiobjective optimization formulation in Compromise Decision Support Problem (DSP). This idea is extended in this research into the field of designformanufacturing. Recently integrating part design knowledge into a CAD model is a developing direction of mechanical design automation modeling. Parametric Technology Corp. (PTC), one of the worlds leading CAD companies, recently divided the mechanical design automation modeling into five generations. Initially, twodimensional drafting, then threedimensional wireframe modeling, and finally threedimensional solid modeling. The current fourth generation is the parametric featurebased modeling. The fifth generation is proposed and named by PTC as behavioral modeling (http://www.ptc.com/products/proe/bmx/index.htm). The basic idea of the behavioral modeling is to capture intelligence within features in the design side. Capturing productintent is taken as a natural part of the engineering process, and then automatically builds virtual prototypes that satisfy multiple objectives. It advances featurebased modeling to accommodate a set of adaptive process features that go beyond the traditional core geometric features. The intent and performance of the design are also modeled. To illustrate the behavior modeling, an example of a golf club design is shown in Figure 2.14 (www.ptc.com/products/proe/bmx/examples/golf_club.htm). "Forgiveness" and "feel" are two important characteristics in golf club design. Forgiveness refers to the sensitivity of a club to off center hits and is influenced by location of the center of gravity in the club head. Feel refers to the ease with which a golfer can comfortably swing the club and is influenced by "swingweight", the measurement of a club's weight distribution about a fulcrum point which is 14 inches from the grip end of the club. To solve the golf club design problem, analysis features are created to capture mass and the center of gravity of the head. To gain design insight to improving the forgiveness characteristics of 54
Figure 2.14 An Example of Behavioral Modeling (PTC). the club, a User Defined Analysis with a field point is created in this example to measure the twisting force, or torque, applied to the club face when a ball is hit off center. Sensitivity studies are then performed to determine the effect of toe thickness of the club head on the location of the center of gravity and twisting force. To gain design insight to improving the feel characteristics of the club a sensitivity study is performed to determine the effect of the flange thickness of the toe of the club head on the weight of the head. A final design is then identified through optimization studies. Zhu and Kazmer (1999; 2000) presented a performancebased representation approach, which is called Performance Orientation Chart (POC). POC is in the same format as House of Quality (HOQ) but has different contents. Performances of the design are visualized by relation figures. The designer can interactively develop the design solution to satisfy multiple specifications guided by these graphical matrices. Another interesting research work on transmitting CAD models from designers to manufacturers is presented in (Storti, et al., 1999). Motivated by recent advances in software development associated with object oriented programming style and data encapsulation, Storti and coauthors developed an approach to the transmission of part specifications for distributed solid freeform fabrication. Rather than translating a standard format of CAD model, the authors specified a set of public methods necessary for solid freeform fabrication. By specifying public members and methods that provide fabrication systems with all the information needed to build parts, SFF systems can build parts based on models constructed in any modeling environment for which the methods are available. 55
Future design technologies will shift from the geometrycentric view to the knowledgecentric view. Knowledge representations will play a larger role in the design process for creation of product and assembly models. In this research, the author uses a compromiseDSP (CDSP) formulation to formulate design knowledge, which is called decision template (Chapter 5) in this dissertation. A decision template can be linked with a parametric featurebased CAD model, and transferred from designers to manufacturers. Review of Methods: The highlevel representation methods are briefly reviewed in this section to provide a context for the decision templates to be discussed in Chapter 5. In Section 1.2.4, designformanufacture methods were briefly evaluated in order to identify research opportunities in design for Rapid Tooling. More detailed literature review on designformanufacture is presented in the next section. 2.5 DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURE: STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES The term design for manufacture, or DFM, is used to characterize efforts by design and manufacturing to improve the productprocess fit or to increase the degree to which the product and process are designed simultaneously (Susman, 1992). Accordingy to these two goals, the literature review on DFM is divided into two groups in this section. Improve ProductProcess Fit Today most information exchange between design and manufacturing occurs through informal human communication, often requiring several iterations to get a part right. Because of the drawbacks associated with this serial approach, design for manufacture (DFM) has received considerable attention. In order to improve productprocess fit, a dominant approach in field of DFM is to incorporate manufacturing concerns into the design process, with the goal of improving product quality, decreasing product cost, and reducing product development time. In essence, the purpose of this approach is to ensure that the designer considers manufacturing issues during the design stage. A DFM system related to this approach should guide the user through the design so that a part is compatible with a process or it should provide the user with feedback so that the user can decide if the part needs to be modified. The DFM system requires two primary components: (1) a means to evaluate the part for manufacturability and (2) the information needed to support the evaluation. Currently there are a number of mechanisms that can be used for manufacturability evaluation. One is to estimate the cost of a part. Cost estimation systems are available for a number of processes. Most of these systems are based on empirical cost models for the process and do not require a full threedimension model of the part. Additionally, these systems often require knowledge of the process not ordinarily possessed by the designer. For example, one cost estimating system for injection molding requires the user to know the injection temperature and pressure, the coolant temperature, and whether twoplate or threeplate molds will be used for the part (Poli, et al., 1988).
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A second approach for evaluating manufacturability is to apply manufacturing guidelines to the geometry of the part to identify attributes of the geometry that are difficult to manufacture. Often the guidelines are stated in terms of good and bad practices which are based on years of experience. Unless some measure of manufacturability is used, these systems do not enable two different part designs to be compared. Most leading handbooks on DFM, such as (Pye, 1989; Broothroyd and Dewhurst, 1991; Bralla, 1998), use this approach. A third approach for evaluating manufacturability is to perform a manufacturing simulating of the part and then to use the simulating to make redesign suggestions. For example, plastic part designers already practice this approach to some extent by modifying a part based on the results of flow simulations. Several commercial software systems are available such as Part Advisor and QuickFill, which are developed by Moldflow Corp. and CMold respectively. Each approach has a set of benefits and drawbacks associated with it. Cost estimation enables different parts to be compared and permits the comparison of parts produced by different methods. The application of guidelines to the part geometry can be accomplished at the design stage when the details are being generated. Simulation may best be applied after the part has been designed, when the detail design is completely known. Therefore many systems use a combination of the approaches. For example, Poli and his coworkers have developed DFM systems for forging (Knight and Poli, 1985), die casting (Poli and Shanmugasundaram, 1991), sheet metal stamping (Poli, et al., 1993), and injection molding (Poli, et al., 1988) based on a group technology approach. In this approach, cost drivers were identified and then associated with processing and tooling costs. Classification codes are associated with these cost drivers. Parts are then classified according to a multidigit code in order to provide their relative costs so that candidate configurations can be compared. These systems are not linked to a geometric model of the part. Instead, the users must fill out spreadsheets to define the cost drivers associated with the part. Besides the DFM metrics, a DFM method is any systematic procedure or strategy that search for, analyzes, evaluates, or improves the manufacturability of a design (Shah and Wright, 2000). DFM methods can be divided as the following:  Technological Feasibility: Can a given process manufacture a given design? Can we find a process from a finite set of processes to produce the desired design?  Economic Feasibility: Is it cost effective to produce a design in desired batch size by a given process plan? Can the desired quality be produced/maintained consistently by the process plan without a high rejection rate? What is the time to market if a given process plan is used?  Tradeoff Study/Optimization: Consideration of changes to design parameters to reduce manufacturing cost by a greater amount than the loss of design quality. The above DFM methods can be found in numerous literatures on DFM research for different manufacturing processes. For example, (Boothroyd and Dewhurst, 1989) studied the assembly process and proposes a Design for Assembly (DFA) method; (Sarma, et al., 1996) presented an integrated approach for a CNC milling process; (Lee, et
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al., 1998) presented a framework for concurrent process planning for injection molding process; and (Dissinger and Magrab, 1996) discussed design for powder metallurgy process. All these approaches largely depend on the characteristic of the manufacturing process. Similarly (van Vliet, et al., 1999) divided the DFM approaches into three phases: Verifying, qualifying and optimizing the product manufacturability. The approaches discussed before are in the categories of verifying and qualifying. In optimizing category Grace and Billatos (in Van Vliet, et al., 1999) proposed a redesign approach for optimization. In order to generate redesign suggestions, it is necessary to know the functionality of the part. For this purpose, El Maraghy, et al. (in Gupta, et al., 1995) used predefined functional features. Henderson, et al. (in Gupta, et al. 1995) developed a method for representing functionality semantically within a solid modeling system. Technologies from other research fields, such as neural networks and visualization, can also be utilized in DFM research. He, et al. (1998) presented an intelligent system employing fuzzy sets and neural networks, which is able to predict the process parameter resetting automatically to achieve better product quality. Seven commonly encountered injection molded product defects (short shot, flash, sinkmark, flowmark, weld line, cracking, and warpage) and two key injection mold parameters (part flow length and flow thickness) are used as system input which are described using fuzzy terms. On the other hand, nine process parameter adjusters (pressure, speed, resin temperature, clamping force, holding time, mold temperature, injection holding pressure, back pressure, and cooling time) are the system output. A backpropagation neural network has been constructed and trained using a large number of {defects} > {parameter adjusters} expert rules. They system is able to predict the exact amount to be adjusted for each parameter towards reducing or eliminating the observed defects. Lu, et al. (1997) presented a volumebased geometric reasoning and visualization approach to support design evaluation during preliminary design. The system extracted the underlying geometric characteristics which usually affect part quality or increase manufacturing difficulties from the part model. All the information is then presented to designers in a form which can be easily interpreted via visualization techniques. The presented system focused on thermal and flowrelated problems in die casting. With the development of Internet, several Internetbased DFM system have been developed. For example, an Internetbased design for Rapid Prototyping system is developed at Stanford University to use Rapid Prototyping effectively (Frost and Cutkosky, 1996; Rajagopalan and Pinilla, 1998). By formalizing RP process constraints as design rules, the system creates a clean interface to decouple design from manufacturing processes. Similarly, another webbased designformanufacture system named CyberCut is developed for 3axis CNC machining at the University of California, Berkeley (Sarma, et al., 1996; Wang and Wright, 1998). The system combines facilities for CAD model creation, computer aided process planning and NC code generation. However, in these methods, researchers have to formulate requirements of the investigated manufacturing process into knowledge (rule or algorithm), then develop software systems to allow designers to analyze manufacturability during the design stage. The approach seems to work well for processes with little requirements like rapid 58
prototyping and for conceptual design stage by using approximation codes. However, automated analysis meets difficulties if a part or a fabrication process (like Rapid Tooling) is complex. For a complex part, complex interactions of threedimensional geometries have largely prevented formalization of this knowledge. For a complex fabrication process, it is rather difficult, if not impossible, to formulate all fabricators experience and decision into rules and algorithms in the designer side. In the usage of Rapid Tooling in producing functional prototypes, designers have known functional requirements of a part before the prototypes are to be made. Therefore if the part design requirements are formulated understandable for the manufacturer, then the manufacturer may be in a better position to adjust the design to facilitate manufacturing without compromising its functionality. Design Product and Process Simultaneously Ideally designer and manufacturer should cooperate in DFM problem. Concurrent Engineering (CE), which is a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of products and their related processes, including manufacture and support (Winner, et al., 1988), was proposed to solve DFM problem. Over the years, numerous research efforts have been focused on different methods of integrating product and process planning (Prasad, 1996). While there are a number of ways to categorize these approaches, the categorization developed by Eversheim (1997) is: the first category is organizational structureoriented integration, which is based on the formation of multidisciplinary design teams, and enforced coordination. The second category is processoriented integration through parallel (as opposed to integrated) execution of design and process planning activities to reduce development time. The final category is informationoriented integration, which deals with the integration of computer based information to realize information flow between design and process planning through improving data exchange. In the category of organizational structureoriented integration, research is performed mainly from the management (Adler, 1992), social (Susman and Dean, 1992) and cultural context (Liker and Fleischer, 1992). Within industry, concurrent design often takes the form of Integrated Product Development Teams, compromise of representatives from all aspects of the product development process, who meet together to better design the product. However, it is well known that the two types of engineer dont speak the same language. Rosenthal (1990) observed one prerequisite for collaborative efforts to succeed is that there be effective technological capabilities for the focused assembly of information. Thus, even if designer and manufacturer can work as a team, a coordination method and a uniform decision framework are important for the collaborative decisionmaking. The approaches on the category of processoriented integration are discussed before and are not repeated here. In the category of informationoriented integration, Collaborative Engineering is proposed to cause product team members to consider all elements of the product life cycle. Jin, et al. (1997) point out that there are three basic issues involved in providing computer support for collaborative engineering design. The first issue is task decomposition and representation. Task decomposition is concerned with identifying the 59
subtasks that can be divided in the way that minimizes interactions among the subtasks. Task representation is related to defining a design task and its subtasks in the form that can be easily handled by designers and computers to identify interactions among the subtasks and cross the lifecycle of product development. The second issue is the need for a communication infrastructure to facilitate communications among designers. Since in most cases complete task decomposition, i.e., no interactions exist among subtasks, is impossible, a sophisticated communication infrastructure is needed to facilitate flow of information among designers. The third issue is coordination support. Coordination is generally considered as the activity to resolve dependencies among subtasks. Pahng, et al. (1998) presented an integrated and open product development environment for distributed and collaborative design. The webbased framework, called DOME (Distributed Objectbased Modeling and Evaluation), allows designers to build integrated models using both local and distributed resources and to collaborate by exchanging services. A computerbased design system developed by Sriram et al. provides a shared workspace where multiple designers work in separate engineering disciplines (Sriram and Logcher, 1993). In their DICE (Distributed and Integrated Environment for Computeraided Engineering) program, an objectoriented database management system with a global control mechanism is utilized to resolve coordination and communication problems. Design rationale provided during the product design process is also used for resolving design conflicts. Currently collaboration between team members is supported at a number of levels, from simple data sharing, through single user view and markup, to coviewing, to comodeling. It is believed that eventually team will be able to work in a product development process that will support cooperative innovation through a shared work environment. With advances in computing and increased Internet usage, many companies take a strong interest in the collaborative approach. Several commercial software systems were developed and are available. For example, OneSapce by CoCreate Software Inc. (www.cocreate.com) allows a number of people to participate in an online work session, viewing a design (assembly) while cooperatively making comments (annotations) directly on the 3D model and changing the model as desired. The basic principle of the software is to operate it in a clientserver environment. The server provides communication coordination and prepares the data for the session. Others similar products include Windchill by PTC (www.ptc.com) and e!Vista from SDRC (www.sdrc.com). They support managing and communicating information about product structures and changes throughout product life cycles. Both Windchill and e!Vista are written in Java on both the client and server side. They appear as web pages within a commercial web browser such as MSInternet Explorer and Netscape. Design for Manufacture in other Fields As to design and manufacturing processes, it is widely agreed that the computer support of VLSI (Very Large Scale Integrated Circuits) design is generally more mature than that of mechanical items. A group of researchers in a NSF workshop on structured design methods observed that a clean interface, which separate design efforts at 60
increasingly high levels of abstraction from the growing complexities of the fabrication processes, is the key to the rapid success of the VLSI development (Antonsson, 1996). That is, VLSI designer can design circuits at the blockdiagram level, a higher level than details. This capability allows designers to quickly construct complex circuits, and facilitates reusing parts of one design in another product. For the block design given by the designer, a process compiler will fill in the processdependent details. Mead (1994) believed that a major factor in the success of the VLSI design is the ability to submit designs with confidence that products would come back meeting specifications. Inspired by the NSF workshop, some researchers (Rajagopalan and Pinilla 1998; Frost and Cutkosky 1996) claimed a clean interface is achieved for RP process by formalizing process constraints as design rules for designer. Jerard and coauthors (1998; 2000) also proposed a system, FACILE (Fast Associative Clean Interface Language and Environment), to achieve a clean interface for NC machining. However, argument that mechanical design cannot be like VLSI design can also be found (Whitney, 1996). Whitney observed that the final designs are not optimized for size or power consumption in VLSI design. He believed that this is the tradeoff that must be made to design at a function level. However in mechanical systems, minimizing size, weight, and power consumption are often primary concerns. Therefore when it is essential to minimize manufacturing costs or to meet stringent demands on tolerances or materials properties, the designer will have to know detailed process characteristics, constraints and costs. As mentioned before, the research project of this dissertation, Rapid Tooling TestBed, is also motivated by the NSF workshop and try to develop approaches to achieve a clean interface between the designer and manufacturer for Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling processes (Allen and Rosen, 1997; Rosen, 1998). However, instead of requiring the designer to know detailed process characteristics, constraints and costs, a different approach is proposed in this research to achieve the clean interface. Our approach is to develop a method to aid the manufacturer, who is familiar with the process characteristics, constraints and costs, to integrate design and manufacturing requirements. The author believes this may be a better approach to achieve the clean interface between designers and manufacturers for a complex fabrication process such as Rapid Tooling. Review of Methods: Although Concurrent and Collaborative Engineering can offer substantial benefits on sharing information and knowledge, one difficulty associated with them is an effective coordination mechanism to handle conflicts between different designers and manufacturers. As mentioned by Jin, et al. (1997), coordination means to take into consideration decisions made by others in making local decisions The research is concerned with exploring coordination strategies, and developing effective tools to carry out coordination activities of designers. In this research, the author addresses the problem by proposing a decision support system (Chapter 6), in which the benefits and drawbacks of designs and manufacturing processes are quantified. Therefore tradeoffs between design and manufacturing variables can be determined by solving requirements formulated in Compromise DSP with the aid of optimization software systems. 61
After a DFM strategy is identified, several design technologies used in developing a DFM system are presented in the next section. 2.6 DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES Several design technologies, methods, and tools are utilized to support the design for manufacture in this research. The design technologies of interest include the DecisionBased Design (DBD), Compromise DSP (cDSP), and Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM). They are described in more details as follows. 2.6.1 DecisionBased Design
DecisionBased Design provides the foundational base in this research for developing an approach to integrate design and manufacturing requirements. DecisionBased Design (DBD) is rooted in the notion that the principal role of a designer is to make decisions (Shupe 1988; Mistree et al. 1989). In design, decisions are invariably multileveled and multidimensional in nature. By approaching design from the perspective of making decisions, it becomes possible to envision a unified approach for designformanufacture problem. An implementation of DecisionBased Design is the Decision Support Problem (DSP) Technique (see, e.g., Bras and Mistree, 1991). In the DSP Technique, designing is defined as the process of converting information that characterizes the needs and requirements for a product into knowledge about a product (Mistree, et al., 1990). A complete description of the DSP Technique can be found in, e.g., (e.g., Mistree, et al., 1990). Among the tools available within the DSP Technique, the compromise DSP (Mistree, et al., 1993) is a general framework for solving multiobjective, nonlinear, satisficing problems. In this dissertation, the compromise DSP is central to modeling multiple design objectives and assessing the tradeoffs pertinent to design for manufacture. Examples of these tradeoffs are discussed in the context of the two example problems in Chapters 7 and 8. Decision Support Problems have been used in a variety of domains, including design of ships, aircraft, mechanical systems etc (Mistree, et al., 1990; Koch, et al., 1996). There are two basic types of DSP, selection and compromise. These decisions can also be coupled and solved simultaneously. The procedures and tools within the DSP Technique are detailed by Mistree, et al., (1993). The preliminary selection and selection DSPs are discussed by Kuppuraju, et al., (1985) and Mistree, et al., (1994); the compromise DSP is detailed within (Mistree, et al., 1993). The compromise DSP will be used in this research, hence it is further described in the next section. 2.6.2 Compromise Decision Support Problem
Solving designformanufacture problem will require decisions between conflicting goals determining the best set of design variables that will achieve both design and manufacturing goals. Compromise DSP (cDSP) is a multiobjective decision model which is a hybrid formulation based on Mathematical Programming and Goal Programming (Mistree, et al., 1993) to satisfy a set of constraints while achieving a set of conflicting goals as well as possible. The cDSP has been successfully used in several design applications (Chen, et al., 1996; Koch, et al., 1996). In this research, cDSP is used
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as a template to transfer the information and knowledge between designer and manufacturer in DFM phase. Formulation of a compromise DSP begins with a word formulation and proceeds to a mathematical formulation. The word formulation consists of the keywords given, find, satisfy, minimize and their associated descriptors, as shown in Figure 2.15. Given an alternative and domain information for a problem at hand, the objective in the compromise DSP is to find the values of system design variables which satisfy a set of constraints and bounds and achieve as closely as possible a set of conflicting goals while minimizing a deviation function.
COMPROMISE DSP
Keywords Given Descriptors An alternative to be improved through modification; assumptions, system parameters, constraints, bounds, goals, and the deviation function. Values of system variables and deviation variables. System constraints and bounds (feasibility), and goals (desired target values or objectives). A deviation function.
Figure 2.15  Word formulation of a Compromise DSP problem (Mistree, et al., 1993). The generic mathematical formulation of the compromise DSP is presented in Figure 2.16. In general, compromise DSPs are written in terms of n system variables, which are represented as a vector X. They define the physical attributes of an artifact that can be altered. A set of p+q system constraints are used to model the limits placed on a system design, and must be satisfied for feasibility. Mathematically, system constraints are functions of system variables only, and may be a mix of linear and nonlinear functions. Bounds are specific limits placed on the magnitude of each of the system variables. A set of m system goals is used to model the aspirations for the design. It relates the goal target, Gi, to the actual performance, Ai(X), of the system with respect to the goal. The deviation variables, di and di+, are introduced as a measure of achievement, the difference between Ai(X) and Gi. The deviation variables, di+ and di, , ensures that at least one are always nonnegative, and the product constraint, d + i di = 0 of the deviation variables for a particular goal is always zero. In the compromise DSP the objective is to minimize a deviation function, Z(d, d+), a function of the deviation variables. Deviation function (objective function) formulations are classified as Archimedean or Preemptive  based on the manner in which importance is assigned to satisfying the goals.
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Given An alternative that is to be improved through modification. Assumptions used to model the domain of interest. The system parameters: n number of system variables l number of discrete/integer system variables p+q number of system constraints p equality constraints q inequality constraints m number of system goals gi (X) system constraint functions gi (X) = Ci (X)  Di (X) fk (di ) function of deviation variables to be minimized at priority level k for the preemptive case Wi weight for the Archimedean case The values of the independent system variables (they describe the physical attributes of an artifact). Xi i = 1,..., n The values of the deviation variables (they indicate the extent to which the goals are achieved). di , di + i = 1,..., m
Find
Satisfy
The system constraints (linear, nonlinear) that must be satisfied for the solution to be feasible. There is no restriction placed on linearity or convexity. gi (X) = 0; i = 1,..., p gi (X) 0; i = p+1,...,p+q The system goals that must achieve a specified target value as far as possible. There is no restriction placed on linearity or convexity. Ai (X) + d i   di + = Gi ; i = 1,..., m The lower and upper bounds on the system. Xi min Xi Xi max; i = 1,..., n di  , di + 0 and di  di + = 0 Minimize The deviation function which is a measure of the deviation of the system performance from that implied by the set of goals and their associated priority levels or relative weights: Case a: Preemptive (lexicographic minimum) Z = [ fl ( di  , di + ), . . ,fm( di  , di + ) ] Case b: Archimedean Z = Wi (di  + di +) ; Wi = 1; Wi 0; i = 1,...,m
Figure 2.16  Mathematical formulation of a Compromise DSP problem (Mistree, et al., 1993). Objective function captures all the goals in a single function and takes different forms depending on the way different goals are synthesized. The solutions obtained for different formulations of objective function could be significantly different. Hence the objective function formulation is an important step that should be formulated to represent the original problem requirements. The two types of objective function formulation in cDSP are explained here. In preemptive formulation, objective function is a list of rank ordered goals. While minimizing this objective function, the goals with higher rank are minimized before minimizing the goals with lower rank. Each time a goal is minimized, it is ensured that its value is not changed while minimizing the subsequent goals (lower ranked goals) 64
(Mistree, et al., 1993). In this approach, all the available design freedom is used to minimize the highest ranked goal. Then the design space is narrowed to the region that yields the minimum value for the first goal. This design space is used to minimize the second ranked goal. This is continued either till all the goals are minimized or till the design space reduces to a single point. In Archimedean formulation, the objective function is formulated as a weighted sum of the appropriate deviation variables. Deviation variables are a measure of the goal achievement. If the goal is a targetmatching goal then both positive and negative deviations are undesirable and hence both are considered in objective function formulation. If the goal is a minimization goal then negative deviation indicates overachievement and is desirable but positive deviation indicates underachievement and is undesirable. Hence, only positive deviation is considered in objective function formulation. For a maximization goal, negative deviations are undesirable and only these are considered in objective function formulation. In archimedean formulation, most important goal is given highest weight. Also, it is a common practice to normalize weights so that their sum equals one. These Archimedean and preemptive formulations that are typically used in the Compromise DSP formulation suffer two major drawbacks associated to the arbitrary definition of priority levels and targets for multiple objectives. The Archimedean one is very difficult to implement with meaningful results because there is no consistent way to determine a priori the right set of weights. Thus, choosing weights is either done arbitrarily or through cumbersome iterations. The preemptive approach has the problem that one objective is assumed infinitely more important than other. Also, in the Compromise DSP is needed to define targets for each goal, and usually those targets are selected based on "educated guesses" or through an inefficient process of iteration. These shortcomings undermine the effectiveness of the Compromise DSP as a design tool. These problems can be amended by modifying the objective function formulation in Compromise DSP according to the Linear Physical Programming (LPP) formulation proposed by Messac and coauthors (1996). Hernandez and Mistree (2001) modified the objective function formulation of a cDSP to incorporate the features of LPP. This new formulation of Compromise DSP is presented in Figure 2.17. The cDSPs in the robot arm and camera roller cases (Chapter 7 and 8) are formulated and solved using this approach. The approach judiciously exploits the designer knowledge of the problem by allowing to express preferences of each objective through various degrees of desirability: unacceptable, highly undesirable, undesirable, tolerable, desirable, and ideal. It also eliminates the need for iterative (or arbitrary) weights setting, making the use of optimization technology more appealing to design engineer in an industrial setting.
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Given An alternative to be improved through modification. Assumptions used to model the domain of interest. The system parameters: n number of system variables p+q number of system constraints p equality constraints q inequality constraints h number of system goals of class 1S m number of system goals of class 2S gi(x) system constraint function: g i ( x ) = C i ( x ) Di ( x ) zk(di) function of deviation variables to be minimized at priority level k Find xi design variables: i = 1, , n
d i , k + , d l ,k
deviation variables
i = 1, , h; l = 1,,m;
k = 1,,4
i = 1, , p i = p+1, , p+q
gi ( x ) 0 ;
A (x)t
+ i
+ i ,5
i = 1, , h
i = 1, , m i = 1, , h; k = 1,,4; d i+,5 = 0 i = 1, , m; k = 1,,4; d i,5 = 0 i = 1, , n i = 1, , h; l = 1,,m i = 1, h,m
Ai ( x ) ti,5 System goals (linear, nonlinear) Ai+ ( x ) + d i,k d i+,k d i+,k +1 = t i+,k
+ Ai ( x ) + d i ,k d i ,k + d i ,k +1 = t i ,k
Minimize Lexicographic Formulation Deviation function with four preemptive levels: Z = [ z1 ,..., z 4 ]
where
zj =
h+ m i =1
! wi ,5 j (d i+,5 j + d i,5 j )
Z = ! ! wi ,k (d i+,k + d i,k )
4 h+ m
Archimedean Formulation
k =1 i =1
Figure 2.17  The Compromise DSP with Modifications based on the Linear Physical Programming Model (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). In physical programming a designer provides targets for different levels of satisfaction of each of the goals. Initially, all the targetmatching goals are divided into two goals: one minimization goal and one maximization goal. Each of these goals is further divided into 6 regions: ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, highly undesirable and unacceptable based on target values. If the goal achievement is in ideal region, then it is completely satisfied and its value need not be considered in the objective function formulation. If the goal achievement is in unacceptable region, then it is considered infeasible. Hence the six regions of a goal result in 4 subgoals (corresponding to desirable, tolerable, undesirable and highly undesirable regions) and a constraint 66
(corresponding to unacceptable region). Each of the 4 subgoals has different weights and is calculated from their target values. The values of weights increase from desirable to highly undesirable subgoals. The contribution of a goal achievement (in different regions) to the objective function is shown in Figure 2.18. In the figure, goals of 4 different classes are presented. Class 1S corresponds to minimization goals, class 2S corresponds to maximization goals, class 3S corresponds to targetmatching goals and class 4S corresponds to rangematching goals. Goals in class 3S and class 4S are divided into two goals: one of class 1S and one of class 2S. From Figure 2.18, it can also be seen that the rate of increase of objective function in farther regions (from ideal) is higher than the closer regions. The compromise DSP may be solved using the ALP algorithm (Mistree, et al., 1993). A solution to the compromise DSP is called a "satisficing" solution since it is a feasible point that achieves the system goals to the extent that is possible (Simon, 1996). By specifying ranged sets of design parameters rather than point solutions, design flexibility can be maintained, and part design can be more easily adapted to meet manufacturing requirements. In this research, another term Compromise DSP template indicates that the cDSP formulation is a template and does not correspond to a specific problem. Based on the requirements of the problem, the goals and constraints are formulated. Also, some of the system variables in the template could become parameters (that are fixed) in the cDSP formulation of a specific problem. Compromise DSP template formulations can be used to represent the problem formulation for a group of similar problems and can be formulated even before the specific problem requirements are defined.
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zi
Class1S
~ z5
~ z4
~ z3 ~ z2
ti+ 1
Ideal Desirable
t i+2
Tolerable
ti+ 3
Undesirable
t i+4
t i+ 5
Highly Undesirable
gi ( x )
Unacceptable
zi
Class2S
~ z5
~ z4 ~ z3 ~ z2
ti 5
Unacceptable Highly Undesirable
t i4
Undesirable
t i 3
Tolerable
t i2
Desirable
ti 1
Ideal
gi ( x )
zi
Class3S
gi ( x )
t
Unacceptable
i5
i4
t
Undesirable
i3
t
Tolerable
i2
ti1
Desirable Desirable
+ i2
t
Tolerable
+ i3
+ i4
t
Highly Undesirable
+ i5
Highly Undesirable
Undesirable
Unacceptable
zi
Class4S
gi ( x )
t i 5
Unacceptable
t i4
t i3
Undesirable
t i2
Tolerable
i1
t
Ideal
+ i1
t i+ 2
Desirable Tolerable
+ i3
+ i4
t i+ 5
Highly Undesirable Unacceptable
Highly Undesirable
Desirable
Undesirable
Figure 2.18  Class Function Regions for a Generic ith Objective (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001).
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2.6.3
Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Chen, 1995; Chen, et al., 1995) is a methodology resulted from the integration of robust design techniques, design of experiment techniques, and response surface methodology within the framework of the compromise DSP. The RCEM facilitates an efficient and effective concept exploration process as robust toplevel design specifications are identified for the design of complex systems. In this context, robustness of specifications is measured in terms of sensitivity to changes in requirements  thus the focus is to minimize the effects on the conceptual design of downstream design changes.
F. The Compromise DSP Find Control Variables Satisfy Constraints Goals "Mean on Target" "Minimize Deviation" Maximize the independence Bounds Minimize Deviation Function
A. Factors and Ranges Noise z Factors x Product/ y Control Process Response Factors C. Simulation Programs (Rigorous Analysis Tools)
x2 x1
B. Point Generator Design of Experiments PlackettBurman Full Factorial Design Fractional Factorial Design Taguchi Orthogonal Array Central Composite Design etc. D. Experiments Analyzer Eliminate unimportant factors Reduce the design space to the region of interest Plan additional experiments
( )
( )
Figure 2.19  The Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Chen, 1995). The computer infrastructure for implementing the RCEM is composed of four generic processors surrounding a central slot for inserting existing, domaindependent analysis tools as simulation programs, as shown in Figure 2.19. The simulation programs (existing analysis programs) are used to evaluate the performance of a minimum number of conceptual designs. The RCEM processors increase computational efficiency and facilitate the generation of toplevel design specifications. The point generator (processor B) is used to design the necessary screening experiments. The experiments analyzer (processor D) is used to evaluate the results of the screening and to plan additional experiments. The response surface model processor (E) is used to create response surface models, and the compromise DSP processor (F) is used to develop robust toplevel design specifications. A. Factors and Ranges: Design variables are classified following the terminology and principles used in Taguchis robust design to define the initial concept exploration space. 69
Design variables are defined as either control factors (under designers control) or noise factors (not under designer's control), and the appropriate range of values for each is specified. The responses (performance measures) are also identified, along with the performance goals (signals). The range of interest for each response is also determined for use in reducing the problem. The means for predicting the performance must also be identified. The focus in robust design is to reduce both the effect on performance of the noise factors, and the effect of variations in control factor values on performance. B, C, D. Sequential Experimentation: A low order experiment is designed, the experiments simulated (conceptual designs generated), and the results analyzed. Significant design variables are identified (design drivers), and insignificant parameters are fixed. Higher order experiments are designed and conducted as necessary and the results analyzed. Thus, the number of experiments and order of the experiments is gradually increased while the size of the problem is gradually reduced. E. Elaborate Response Surface Models: Response surface models are created to replace the original analysis tools when exploring concepts to generate toplevel specifications. The response surface equations map the factorresponse relationship. When the order of experimentation is satisfactory, the results are analyzed using regression analysis and analysis of variance to determine the significance of the fit. When the fit is significant, the final response surface models are defined. F. Determine the TopLevel Specifications: The response surface models and overall design requirements are formulated within the compromise DSP to generate the toplevel design specifications. The values of control factors identified in this step become the toplevel design specifications. Different design scenarios can be rapidly explored by changing the priority levels of the goals. Using the RCEM, a design space can be quickly and efficiently populated in the early stages of design. Simulations are run at a set of design points, and response surfaces are generated that relate product performance to design variable values. These fast analysis modules are then integrated into the compromise DSP and the best regions of design solutions are determined based on multiple measures of merit. Response surface methodology (blocks A E in Figure 2.19) is used for generating relationship between several responses and design /manufacturing variables in this research. A variation of RCEM to solve geometric tailoring problems is also explored. Review of Methods: Three design technologies that are related to the development of the design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS) are reviewed in this section. As discussed in Section 1.2.3, the decisions of design and fabrication variables provide a unified approach for DFM problem, which is also shown in the review of DecisionBased Design. In this research compromise DSP is used to formulate the DFM problem in the DFRTS. A similar approach to RCEM is used in the first phase of the solution process of the DFRTS (Section 6.4.2). Therefore they are reviewed in this section to provide a context for the DFRTS to be presented in Chapter 6.
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With some of the related and important topics reviewed in Section 2.2 ~ 2.6, the next section will give a summary of the chapter followed by a preview of topics that will be covered in the next chapter. 2.7 LITERATURE REVIEW SUMMARY The literature review of the topics provides a foundation that can be used in developing the mold design and designformanufacture methods. Research areas reviewed in this chapter are:
!" !" !" !" !"
Mold configuration design methods Mold construction methods and tools CAD representation DFM strategies and techniques Design technologies
In the next chapter a MultiplePiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM) will be presented (Figure 2.20). The chapter (Section 3.1) starts with an overview of the MPMDM, followed by problem formulations considered in the method (Section 3.2) and steps involved (Section 3.3). Approaches associated with each step are described in Section 3.4 ~3.6. The chapter closes with a summary, including hypotheses teasing.
Part P F1 F3 F2 F4 F6 F8 F5 F7 Part P
PD1
Part P F1 F9
F9
(1)
Fn
F3 F2
F6 F8 F5 F7 Fn
(2)
F4
Mold Base
F1 F3 F9 F6 F5 F8 Fn Rk R3
R1 F2
M1 (3)
PD1
2 F
1 F 3 F
PL1
M2
PD2
F4 R2
PD2
PL2
F4
F5 F7
Mk
n F
F7
CAD Representation
DFM Strategies
Design Technologies
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
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CHAPTER 3
Part P F1 F9
F9
(1)
Fn
F3 F2
F6 F8 F5 F7 Fn
(2)
F4
Mold Base
F1 F3 F9 F6 F5 F8 Fn Rk R3
R1 F2
M1 (3)
PD1
2 F
1 F 3 F
PL1
M2
PD2
F4 R2
PD2
PL2
F4
F5 F7
Mk
n F
F7
Mold design can be a difficult, timeconsuming process, particularly for multipiece molds. The automation of mold design for injection molding process is studied in many publications. However, they usually address the determination of parting direction, parting line, parting surface, and undercut detection individually. In this chapter, a systematic approach is presented to automate several important mold design steps, including selection of parting directions, parting lines, parting surfaces, and construction of mold pieces. Additionally, this multipiece mold design method (MPMDM) is suitable for simple twopiece molds (consisting of core and cavity), as well as for molds with many additional moving sections. The method is mainly based on regions, which are central to the mold configuration design and mold piece construction processes. The chapter starts with an overview of the MPMDM (Section 3.1), followed by problem formulations considered in the method (Section 3.2) and steps involved in the MPMDM (Section 3.3). With the general steps presented, approaches associated with each step are described individually (Section 3.4~ 3.6). Finally the relationship between MPMDM and the validation of the hypotheses are discussed (Section 3.7).
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3.1 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN METHOD Combining multipiece molding and Rapid Tooling techniques, it is possible to build injection molding tools for complex parts in a very short period of time. However, since multipiece molds have more than one pair of opposite parting directions, it is more difficult and timeconsuming to generate a good mold design. Particularly for rapid tooling applications, delivering prototype parts with turnaround times of less than two weeks requires fast, proven mold design methods. Given the geometry of a part, depending on the selection of mold design variables, a different number of mold pieces may be required to form the part. It is desired to minimize the number of required mold pieces because less mold pieces reduce the tooling cost and simplify the operation of the mold. Therefore the problem considered in this dissertation for multipiece mold design is described as follows.
Problem MD: Mold Design. Given a solid part and a mold base, design minimum
number of mold pieces that can form the cavity of the part in the material injection process, and can disassemble properly in the part ejection process. Mainly from the geometric perspective, a systematical method, Multipiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM), is developed to automate several important mold design steps, including selection of parting directions, parting lines, parting surfaces, and construction of mold pieces. The elements of the MPMDM and their relations are shown in Figure 3.1. The CAD models of part and mold base are the input. Correspondingly the CAD models of mold pieces are generated by the MPMDM as the output. As illustrated in the figure by a bounding box, the MPMDM actually consists of two problem formulations, a threestage design process, and three approaches for each stage.
Problem MD
Part
Basic elements
Mold pieces
Mold Base
In the MPMDM, the given Problem MD is divided into two subproblems (Problem MCD and MPC). Related to the subproblems, a design process with three stages is proposed and approaches for each stage are developed (Section 3.4 ~ 3.6). In this chapter, the Multipiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM) is presented before the associated system (Rapid Tooling Mold Design System) is introduced in the next chapter. Related to the elements given in Figure 3.1, the problem formulations of MPMDM are presented in Section 3.2 to provide the context of the method. Based on the problem formulations, the mold design processes, which consists of three steps to generate mold pieces for a part, are described in Section 3.3. The basic elements used in MPMDM and an alternative approach to generate them from a CAD model of a part are presented in Section 3.4. An approach to combine these basic elements into regions related to a mold design is discussed in Section 3.5. Based on the generated regions, a mold piece construction approach is presented in Section 3.6 for a given mold base. In Section 1.3.1, research questions and hypotheses for this dissertation were presented. These research questions and hypotheses provide the basis for this work. To provide a better understanding of how the MPMDM in this chapter is related to the hypotheses, the relationship between the elements of MPMDM and the dissertation hypotheses is shown in Figure 3.2. Hypothesis 1 and subhypotheses 1.1 ~ 1.3 were presented in Section 1.3.1. In Section 3.7, how these hypotheses are validated will be elaborated.
Problem MD
Problem MCD H1
Problem MPC
Part
Basic elements
Mold pieces
H1.1
H1.2
H1.3
Mold Base
Figure 3.2 Relationship between the Elements of MPMDM and Dissertation Hypotheses. In light of multipiece molding described in Section 1.2.4, four terms extensively used in this chapter are defined first to provide a context for the reader. They may have slightly different meanings from the definitions given in the handbooks like (Pye, 1989) and (Rosato & Rosato, 1995), which mainly considered twopieces molding. 74
A Parting Direction (PD), in this dissertation, is a direction along which a mold piece is separated from the injection molded part. A Parting Line (PL), in this dissertation, is the continuous closed curves on the surface of a part which define faces to be split into mold pieces. A Parting surface (PS), in this dissertation, is the contacting plane of the mold pieces that forms a seal to prevent the thermoplastic material from escaping. A Mold base (MB), in this dissertation, is the mold plate that forms the part cavity. In light of these definitions, the problem formulation for multipiece mold design is discussed in the next section. 3.2 PROBLEM FORMULATION FOR MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN An accurate problem formulation is significant since it will affect the research approach and the problem solving process to be used. The current state of research on the automation of mold design mainly focuses on the twopiece molds because they are more commonly used and relatively easier to design and manufacture than the multipiece molds. However, the problem formulations presented for the twopiece mold design may not be proper for the multipiece mold design. This is illustrated in Section 3.2.1 by analyzing a representative problem formulation given by Chen, et al., (1993). Based on the analysis, the problem formulations of the MPMDM are presented in Section 3.2.2. 3.2.1 Analysis of Existing Problem Formulations
The automation of mold design for injection molding process is studied in many publications (refer to Section 2.2 and 2.3). However, each paper usually addresses the determination of parting direction, parting line, parting surface, and undercut detection individually. This may bring problems in the efforts of combining them into one system since different approaches may use different criteria and different basic elements. Therefore problem formulations that consider the whole mold design process are highly desirable. Since a systematic approach to consider all the above important considerations is not found, the remainder of this section will mainly discuss the existing problem formulations for the determination of parting direction (PD). The determination of PD is the first step in the automation of mold design. It is also the most important step since a PD will affect all the subsequent steps in the design of a mold. A general description of the existing problem formulations is: Find the best parting direction according to some criteria among candidate parting directions, which are calculated from individual pockets or features. According to this formulation, other faces of the part that do not belong to the pockets or features will not be considered in the determination. A representative approach (Chen, et al., 1993) with its problem formulation is provided here to illustrate this general description. The approach was developed by Linlin Chen, who was supervised by Tony Woo when they were at the University of Michigan. For an object (Figure 3.3.a), pockets of the object are the regularized difference between its convex hull CH() and , denoted by CH() * (Figure 3.3.b).
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(a) A part
Figure 3.3 An Approach Based on Vmap. Based on the Visibility Map (Vmap) of pocket surfaces (refer to Section 2.2), spherical polygons of the pockets can be generated (Figure 3.3.c). So the problem PPD (pair of parting directions), which is described as given an object, find a pair of opposite parting directions that minimizes the number of mold pieces, is transformed to a new problem formulation as follows: Problem SPCA (spherical polygon covering by antipodes): Given a set of spherically convex polygon V1, V2, , Vm, find a pair of antipodal points p and p that minimize the number of Vi containing either p or p. This problem formulation is widely referenced. Several other approaches (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996; Vijay, et al., 1998; Yin, et al., 2001) for the selection of PD were also developed based on it. However, three problems exist especially when it is applied to the multipieces mold design. First, the position relationships among pockets and features are not considered in the formulation. So all related approaches look for a pair of parting directions (PD) according to the intersection of Vmaps of pockets or features. It is assumed that if several pockets share the same PD, they can be formed by a single mold piece without
PD PD2PD1
PD2+
PD1+
considering their actual positions. However, it is not always true. For two pockets with the same PD, if another pocket with a different parting direction lies between them, it is difficult or even infeasible to construct a single mold piece for both of them. For example, in Figure 3.4.a, the PD can satisfy the Vmaps of P1 and P3. However, since P2, which lies between P1 and P3, cannot utilize the same PD, a different PD needs to be assigned to it. Even if the Vmaps of P1 and P3 intersect, a single mold piece for both of them is hard to generate. To avoid constructing a mold piece to form separated faces, it is assumed in this dissertation that all the faces of a mold piece are connected. Second, the problem of finding a PD with the minimum number of cores is formulated so as to find the minimum number of pockets or minimum number of faces, which are not covered in PD+ and PD. However, the criterion of minimum noncovered pocket number is not always the same as the criterion of minimum mold piece number. For example, for a simple part as shown in Figure 3.4.b, by using the criterion of minimum pocket number, PD1 will be chosen as the parting direction. Therefore two additional cores are needed to form pocket P1 and P5. However if we choose PD2, only one core is needed to form P2, P3 and P4. So actually the best solution to minimize the mold pieces (PD2) is different from the solution to minimize noncovered pockets (PD1). Again, since the geometric relations are not considered in the problem formulation, it is difficult to know the relationship between the number of mold pieces and the number of noncovered pockets. Third, the parting direction for a face F is usually governed by the notion of complete visibility. That is, for every point p on F, if the ray from p to infinity in the direction d does not intersect the part, d is a good parting direction for face F. However, for multiple piece mold design or form pin design, the requirement is less strict. If mold pieces can form the cavity and they can be disassembled in their parting directions in some order, then it is a feasible design. As an illustrative example, the shape P in Figure 3.5 is a pocket with empty Vmap according to (Chen, et al., 1993) and is therefore not considered in the formulation. But by using multiple piece mold design, the mold pieces M1 and M2 can form the shape. In the disassembly process, M1 is first translated in direction PD1. Then M2 can be moved out first in direction PD2, then direction PD1. So PD2 is a feasible solution for face F even if F cannot be swept to infinity in direction PD2 without interference with the part.
PD1
M1
d PD2
M2
F
Based on the example given in Figure 3.5, it is clear that multipiece mold design is much more complicated than twopiece mold design. In the mold disassembly process, mold pieces can be translated in different orders, and a mold piece can also be translated in more than one direction. Since face sweeping operations and body interference tests are rather time consuming, these tests will not be considered in this dissertation. But based on the mold design result, an individual simulation module can be developed to find a suitable disassembly order to translate the generated mold pieces in related parting directions. If interference between the part and the mold pieces is found, we know that either a new mold design needs to be regenerated, or the given part is not moldable and therefore some modifications are necessary. Therefore in this dissertation it is assumed that checking a mold piece and its neighboring part faces is sufficient to determine if the mold piece can be disassembled. In light of the problems of the existing formulations, the problem formulations of MPMDM for the mold configuration design and the mold piece construction are presented in the next section. 3.2.2 Problem Formulations of MultiPiece Mold Design
The generation of mold pieces for a part can be divided into two phases (Figure 3.1): (1) Mold configuration design. The mold design variables of parting directions and parting lines are determined according to the geometry of the part. (2) Mold piece construction. The mold pieces are generated according to a mold base and the results given by the mold configuration design. Accordingly the problem MD described in Section 3.1 actually consists of two subproblems, problem MCD and problem MPC. The formal formulations of the two problems are presented as follows.
Given a solid part in the Boundary Representation (Mntyl, 1988), it can be transformed as a graph G(N, A, R, E) where N is the set of nodes, A is the set of arcs, R is the set of attributes for nodes, and E is the set of attributes for arcs, such that: a. for each face si Sface, there exists only one node in N; b. for each common edge between faces si, sj Sface, there exists a unique arc aijk connecting the nodes ni and nj (there may be more than one arc between ni and nj); c. for each node corresponding to a face si, an attribute ri (an integer number) is assigned to represent the region number; d. for each arc aij, an attribute ek is assigned to represent the edge between two faces. If ri rj, ek = 1. The related edge is defined as a boundary edge; otherwise ek = 0, and the related edge is defined as an internal edge. Among all the combinations of G(N, A, R, E), find a graph G(N, A, Ri, Ej) such that: (1) for each face pair si and sj, if rsi = rsj = r, we can find a path to link si and sj with all nodes that have the same r. In other words, all faces with r are connected; (2) A direction PD exists for all faces with same value ri so that the related mold piece Mi can be disassembled (demoldability); 78
(3) The total number of different r values is minimized. According to the result G(N, A, Ri, Ej) of the problem MCD, several sets Ri(F, E, D) can be generated easily for the part, where F is the nodes N with the same value Ri, E is the set of arcs A with Ej=1, and D is the direction PD generated for each set ri. Therefore a definition of mold piece region is given as follows: Definition 3.1. A Mold Piece Region (MP region) is a set Ri(F, E, D) where F is the nodes N with the same value Ri, E is the arc set A with Ej=1, and D is the direction PD generated for each set ri based on the result G(N, A, Ri, Ej) given by the problem MCD. Therefore the phase of mold piece construction can be formulated as: are given in the Boundary Representation. Suppose set Ri(F, E, D) (1 i k) are given, where (1) each node of F is a face of P, and each face of P is a node of F in Ri; (2) each node of E is a boundary edge of the faces in F; (3) D is a direction which makes an angle of at most 90o with the outward normals of all faces in F; (4) All faces in F are connected, that is, for any two nodes of F, we can find a path to link them with all nodes in the same set. Generate bodies M1~Mk such that: (1) Faces of Ri are formed and only formed by Mi. (2) After M1 ~ Mk are assembled together, they form MB with a cavity P inside. That is, MB P = M1 M2 Mk, where and are two Boolean operators, subtraction and union respectively. After the mold design problems considered in this dissertation are formerly defined, the mold design process related to the problems is introduced in the next section. 3.3 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN PROCESS The mold design process has been divided into two phases, mold configuration design and mold piece construction. However, it is still quite difficult to generate mold piece regions from the given faces of a part. Therefore the first phase is further divided into two steps, generating basic elements from the faces and generating mold piece regions from the basic elements (refer to Figure 3.1). In Section 3.4, the author will explore what kinds of basic elements are appropriate for problem MD based on the demoldability of a mold piece. So the MultiPiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM) has three steps as illustrated in Figure 3.6 with relevant section given for each step. The inputs to MPMDM are the boundary faces of a part P. Suppose the part has only one lump (a bounded, connected region in space). Its boundary faces can be represented as shown in Figure 3.6.a. Furthermore suppose that the part considered in this dissertation is a polyhedron. So all faces are planar surfaces and all edges are straight lines. For other kinds of surfaces, they can be approximated by planar surfaces in different mesh sizes. This limitation will be revisited in Section 4.2. 79
Problem MPC: Mold Piece Construction. A solid part P and a mold base MB
Part P F1 F3 F2 F6 F5 F7 F8 Fn
Section 3.4
F1 F3
Part P
Section 3.5
F9
F9 F6 F5 F8 Fn
(1)
F2
(2)
F4
F4 F7
Mold Base M1
F1 F3 F2 F4 F5 F7
PD2
F1 R1 F3 F2
PL1
F9 F8
R3
(3)
Fn
PD1
F6 F5
M2
Mk
Fn
F4 R2
PD2
PL2
Rk
F7
Figure 3.6 Steps of the Mold Design Process. From the faces of P, basic elements are generated first as the starting point for the determination of regions (Figure 3.6.b). An approach with related algorithms for this step is presented in Section 3.4. The basic elements are then combined into several mold piece regions (Figure 3.6.c). All the part faces are combined in the way such that all the generated regions have at least one feasible parting direction. Therefore it is guaranteed that the mold pieces constructed in the next step can be disassembled properly. An approach with related algorithms for this step is presented in Section 3.5. After the mold configuration design, mold pieces M1, M2, , Mk are to be constructed for the mold piece regions R1, R2, , Rk according to their PDs and PLs (Figure 3.6.d). There is a one to one correspondence between the mold pieces and the regions, and the faces of Ri should be formed by the mold piece Mi. By assembling all the mold pieces together, they should form a mold base with a hollow cavity space in the shape of P. An approach with related algorithms for this step is presented in Section 3.6. As stated the generation of basic elements is the first step of MPMDM. In the next section, the basic elements developed for multipiece mold design are introduced with algorithms to generate them from the faces of a part. 3.4 BASIC ELEMENTS OF MPMDM In this section the demoldability of a mold piece Mi is analyzed first. Based on the analysis, the basic elements of MPMDM are presented in Section 3.4.2 with a
80
comparison with the basic elements of other approaches. Finally an approach and two algorithms to generate them are described in Section 3.4.3. 3.4.1 Demoldability of Mold Pieces
The condition of demoldability is the basis to problem MCD (Section 3.2.2). Several lemmas on the demoldability of a mold piece are derived as follows. Suppose region Ri is related to mold piece Mi. All the faces of Ri and all the faces in other regions, which share at least one boundary edge with Ri, will affect Mis demoldability. Although the faces that are not neighboring may also cause interference after translating Mi for some distance, they are not considered in this dissertation (refer to Section 3.2.1). Therefore two lemmas, lemma 3.1 and 3.2, are sufficient for determining the demoldability of Mi. Lemma 3.1 considers the possible interference between a mold piece and the faces of the related region. Lemma 3.1. A mold piece Mi can be removed from the faces it forms (FRi) by a translation in direction PD if and only if PD makes an angle from 0o to 90o with the outward normals of all faces FRi. Proof. The proof for the lemma is similar to a lemma presented for casting in (de Berg et al., 1997). For the only if part: if PD would make an angle greater than 90o with some outward normal of a face f, then any point q in the interior of f collides with the mold when translated in direction PD. For the if part, suppose at some moment FRi collides with Mi when translated in direction PD. Let p be a point of Mi that collides with a face f of Fi. This means that p is about to move into the interior of f, so the outward normal of f must make an ! angle greater than 90o with PD. Let (f) = (x, y, z ) be the outward normal of a region face f. The direction PD = (dx, dy, dz) makes an angle of at most 90o with (f) if and only if the dot product of PD and is nonnegative. Hence, a face of the region induces a constraint of the form x dx + y dy + z dz 0. (3.1) Lemma 3.2 considers the possible interference between a mold piece and its
PDi PDi + Ri
Fi PEi Fj PEi Fi Fj (1) Fi PEi (2)
(Fj)
PDj Mj Fj
PDi
Fj
Rj
81
neighboring faces. As shown in Figure 3.7.a, suppose Fi is a face of region Ri and Fj is a face of another region. If Fi and Fj share an edge PEi, Fj is called a neighboring face of Ri, and PEi is called a neighboring edge of Ri. For any two neighboring faces, if the dihedral angle of the faces is less than 180o, the edge between them is a concave edge. Otherwise the edge is a convex edge. Therefore the translation direction PDi of the mold piece Mi needs to satisfy some additional constraints. Lemma 3.2. The mold piece Mi can be removed from a neighboring face Fj by a translation in direction PD without interference if and only if (1) PEi is a convex edge; or (2) PEi is a concave edge and PD (Fj) 0. Proof. For the only if part, if PEi is a concave edge and PD (Fj) < 0, then any point p in PEi of the mold piece will collide with the interior of Fj when translated in direction PD, as shown in Figure 3.7.b2. For the if part, suppose at some moment Fj collides with Mi when translated in direction PD. Let p be a point of Mi that contacts Fi. This means that p is about to move into the interior of Fi from the outside, so (1) if PEi is a convex edge, since Fj is below Fi, Mi is translated in a direction that makes an angle greater than 90o with the outward normal of Fi. So PD is not a valid direction for Mi according to Lemma 3.1 (refer to Figure 3.7.b1). (2) If PEi is a concave edge, the outward normal of Fi must ! make an angle greater than 90o with PD, so PD (Fj) < 0. It is noticeable that following Lemma 3.2, even if a mold piece can be generated that does not interfere with its neighboring faces, two neighboring mold pieces generated in this way may not be able to be taken out at the same time. For example, as shown in Figure 3.7.b3, face Fi is related to Mi which has parting direction PDi, while face Fj is related to Mj with parting direction PDj. In the disassembly process, it is quite obvious that we need to translate Mi in PDi first before we can translate Mj in PDj. To design a suitable mold construction order, Lemma 3.3 provides guidance in identifying the neighboring regions that cannot be removed at the same time. Therefore a disassembly order needs to be considered further for them. For two neighboring regions Ri and Rj, two of their faces Fi and Fj share an edge PEi as shown in Figure 3.8.a. Two vectors (called Coedge in the Boundary Representation) CEi and CEj share the same edge and have reverse directions. They define the interior side of the related faces. Lemma 3.3. Two neighboring mold pieces Mi and Mj can be removed by translations in directions PDi and PDj individually without interference with each other at edge PEi if and only if CEi (PDi x PDj) 0 , or CEj (PDj x PDi) 0. Proof. Since CEi =  CEj, the two inequalities are actually the same. So we only need to prove one. For the only if part, if CEi (PDi x PDj) < 0, the vector (PDi x PDj ) is in the reverse direction as CEi, so PDi and Mi are in the different sides of PDj. Therefore the sweeping of PEi in PDi will intersect with the sweeping of PEi in PDj, as shown in Figure 3.8.b2. For the if part, if two mold pieces can not be removed in directions PDi and PDj individually, that is, the sweeping of edges PEi in PDi will intersect with the sweeping of PEi in PDj. So PDi and Mi are in the different sides of PDj. Therefore CEi (PDi x PDj) < 0. 82
PDi
Ri
CEi Fi
Rj
CEj Fj Mi CEi Mj (1) Mi CEi (2) Mj Mi CEi (3) Mj
Figure 3.8 Demoldability of Neighboring Mold Pieces. If CEi (PDi x PDj) = 0, that is PDi and PDj are in the same direction, so the sweeping of edges PEi in PDi will not intersect with the sweeping of the edge in PDj, and vice versa (refer to Figure 3.8.b3). ! For Problem MCD, conceptually if we try all different combinations of attribute R for a part represented by graph G(N, A, R, E), we can always get the best design according to our requirements and criteria. However, it is quite obvious that this problem is strongly NPhard since even one of its subproblems (pocket combination to get a pair of directions) is strongly NPhard (Chen, et al., 1993). To develop an approach to solve this NPhard problem, we need to explore the properties of convex and concave edges further. Lemma 3.4. Suppose all the edges of a face Fi are convex. Fi can be added to any neighboring region Rj without increasing the mold piece number or changing the demoldability of mold pieces, if a parting direction PD exists which makes an angle of at least 90o with the outward normals of all the faces of the region and Fi. Proof. First according to Lemma 3.1, if a PD exists for all the faces of the region (Fj) and Fi, a new mold piece can form Fi and Fj, and be removed from the faces by a translation in direction PD. Suppose F1 is the face to be combined with R1. It has an edge E1 sharing with face F2, which belongs to another region R2. Since E1 is a convex edge, PD1 for R1 and PD2 for R2 will all satisfy Lemma 3.2. So the disassemblability of related mold pieces M1 and M2 is not changed. It is quite obvious that the mold piece number will not change also. For other neighboring edges we can follow the same proof. ! Lemma 3.4 can also be extended to two regions. Suppose faces F1, F2, , Fk compose a region R1 and Fk+1, Fk+2, , Fn compose a region R2. The bounding edges between F1, , Fn and all other faces are E1, E2, , Ek. Lemma 3.5. Suppose all bounding edges E1, E2, , Ek are convex. Two neighboring regions R1 and R2 can be combined as one region without increasing the mold piece number or changing the demoldability of mold pieces, if a parting direction PD exists which makes an angle of at least 90o with the outward normals of all the faces F1, F2, , Fn. 83
Proof. First according to Lemma 1, if a PD exists for all the faces of the regions R1 and R2, a new mold piece can form all the faces, and be removed from the faces by a translation in direction PD. For a neighboring face Fi, suppose Ei is the neighboring edge. Since Ei is a convex edge, the demoldability of related mold pieces is not changed according to Lemma 3.4. Also it is quite obvious that the mold piece number will not increase. Instead it will decrease by 1. ! The mold design process is actually a process to find a good combination of R in the graph G(N, A, R, E) according to our requirements. From the above analysis, several properties of the combining process become evident: Property 3.1. To get the minimum number of mold pieces, different regions and faces are to be combined into larger regions to the extent possible. Property 3.2. To maintain the connectivity of a region, only the regions neighboring faces need to be evaluated. Property 3.3. All faces in one region satisfy Equation 3.1. According to Lemma 3.2, if a face shares a concave edge with a region, the face normal must satisfy Equation 3.1 also. Therefore after combining faces into regions, two faces with a concave edge are more likely to be in the same region. Property 3.4. The combinability of a face with other neighboring faces is affected by whether the neighboring edges are concave or convex. Since all the faces that share concave edges need to be considered, a face with only convex edges is more easily combined than a face with concave edges. For further discussion, three definitions are given as follows. Definition 3.2. A Concave Region, CVR(r), is a subgraph of the graph G(N, A, R, E) given in Problem MCD, such that: (1) for every node Ni that belongs to the subgraph, related attribute ri = r; (2) for each arc Aij related to Ni and Nj, if attribute ri = rj = r, the edge associated with the arc is a concave edge; (3) for each arc Aij related to Ni and Nj, if attribute ri = r and rj r, the edge associated with the arc is a convex edge. Definition 3.3. A Convex Face is a face of which all the edges are convex. Definition 3.4. A Combined Region, CR(r), is a subgraph of the graph G(N, A, R, E) given in Problem MCD, such that: (1) for every node Ni that belongs to the subgraph, related attribute ri = r; (2) for each arc Aij related to Ni and Nj, if attribute ri = r and rj r, the edge associated with the arc is a convex edge. From the definitions, a combined region can be a concave region, or a region with several convex faces, or a combination of some concave regions and convex faces. Based on Lemma 1~5, the combining process to get a good mold design can be pursued in two steps: (1) Combine neighboring faces with concave edges into concave regions Ri; (2) Combining concave regions and convex faces into combined regions.
84
Considering Properties 3.3 and 3.4 of the combining process, it is assumed that the faces of Ri generated in Step (1) will not be divided into different regions in Step (2). That is, among all the combinations of R, those combinations, which have two faces sharing a concave edge but belonging to different regions, will not be considered. Without further dividing of Ri, a concave region generated in Step (1) must satisfy Lemma 1 in order to get a feasible mold piece. If no PD satisfies Lemma 1 for a region Ri, we have the following lemma. Lemma 3.6. Suppose faces F1, F2, , Fk compose a region with only concave internal edges and convex boundary edges. If no direction PD makes an angle of at most 90o with the outward normals of all the faces, no mold pieces to form them can be removed individually without interference. Proof. First according to Lemma 1, if no PD makes an angle of at most 90o with the outward normals of all the faces, two or more mold pieces need to be used for region R. Accordingly, R can be divided into two or more regions. Each of them has a PD to satisfy Lemma 1. For the situation of two regions R1 and R2, suppose faces F1 and F2 belong to them individually with a neighboring edge E12, as shown in Figure 3.9.a. Accordingly, to satisfy Equation 3.1, any PD1 for R1 makes an angle from 0o to 90o with the outward normal (F1); any PD2 for R2 makes an angle from 0o to 90o with the outward normal (F2), as shown in Figure 3.9.b. If only F1 and F2 are considered, the feasible region of PD for R is from 1 to 2. By adding a face (e.g. F3) in R1 which shares a concave edge with F1, the feasible range of PD1 will be reduced from 3 to 2 according to Equation 3.1. The feasible range is moving away from F1 toward F2. Similarly adding any faces in R2 (e.g. F4, F6) will make the feasible region of PD2 move away from F2 toward F1. If PD1 and R1 are in the same side of PD2 (that is CE1 (PD1 x PD2) 0), any direction PD between PD1 and PD2 will satisfy Equation 3.1 for both R1 and R2. Therefore it makes an angle of at most 90o with the outward
R 1'
R 2'
F3
F6
1
R 1'
F1 F5 F3 F4 F2 E12 F6
F4
PD2 F1
E12
R 2'
PD1 F2
R'
(a) Two neighboring regions (b) Relation of Parting Direction of the regions
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normals of all the faces. According to Lemma 3.3, two mold pieces related to R1 and R2 cannot be removed individually without interference. ! Products designed for injection molding process seldom have a situation as the case shown in Figure 3.9.b. More often, for a part that needs side cores or form pins, as shown in Figure 3.5, two concave regions R1 and R2 exist. Each has a PD that satisfies Lemma 1. However since PD1 and PD2 do not satisfy Lemma 3.3, a form pin is needed for the part. So in this dissertation, we assume for a given part, any concave region must have a PD to make an angle of at most 90o with the outward normals of all region faces. The definition of concave region requires that all the internal edges of the region are concave, and all the boundary edges are convex. From Lemma 3.7, we can see a combined region can always be divided into concave regions and convex faces. Lemma 3.7. A combined region can be divided into concave regions and convex faces. Proof. For a combined region R with F1, F2, , Fk, (1) If all the internal edges are concave, it is a concave region already; (2) If all the internal edges are convex, F1, F2, , Fk are all convex faces; (3) Otherwise, suppose an internal edge E12 is a convex edge. a. If the related faces F1 and F2 are in one plane, we can delete E12 and make a new face to replace F1 and F2 without affecting other faces and edges. b. Otherwise, we can use the plane of F1 or F2 to split all the faces of the region R into two halves. Assign all the faces in the up side to region R1, and all other faces to region R2. Now F1 and F2 must be in different regions since E12 is a convex edge. Therefore E12 is changed from an internal edge to a boundary edge. For all other edges, the splitting will not change the edges convex or concave properties. For all other faces Fi, (i) if the plane properly intersects Fi as shown in Figure 3.10.a, Fi is divided into Fi+ and Fi by adding a new edge Ei. Since Fi+ and Fi belong to different regions, the new convex edge Ei is a boundary edge.
R1 R1 Fi Ei Fi R2 P + Fi + Fi Fj ' Fj Fi '
Fi concave edge Fj
P R1 R2
Fi concave edge Fj ' convex edge Fj convex edge
R2
Fi ' concave edge
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(ii) if the plane intersects a convex edge Eij, the edge is changed from an internal edge to a boundary edge; (iii) if the plane intersects a concave edge Eij as shown in Figure 3.10.b, a fake face Fi is introduced for Fi which has zero area and is in the same plane as Fi. Similarly a fake face Fj is introduced for Fj. By adding Fi, Fj to R1 and Fj, Fi to R2, we can maintain the relationships that all edges within a region are concave, and all edges between two regions are convex. Continue the above process for regions R1 and R2, until all the internal edges of a region are concave. ! By finding a loop of convex edges, a part can easily be divided into two combined regions. According to Lemma 3.7, it is evident that a part can be divided into concave regions and convex faces. Based on the demoldability of a mold piece, the basic elements of MPMDM are concave region, convex face and combined region. Compared with other approaches, the author believes these basic elements are more appropriate for multipiece mold design. A more detailed analysis is described in the next section. 3.4.2 Analysis of the Basic Elements
Given the faces of a part, concave/combined regions and convex faces are generated as the basic elements for Problem MCD. Comparing the basic elements of MPMDM with those of other approaches (refer to Section 2.2), the author lists similarities and differences as follows. (1) Comparison with pockets A pocket defined in (Chen, et al., 1993), or a concave region defined in (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996), is actually a combined region defined in this dissertation. However by adding the concept of concave regions, our approach is able to handle more general situations.
R1 R3 R4 R R1
R2 F R2 R3
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A concave region is different from a combined region in its internal edges. If the internal edges of a combined region R are all concave, R is a concave region also. For example, pockets R1~ R4 as shown in Figure 3.11.a are all concave regions. However, a combined region may consist of several concave regions. Two examples are given in Figure 3.11.b and Figure 3.12 for depression and protrusion features respectively. Pocket R in Figure 3.11.b has two convex internal edges and composes concave region R1~R3. Similarly pocket R in Figure 3.12 has six convex internal edges and can be decomposed into concave regions R1~R5. All the pockets are not considered in (Chen, et al., 1993) and (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996) since their corresponding Vmaps are empty. By considering the concave regions of R instead of R itself, MPMDM can generate mold designs for the parts.
F3
F1 R
F2 R2 R5 R1 R4 R3
a) Before Splitting
Figure 3.12 Combined Region Example. (2) Comparison with features Several approaches determine mold design for a part based on feature and related feature recognition algorithms. The author believes that the dividing of part faces into concave regions and convex faces is more general than classifying faces into features. For example, features considered in (Gu, et al., 1999) are divided into through hole, blind hole, step, slot, pocket, boss, rib, etc. Using a different classification, (Fu, et al., 1999) considers inside internal undercut features, outside internal undercut features, inside external undercut features, and outside external undercut features. Based on the edge characteristics, each of them is further divided into threeedge, fouredge and more than fouredge. However, all these features are actually a special case of concave region. So if we just consider the relation of parting direction and undercut, concave region and combine region is more general and can handle more cases. (3) Comparison with faces Faces are the most basic elements of a 3D CAD model. The number of faces of a part is much more than that of regions, pockets, or features. For example, the pocket R shown in Figure 3.12.a has 10 faces. The number of regions is 5 (Figure 3.12.b) and the number of features is 2. In the mold configuration design process, different combinations of basic elements are explored to determine a mold design. Therefore using faces as 88
basic elements may bring difficulties in the exploration process because too many faces exist. In Sections 3.4.1 and 3.4.2, the basic elements of MPMDM are introduced. With their definitions in mind, an approach to generate concave regions from the faces of a part is presented in the next section. Two algorithms and the analysis of the algorithms are also presented. 3.4.3 The Generation Approach of Concave Regions
The generation of concave regions is central to the identification of the minimum number of mold pieces. In this section, the overall approach for generating concave regions is presented first. Then the details of the third step in this approach are discussed with two algorithms presented. Summary of the approach Three steps can generate concave regions of a part P. They are (1) classify all edges of P into concave and convex; (2) Add neighboring faces with a concave edge to generate combined regions; (3) Generate concave regions from the combined regions. After summarizing Steps 1 and 2, Step 3 is discussed in detail as follows. (1) Edge classification. It is straightforward to determine if the dihedral angle of two neighboring faces is less than 180o. Suppose two faces (F1 and F2) intersect at edge BC. Point A and D are two points in F1 and F2 respectively (Figure 3.13). For edge BC, i. if (AB x AC) AD < 0, BC is a concave edge, where x is cross product and is dot product of two vectors; ii. otherwise, BC is a convex edge.
F1
F2 C B D
Figure 3.13 Edge Classification. (2) Generation of combined regions. This step is similar to the algorithm FIND_CVR for the generation of concave regions given in (Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996). Basically for any two neighboring faces Fi and Fj, if the edge between them is concave, they should belong to a same region.
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The approach given in (Chen, et al., 1993) can also replace the above two steps. Their approach is to construct a convex hull CH(P) first, then generating pockets by the regularized difference between CH(P) and P. (3) Generation of concave regions. The proof of Lemma 3.7 provides a way to generate concave regions from a combined region. The essential step is to split the combined region into concave regions by utilizing a convex edge that is internal to the combined region. It is likely that these convex edges either indicate the presence of undercuts or prevent mold pieces from being demoldable for other reasons. Step 3 is discussed in details as follows. Split Region Algorithms The algorithm Split_Region (SR) uses a face bounded by a convex internal edge (i.e., a convex edge is internal to a combined region) to split a given region. For each newly generated region, the function is executed recursively. Algorithm: Split_Region Input: A combined region CR. Output: A set of concave regions SCVR. (1) Find all convex internal edges of CR; (2) If no convex internal edges exist, then add CR to SCVR, and return. (3) Find a face Fsplit which has convex internal edges, and construct a split surface fsplit from Fsplit. (4) Split each face Fi of CR into Fi+ and Fi by fsplit. (5) Generate a region CR+ by adding all faces Fi+. (6) Generate a region CR by adding all faces Fi. (7) Add connecting faces in CR+ and CR to new regions CRi. (8) Call Split_Region for each CRi. By running the algorithm for a region, at least two regions are generated (CR+ and CR ). Sometimes, more than two regions are generated according to the selected face and the part geometry. For example, in Figure 3.12.a, if the plane of F1 is used to split R, three regions (R1, R2, and a combined region of R3 ~ R5) are generated in Step (7) since R2 and the combined region in CR+ are not connected.

Step (4), face splitting, is studied in (de Berg et al., 1997). All other steps are pretty straightforward except Step (3). In Step (3) of the algorithm, there are often many choices in selecting a splitting face according to the internal edges. By using different splitting faces or different splitting orders, different split regions will result, as will different mold designs. Observing the combined region given in Figure 3.14.a, there are four convex edges within the region. Related to the edges, we can select any of faces (F1, F2, F3, or F4) as the splitting face. Totally there are 24 (4!) different combinations. For some of the selections, the splitting results of face F are shown in Figure 3.14.b. So some selections (like first F1, then F3) can generate concave regions by splitting regions twice. Others may require three splitting operations. Also since the generated concave regions are different, the mold pieces generated for the part may be different. For example, if PD is selected for a mold piece M1 to form F (Figure 3.14.a), subface (1) may be added to M1 90
A B A F1
PD
F
(1)
R
F4 C A
F C
F2
F3 C
(2)
(Divide all)
Figure 3.14 Different Splitting Faces and Orders. by using splitting faces F1, F3. However, if using splitting faces F1, F2, and F3, the subface (2) may be added to M1 (Figure 3.14.b). A straightforward way to get a unique dividing result is to find all the faces that have one or more convex internal edges, then use related planes to split all faces of the region (including the newly generated faces). So by using the splitting faces F1, F2, F3, and F4, face F in Figure 3.14.a can be divided as shown in Figure 3.14.b (Divide all). The result is not related to the choice of splitting order or splitting face. Therefore, a modified algorithm, Complete_Split_Region (CSR), for complete splitting is listed below: Algorithm: Complete_Split_Region Input: A combined region CR. Output: A set of concave regions SCVR. (1) Find all convex internal edges of CR; (2) If no convex internal edges exist, then add CR to the set SCVR, and return. (3) Find faces related to the convex internal edges, add surfaces corresponding to the faces to set SF. (4) for a surface fsplit in SF, (5) for each face Fi of CR, (6) Split Fi into Fi+ and Fi by fsplit, and replace Fi in CR. (7) Add regions CRi generated by adding all neighboring faces of CR with only concave edges. However, by algorithm analysis of Complete_Split_Region presented below, it is clear that complete splitting is not a good approach. Readers can refer to the text of (Cormen, et al., 1990) for the standard notations used in the area of Algorithm Analysis. Suppose a region R is composed by n faces. Among them, m faces are related to convex internal edges (e.g. for region R given in Figure 3.14.a, n = 6, m = 4). By using a plane to split the region, some faces are divided into two faces. Others are either entirely above the plane, or entirely below the plane. Suppose the average number of dividing
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faces for each splitting plane is d, which is a small percentage of n. Assume a = d/n, which represents the percentage of faces that are split by the splitting plane, and b =1+a.
T ( n, m) = n + b n + b2 n + b3 n +...+ bm n = n (1 + b + b2 +...+ bm ) = n [( bm 1) / ( b 1)] = ( n bm ) Suppose m= cn, where c is a constant. So T ( n ) = ( n bcn ) For any given part, 0 < a < 1 and 1 < b < 2. For large part with a big n, a algorithm with (n bcn) running time (b>1) is obviously not acceptable. Also, the number of resulting faces will be very large (nbcn).
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= ( n bm' ) = ( n b
1 m
lg b / 2
1 m
)
1 b 1 b b lg 2 lg lg 1 lg b lg 1 lg b
since b
lg b / 2
1 m
lg b / 2 b
=m
lg b / 2
=m
= m lg b lg 2 , T ( n, m) = ( n m lg b lg 2 ) .
0 < r =
lg 1 lg b <1 lg b lg 2
. So T ( n, m) = ( n mr ) = ( n m) = ( c n 2 ) .
And the face number at the end of splitting is also O(cn2). Comparing the cost of algorithm SR and CSR, we can see algorithm SR is more feasible from the algorithmic perspective. Therefore a good approach to select the splitting faces and their orders for algorithm SR is necessary. An ideal way to select a splitting face for a region is to check its neighboring regions and use mold design knowledge to determine which splitting face is better or if further splitting is necessary. So some splitting cases shown in Figure 3.14.b may not be suitable. Characterizing this type of mold design knowledge is beyond the scope of this dissertation. However, it is important to point out that if mold design knowledge is available, it should be applied to the selection of appropriate splitting faces and splitting orders. According to the analysis of algorithm SR, an obvious set of candidates for the splitting planes and orders is the set of faces and orders that can always divide the convex internal edges of a region into two sides evenly. However, it may take a lot of time to find the best face combination. Therefore in Step (3) of Split_Region, we actually use the heuristic: find a face composing the largest number of convex internal edges to construct fsplit. Comparing to the result of Complete_Split_Region, we may miss some face combinations. For parts that approximate a cylinder or a sphere, oversplit regions may result. Also, even if all concave regions are generated, it is still impossible to explore all the combinations of concave regions and convex faces in the region combination as discussed in Section 3.5. Therefore the author believes that it is unnecessary to split a combined region until all concave regions are generated. Usually a combined region needs to be split only when it does not have a feasible parting direction, as shown in the examples given in Figure 3.11, Figure 3.12 and Figure 3.14. In the process of region combination, the main combining criterion is to test if a parting direction exists for both regions. Accordingly the parting direction of a region can determine if further splitting is necessary. So another step is added to algorithm SR before Step (1), that is: (0) Get a parting direction PD of CR, if PD is not (0, 0, 0), add CR to SCVR and return.
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The approach of MPMDM to analyzing CR parting directions is presented in the next section for the region combination process.
3.5 REGION COMBINATION OF MPMDM
After concave regions and convex faces are generated for a part, Problem MCD in Section 3.2.2 can be redefined for Step (2) in Figure 3.6.
The criteria that are important in the mold configuration design are mainly based upon the fabrication cost of mold pieces, quality of molded part and productivity of molding operations. Three criteria that have been identified in Problem RMCD are face connectivity, parting direction and minimum number of mold pieces. Besides them, additional criteria should be considered for Rapid Tooling. Rapid tooling has some additional properties. Since the material strength of the mold (epoxy resin) is much lower than that of steel, some mold features are more easily broken off in the ejection process, especially when the features are underdrafted (Palmer, 1999). On the other hand, the mold fabrication cost is small since Rapid Prototyping techniques are capable of producing virtually any shapes with rather low cost. Therefore the ease of ejection plays a dominant role in choosing a good mold configuration for rapid tooling. Consequently, the only additional criterion to be considered in this dissertation is the ease of ejection.
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The ease of ejection can be determined by the draft angle and the area in shear contact between the molded part and tools during the moldopening operation. Considering a face with normal (x, y, z) which forms an angle with a direction PD (dx, dy, dz), the value dp = PD = x dx + y dy + z dz =  PD cos(). dp can evaluate the value of . If we take and PD as unit vectors (=1, PD=1), dp = cos(). Also since a face Fi with bigger area (Ai) should have a bigger influence on the selection of parting direction, Aidpi can be used to evaluate the ease of ejection for the face in PD. Aidpi is also the projected area of the face in PD because dp = cos(). The criterion face connectivity is also important in the region combination process. Since the faces of a region should be connected after combining, the face connectivity of two regions or a region and a face needs to be determined in the combining process. For a part in the boundary representation, the face connectivity has been recorded in the data structure of the part. Therefore the face connectivity can be accessed quickly and easily (refer to Section 4.2). In the remainder of this section, the criterion parting direction will be discussed. Since an approach that can quickly determine the parting direction of several faces is not found in literature (refer to Section 2.2), the author will focus on the evaluation of parting direction in this section. An approach based on Linear Programming is presented for determining parting direction of two regions or a region and a face quickly and easily.
Evaluation of Parting Direction Suppose a combined region CR in Problem RMCD composes planar faces Fi (1 i n). Let (Fi) = (ix, iy, iz) be the outward normal of Fi and a direction PD = (dx, dy, dz). According to Lemma 3.1, PD is a parting direction of CR if it satisfies:
1x dx + 1y dy + 1z dz 0 2x dx + 2y dy + 2z dz 0 nx dx + ny dy + nz dz 0
The set of feasible directions for the above inequalities can be null, one, or a range of directions. As stated in Section 2.2, the concept of Vmaps can formulate the problem, and spherical algorithms can calculate the intersection of Vmaps. However, for Problem RMCD, a parting direction of a region is calculated for two reasons: (1) to determine if a removable mold piece exists for a region to be combined; (2) to find good parting directions to construct mold pieces. By further analysis, we can see: i. In the process of region combination, the main concern is if a parting direction exists for two regions or a region and a face. The actual ranges of the feasible parting directions are not important. ii. Since different regions and faces are combined in trial and error, an approach to determine the direction quickly and easily is essential. iii. After region combination, a parting direction PD needs to be selected from the feasible range of the parting directions according to some criteria. Therefore a proper direction is more important than the whole feasible range in constructing a mold piece for a mold piece region.
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So in determining two regions or a region and a face to be combined, instead of the whole range, only one PD needs to be calculated. Also if the criteria used for the selection from the feasible range are followed in the calculation of a direction, the same PD should be achieved for each mold piece after the region combination process. Therefore the evaluation of PD can be formulated as an optimization problem. Since only one direction is calculated, it is quite obvious that the optimization approach is much faster and easier than the spherical algorithms, especially for regions with many faces. Therefore for a region with face Fi (unit face normal i and area Ai, 1 i n), an optimization problem based on ease of ejection for determining a unit parting direction PD (dx, dy, dz) can be formulated as follows.
Figure 3.15 PD Evaluation Approach. The Evaluation Approach based on Linear Programming In Problem PDOP, the sphere constraint is to get a unit vector. It can be approximated by a set of linear surfaces as shown in Figure 3.15.a with acceptable errors. Suppose the equations of a planar surface Si are sxi x + syi y + szi z si = 0 with face normal (sxi, syi, szi) toward inside. We can formulate a new problem as:
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(1) If problem PDOP has no solution, problem PDLP will yield the solution dx = dy = dz = 0; (2) If problem PDOP has a solution PD(dx, dy, dz) such that f(dx, dy, dz) > 0, problem PDLP will yield a solution PD near PD within the sphere approximation error. This is because if f(dx, dy, dz) > 0, there must be at least one dpi > 0. Suppose Problem PDLP gives us a solution PD1 as shown in Figure 3.15.b. It must be a vector within the sphere because of the sphere constraints. Suppose we construct a ray from the origin to PD1. It will intersect with one planar surface Si at point PD2. Since dpi > 0, f(PD2) > f (PD1). PD2 is a better solution than PD1. So the solution given by Problem PDLP must intersect a planar surface Si. That is, the solution is within the sphere approximation error. (3) If problem PDOP has a solution PD(dx, dy, dz) such that f(dx, dy, dz) = 0, problem PDLP will yield the solution dx = dy = dz = 0. In this case, since all dpi = iPD = 0, PD must be vertical to the normals of all faces (Refer to an example given in Figure 3.15.b). So if Problem PDLP gives a solution PD(0, 0, 0), two faces F1 and F2 which are not in the same surface should be considered. The unit vectors PD1 = 1 x 2 and PD2 = 2 x 1 are to be checked by the plane constraints. If the constraints are satisfied, PD1 or PD2 is also the solution of Problem PDOP. Therefore solving problem PDLP can generate the solution of Problem PDOP. Since the solution given by Problem PDLP is only to be compared with (0, 0, 0), the approximation of the sphere can be rather rough. An approximation of a sphere with 144 faces is sufficient for determining a PD for the construction of mold pieces. These surfaces can be pregenerated and used for any regions. Problem PDLP is a linear optimization problem. It is well studied in operations research (Reklaitis, et al., 1983). For a linear programming problem in only 3 dimensions, several algorithms can solve it with O(n) time (n is the number of constraints) and linear storage (Megiddo, 1984; de Berg, et al., 1997). Although the algorithm to get a PD for a region is limited to planar surfaces, quadric and parametric surfaces can also be handled by approximating them with a series of planar surfaces. By setting a smaller mesh size, a more accurate model results. Even for a region with a large number of faces, the running time to solve Problem PDLP is rather satisfactory. A test example is shown in Figure 3.16. A cylinder face and a planar face compose a region. Setting surface deviation with different values can approximate the cylinder face by different number of faces. The face number and corresponding running time on a PC700 are listed below. The results obtained for the three cases are all the direction (0.0, 0.0, 1.0). The testing time is based on calling LINGO system (www.lindo.com) in a PC with a 700 MHz IntelIII processor. (a) Maximum deviation: 0.002; Number of faces: 34; (b) Maximum deviation: 0.0001; Number of faces: 143; (c) Maximum deviation: 0.00001; Number of faces: 224; Time = 0.16 second. Time = 0.17 second. Time = 0.20 second.
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(a)
(b)
Figure 3.16 A Region with Different Mesh Size.
(c)
By using a linear program to determine a parting direction, it is evident that the solution process becomes much faster and easier. Therefore it is feasible to explore more combinations of regions and faces in less time. The approach for region combination is presented in Sections 3.5.3 and 3.5.4. In the next section, the approach described in this section is applied in verifying draft angles of a part. The author believes that it is an effective and efficient approach for the automatic detection of nondrafted and underdrafted faces.
3.5.2 Verification of Draft Angle
One thing to be noticed in the plane constraints of problem PDOP and PDLP is that 0 in the right side of the inequality can be changed to a variable df. That is, dpi = xi d x + yi d y + zi d z df . The value of df is actually related to the minimum draft angle of a part by df = sin (). For a part to be fabricated by the injection molding process, its surfaces parallel to the parting direction must be drafted at least an angle in order to ease the ejection of the part and reduce the damaging possibility of the part and molds (Rosato and Rosato, 1995). The minimal draft angle of a part depends on many factors: molding process, material, walldepth, depth of textured surface, etc. For a complex model, the designer
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may lose track of which surfaces are drafted and which are not. Consequently a tool to detect those nondrafted and underdrafted surfaces is necessary. The suitability of a draft angle for a face depends entirely on the parting direction of the face. As shown in Figure 3.17, the nondrafted face F for PD1 is a welldrafted face for PD2. Therefore the verification of draft angle is actually an integrated problem that should be considered in the mold configuration design process. Suppose the minimum draft angle for a part is given as . By setting df = sin () to replace 0 in the plane constraints of Problem PDLP, we can find all concave regions with nondrafted or underdrafted faces. As shown in Figure 3.18.a, concave region R is found as nondrafted because R has no solution for Problem PDLP. Without the help of a computer system, it is rather difficult to find out all these features since the difference between nondrafted and drafted appropriately with = 1.5o is nonnoticeable when they are displayed on a monitor.
PD2
R
R2 R1 PD1
(a)
(b)
Also by following the same criteria in the region combination process, it is guaranteed that all regions have only welldrafted faces in their parting directions. However the assignment of minimum draft angle may influence the number of mold pieces. For example, if = 0, regions R1 and R2 in Figure 3.18.b can be combined into one region in direction PD2. However, if =2.5o, R1 and R2 cannot be combined in PD2 any more. So one more mold piece needs to be constructed in PD1 for R1. In the next section, the combining process, which is considered as a concave region growing process, is discussed with the data structures of MPMDM presented.
3.5.3 Analysis of Region Combination Process and Related Representations
After getting combined regions (CR) and convex faces (CXF) from the faces (F) of a part, a combination that satisfies the requirements of Problem MCD needs to be determined. It is quite obvious that n(CR) + n(CXF) n(F), where n() denotes number of. (1) For a part P without CR, n(CR)= 0 and n(CXF) = n(F).
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Since P is a convex polyhedron, in any two opposite directions d and d, two mold pieces can be constructed to form P without any undercuts (Chen, et al., 1993). So the requirements presented in Problem RMCD can be satisfied quite easily. In this case, several other criteria need to be considered, like the flattest parting line (Majhi, et al., 1999), maximum projection area, etc. Industrial injection molding parts are rarely convex polyhedrons. (2) For a part P with one or more CR, n(R) = n(CR) + n(CXF) < n(F). Suppose n(R) = cn(F) where c is a constant ratio depending on the given shape. Sometimes, c can be very small, that is n(R) is far less than n(F). As an example, the part given in Figure 3.16.c has 1 region with 224 faces and 6 convex faces. So n(F) = 230, n(R) = 1+6 = 7 and c =7/230 0.03. But more often c is around 0.3 ~ 0.6. Even if n(R) is less than n(F), an algorithm to explore all the combinations of CR and CXF for minimum mold piece number is still strongly NPhard. Therefore some heuristics should be considered in combining regions. Since a CXF can be combined to any neighboring region if a PD exists for them, CXFs are more flexible to be combined than CRs. Therefore the focus of region combination is combined regions. In this dissertation, an approach based on CRgrowing process is developed. This approach allows CRs to grow individually by combining neighboring CXFs and CRs. The process continues until no further combining happens. The resulting regions correspond to a mold design for P.
CR of Part P Neighboring Faces NFm CXF Combining NF1 NF2 COF CXF1 NF3 Core Faces CR of Part P
NFm
NF6
PEs
PEs
Convex Faces
Some definitions of edges and faces related to the region combination are provided first. Suppose before CRgrowing, a region CRi is given as shown in Figure 3.19.a. CRi is composed by faces F1, F2, , Fn.
Definition 3.5. A Core Face (COF) of CRi is one of the faces that compose CRi before the CRgrowing process. A core face of CRi will always belong to CRi.
The edges of CRi consist of all the edges of faces F1, F2, , Fn. They can be divided into three types: concave edges (CVE), convex edges (CXE), and parting edges (PE). 100
Suppose Ei is an edge of CRi. In the boundary representation two faces own Ei (refer to Section 4.2). One of the owner faces must belong to CRi. I If the two owner faces all belong to CRi, a. if their dihedral angle is less than 180o, Ei is a CVE; b. otherwise, Ei is a CXE.
II If one of the owner faces does not belong to CRi, Ei is a PE. And Ei must be a convex edge based on the definition of combined region.
Definition 3.6. A Neighboring Face (NF) of CRi is one of the faces that does not belong to CRi but shares the ownership of an edge with CRi.
Therefore by checking the owner faces of all parting edges, all neighboring faces of CRi can be identified. There are two possible cases in the region growing process. (i) CRi combined with a CXF. Suppose NF1, , NFk are neighboring faces of CRi. They are convex faces that do not belong to any regions. To determine if CRi can be combined with a face NF1, we can use its unit normal (xNF1, yNF1, zNF1) to form an additional plane constraint: dpi+1 = xNF1d x + yNF1d y + zNF1d z 0 and add it to the formulation of Problem PDLP for CRi. The linear program in Section 3.5.1 can solve the problem in O(n+1) time. We can also simplify the solution approach according to the properties of an Linear Programming problem. Since Problem PDLP has only 3 variables, each linear constraint is actually a half plane in 3D space. So the feasible region is a polyhedron obtained by the intersection of all the half planes. According to (Reklaitis, et al., 1983), one of the corner points of the feasible region of a linear program is always an optimal solution. Suppose PD(dx, dy, dz) is the solution of Problem PDLP with n half plane constraints h1, , hi. If a half plane hi+1 is added as a new constraint, de Berg (1997) gives that: (a) If PD satisfies the constraint hi+1, the new optimal solution PD = PD. (b) If PD does not satisfy the constraint hi+1, PD must be one of the intersection points of hi+1 with h1 ~ hi, or the linear problem is infeasible. For case (b), an algorithm running in linear time is also given to find the new optimal solution. So the approach also runs in O(n) time, but it should have a smaller coefficient of n compared to that of the LP solver. For some neighboring faces NF1, , NFk, if PD exists, CRi can combine them into one region. All the faces F1, , Fn and NF1, , NFk are called faces of CRi, and faces NF1, , NFk are the Convex Faces (CXF) of CRi. So the faces of a combined region are actually composed by core faces and convex faces. One difference is that after a face is set as a core face, it will always belong to the region. On the contrary, a convex face may leave the region to join another region as shown later.
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As convex faces switch among regions, some old PEs are changed to CXE of CRi and some new PEs are generated related to the new combined faces. Similarly some neighboring faces are changed to convex faces of CRi and some new NFs are generated related to the new PEs, which are shown in Figure 3.19.b.
CR1 and CR2 of Part P Neighboring Faces CR1' of Part P
CR1 NFm
NF1 Convex Faces NF2 COF CXF1 NF3 CXF1 COF CXF2
PEs
CR1'
COF
CR2
(ii) CRi combined with another region. As shown in Figure 3.20.a, suppose a neighboring face (NF3) of CR1 is also a face (CXF1) of another region CR2. That is, CR1 and CR2 are two neighboring regions and are candidates for joining into a larger region. Since the convex faces of CR1 and CR2 are more easily switched between regions than their core faces, CXFs are not considered in the test for region combination. That is, only COFs of CR1 and CR2, and the convex faces to connect COFs, are formulated as planar constraints in Problem PDLP. If the problem has a nonzero solution PD, two regions are combined into one region CR1 (refer to Figure 3.20.b). And the core faces of CR1 are the faces of the planar constraints in Problem PDLP. All the convex faces of CR1 and CR2 are not faces of CR1 anymore. Instead they are CXF of the part and can be combined by any regions including CR1. To get convex faces to connect COFs of two regions, the original face of any convex face needs to be recorded also. That is, if F1 shares a parting edge PE1 with a region face F2, besides recoding F1 as the neighboring faces of CR, origin(F1) is recorded as F2. So as shown in Figure 3.20.a, if NF3 of CR1 and CXF1 of CR2 are the same face, the original face of NF3 in CR1 is added to planar constraints of CR1. The same process can be recursively executed for the face of origin(NF3) until the original face is a core face. Similarly, the original faces of CXF1 can be added to CR2. Therefore the main data structures for a combined region include: Vector PD; // Parting direction dx, dy, dz Box Bound; // Bounding box of core faces Edge_List LPE; // Parting edges 102
Face_List LCOF; // Core faces Face_List LCXF; // Convex faces, origin of CXF is assigned as an attribute Face_List LNF; // Neighboring faces, origin of NF is assigned as an attribute In light of the combining process based on CRgrowing, an algorithm and its analysis are presented in the next section.
3.5.4 Region Combination Algorithm and Design Knowledge
Based on the data structures given in the last section, the algorithm Combine_Region (CR) of MPMDM is listed as follows. Algorithm: Combine_Region Input: A set of combined regions SCVR and convex faces of P. Output: A set of combined regions SCVR and convex faces of P. (1) change FALSE. (2) for a region CRi in SCVR, // decide the list of neighboring faces (3) for each NFk in LNF, (4) rn region_num(NFk); (5) if rn = 0, then // NFk is not in any region (6) if combinable_convex_face(CRi, NFk) = TRUE, then (7) combine NFk with CRi, update LPE and LNF of CRi, change TRUE. (8) else // NFk belongs to region CRrn (9) if combinable_region(CRi, CRrn) = TRUE, then (10) combine CRrn with CRi, update LPE and LNF of CRi, change TRUE. (11) if change = TRUE, then Go to Step (1). (12) else return. The algorithm has a main loop to determine if any region combination should occur. Within each iteration, there are two loops in Step (2) and (3). So the running time depends on the number of regions and the number of neighboring faces for each region. As small regions are combined into larger regions, the region number is decreasing and the NF number for each region is increasing. Although it is difficult to calculate the exact time cost of the algorithm, making some simplifications can derive an approximate computational complexity measure. Suppose P has n faces, among them an faces are convex faces (0< a <1). If the input SCVR has m1 regions, and the output SCVR has m2 regions, we can use the average region number m + m2 m= 1 to represent the region number in all the iterations. Each region will have at 2 most n/m faces. Similarly we can use NF to represent the average number of neighboring faces for all regions in the whole process. Suppose the program exits when all convex faces are combined into regions. Within each iteration, one region will combine a fraction of its neighboring convex faces, suppose bNF. So if algorithm CR will iterate k an times before exiting, we know a n k m b NF = 0 . That is k m NF = . Also b
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n an n n2 = = O( ). So T ( n ) = O( n2 ). m b m m
For two regions or a region and a convex face, if the results in Step (6) or (9) are false in an iteration, there is no need to determine their combinability in any later iterations. Therefore repeated executions can be avoided by adding a face array and a region number array in each region. The arrays record neighboring convex faces and combined regions that are not combinable with the region individually.
F5 F1 F6 F3 R2 F2 Combining result 16:R1+F1, R2+F3+F4+F5+F6 F4 R1 Combining result 1:R1+F1+F3+F4+F5+F6, R2 Combining result 2:R1+F1+F3+F4+F5, R2+F6 Combining result 3:R1+F1+F3+F4+F6, R2+F5 ...
In Algorithm CR, Steps (6) and (9) need to be discussed further. Conceptually, by using different combining orders and different rules in functions combinable_convex_face and combinable_region, different mold designs can be obtained. A simple example is shown in Figure 3.21. Suppose a box has two similar cavities in its top (F1) and bottom (F2) sides. Faces 3 ~ 6 are vertical relative to faces 1 and 2. No draft angle is considered. Several combining results for the part can be obtained by trying different combinations of faces 3~6 with regions 1 and 2. Since the related mold designs have the same number of mold pieces and each mold piece can be disassembled properly, they all satisfy the requirements given in Problem RMCD. So just from the geometric perspective, they are equally good designs. Therefore, besides the requirements given in Problem MD, some mold design knowledge should also be considered in Functions combinable_convex_face and combinable_region. The heuristic rules that are considered in this dissertation are listed with some explanations. (1) Core/Cavity property of a region. A combined region CRi can be classified as an internal region or an external region according to its parting edges. If a loop formed by some parting edges of CRi is an internal loop of a neighboring face, CRi is an internal region. For example, the parting edges of R1 in Figure 3.21 form an internal loop of F1. So R1 is an internal loop. Otherwise CRi is an external region, like R2 in Figure 3.21.
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Generally internal regions are related to core mold pieces, and external regions are related to cavity mold pieces. To facilitate the ejection of part from a core, convex faces with vertical normals to PD usually go with cavity side instead of core side in the mold design. So a normal mold design for the part given in Figure 3.21 is R1, F1 in core side, and R2, F2 ~ F6 in cavity side. (2) Main parting direction of a region. For a part with many combined regions CRi, we may get several parting directions PDi related to the combined regions. Among them, a pair of opposite directions is the main parting direction (MPD) of the mold design. Others are all side directions. Our approach to get the MPD is to find a pair of directions with the maximum region volumes among all PDi. That is, we find parting directions PDk which are in the same or opposite directions according to some tolerance. For each PDk, a volume of the related region is calculated from its boundary box. The sum of all region volumes is assigned to the direction. Finally we can get MPD by finding the direction with maximum volume. Accordingly we can assign a value if_main_pd to each region. If MPD can be set as a parting direction of a region, its if_main_pd is true. Otherwise it is false. In general, it is preferred to combine a vertical face with a region in MPD than a region in a side direction. So a convex face Fi is combinable with a region CRj if: (a) the normal of Fi is not vertical to the PD of CRj; (b) Fi is a vertical face, if_main_pd of CRj is true, and CRj is an external region.
PD1 PD2 CR2 F CR1 PD2 CR1 CR2 C2 F O2 M L2 PD1 Top view of F F2 L1 O1 C1 F1
(a) case 1
(b) case 2
(3) Neighboring face number of a region. Suppose face F is a neighboring face of region CR2 and also a face of CR1. According to the solution of Problem PDLP, suppose CR1 and CR2 are not combinable. If the neighboring face F is the only NF of region CR2, CR2 must be a cavity in face F as shown in Figure 3.22. So: (a) if F is a convex face of CR1, delete F from CR1 and add it to CR2; (b) if F is a core face of CR1 (as shown in Figure 3.22.a), or if F is also the only neighboring face of region CR1 after F is deleted (as shown in Figure 3.22.b), F should be divided into two faces F1 and F2 for CR1 and CR2.
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The approach to do the above face splitting is briefly described here and shown in Figure 3.22.c. Suppose internal loops L1 and L2 of F are related to CR1 and CR2. The smallest enclosing discs C1, C2 for each loop can be constructed respectively by using algorithm MiniDisc given in de Berg (1997). The algorithm runs in O(n) time, where n is the number of points in a loop. Suppose O1, O2 are the centers of C1, C2, respectively, and M is the middle point of line segment O1O2. If we assume C1 and C2 do not overlap, a line can divide F into F1 and F2 by passing through M and being vertical to O1O2. (4) Combining order of a region. The order of regions in SCVR and the order of neighboring faces in LNF of a region also affect the combining results. For example, a part as shown in Figure 3.23.a has four regions, R1 ~ R4. Depending on the order of R2, R3 related to R1, R4, a combining result with R1, R2, R3 as a region and R4 as another region may be generated. A result with R1, R4 as a region and R2, R3 as another region may also be generated. Similarly if R1 is the first region in SCVR, the above two results will be generated depending on the order of neighboring faces in LNF of R1. So the regions in SCVR can be reordered according to heuristic rules before combining regions. For example, regions can be ordered by their volumes; that is, moving regions with larger volumes to the beginning of SCVR. Hence, regions with larger volumes can be combined first. Regions can also be ordered according to whether or not they are in the main parting directions. Regions in the main parting directions would combine first. Also, regions of SCVR can be classified into two sets SCVR1 and SCVR2 according to some criteria, like the value of if_main_pd. Then let regions in SCVR1 combine with each other first. After the combining process finishes, regions in SCVR2 are added to start a new combining process. In Section 4.2, the design knowledge considered in MPMDM will be revisited in the discussion of RTMDS and its implementations.
Analysis By considering more mold design knowledge, a mold design that is more compatible with good mold design practices can be achieved. Since different mold designs correspond to different combinations of CR and CVX, the regionbased approach is very flexible in enabling the addition of new design knowledge. In algorithm Combine_Region, functions combinable_convex_face and combinable_region control the generation of different combinations of CR and CVX. So to add more design knowledge, related heuristic rules can be formulated and added into the two functions. Since other steps remain unchanged, it is rather easy to implement.
Besides mold design knowledge, our approach can handle mold fabrication knowledge by following similar processes. For example, suppose mold pieces for the rib part shown in Figure 3.23.b are to be fabricated with SLA machines. Assume surface finish requirements of 2 m are specified for the two opposite faces F1 and F2. According to our knowledge of the SLA process, such high surface finish can be achieved only by building the mold pieces such that F1 and F2 are the top surfaces of the part (West, 1999). Therefore to build mold pieces such that F1 and F2 are both at the top surface, a constraint that F1 and F2 cannot be in the same region is added. By adding an additional combining rule in functions combinable_convex_face and combinable_region, 106
R2 PD2 PD1 R3 R1 R4
F2 F1
a better design that satisfies fabrication requirements is achieved. However, this may lead to a threepiece mold design for the part instead of a design with only two mold pieces. Finally, besides one combining results, several results can be generated automatically, which allows the mold designer to select a mold configuration design among them. In Section 9.4 this approach will be revisited. After mold piece regions are generated for a part in this section, an approach for constructing mold pieces effectively and efficiently will be presented in the next section.
3.6 MOLD PIECE CONSTRUCTION APPROACH BASED ON REVERSE GLUE
After region combination process presented in Section 3.5, several mold piece (MP) regions have been generated for a part with their parting directions and parting lines. If there exist convex faces that do not belong to any regions, they can form one or more MP regions according to the connectivity. The parting directions of the new regions can be evaluated by solving problem PDLP (Section 3.5.1). An example is given in Figure 3.24. After region combination process, we got two regions (R1, R2) and four convex faces,
PD1 R1 PL1(PL3) R2 PD2 PL1(PL2) R1
M1
PL2(PL3) M2 R2 M3
Convex Face
R3
PD3
(b) Regions
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which are shown in Figure 3.24.a. The convex faces can form a new region R3. The parting lines of the regions are shown in Figure 3.24.b. Correspondingly, three mold pieces need to be generated as shown in Figure 3.24.c. This section focuses on Step (3) shown in Figure 3.6. An approach based on the reverse glue operation is developed for solving Problem MPC (Section 3.2.2) effectively and efficiently. The remainder of this section has been organized in the following manner. First, the reverse glue operation and the principle related to the operation are presented in Section 3.6.1. A key step of the approach, generation of glue faces, is then discussed. A problem formulation and related algorithms are presented for the generation of glue faces in Section 3.6.2. Finally, the algorithms for constructing twopiece molds and multipiece molds are presented respectively in Section 3.6.3. The role of parting surface in the approach is also described in this section.
3.6.1 Principle and Related Representations of the Approach
Although the approach of MPMDM is quite flexible for any mold base, for the discussion below, it is supposed that a mold base (MB) is given as a rectangular block that can contain the injected part (P) entirely inside. The position and orientation of P within MB is affected by gate design, runner design and ejection pin design. The approach of MPMDM is also flexible for the position and orientation of the part in MB. Suppose the main parting direction of P generated in Section 3.5.4 is rotated to the zaxis of MB, and the center point of the bounding box of P is translated to the center point of the bounding box of MB. After P is positioned at a suitable position and orientation in MB, a Boolean mold base M = MB P ( is the subtraction operation) can be generated as shown in Figure 3.25.a. From the equation, it is obvious that M contains two kinds of faces, outside faces and inside faces. Outside faces (Fout) of M are the faces corresponding to the faces of MB. Inside faces (Fin) of M are the faces corresponding to the faces of P. Suppose all the faces of a body or a region are denoted as F( ), and the union of two face sets is (3.2) represented by +. So F(M) = FoutM + FinM. The approach of MPMDM is also quite flexible for any parting surface, which will be discussed in Section 3.6.3 in more details. Suppose a parting surface PS is given. According to the position related to PS, all outsides faces of M can be divided into two sets, faces above PS (denoted as ) and faces below PS (denoted as ). Therefore FoutM = FoutM + FoutM. (3.3) For a part P and MB, suppose mold piece M1 is to be constructed for region R1 first. All other regions can be considered as a new region R2. So only two mold pieces M1 and M2 need to be constructed for regions R1 and R2 respectively. Replacing P with R2 and MB with M2, all other mold pieces can be constructed by recursively executing the above process. Therefore, for discussion below, only the construction of two mold pieces (M1 and M2) for two regions (R1 and R2) is considered. It is evident that each face of Fin in M has a corresponding face in P. Two faces are in the exact same position but with opposite face normals. We use ~ to denote this
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PF P MB Part Glue Face 1 Glue Face 2 Glue ~F(R1) M2 Reverse Glue PF Fin M
Fout M
Fout M
M1
M ' = MBP
Fout M
~F(R2)
Glue Face 1
Glue Face 2
corresponding relationship. Since faces of R1 are to be formed by M1 and faces of R2 are to be formed by M2, all faces of Fin can be divided into two sets: FinM = ~F(R1) + ~F(R2). From Equation (3.2), (3.3), and (3.4), F(M) = FoutM + FoutM + ~F(R1) + ~F(R2). (3.5) For two bodies A, B in Boundary Representation, A = bA iA and B = bB iB, where b denotes the set of points on the boundary and i denotes the set of interior points. Therefore the union of A, B can be represented as: C = A B = bA bB iA iB (Mortenson, 1997). For the boundary of C, we have: bC = b(bA bB iA iB) = bA bB. (3.6)
Gluing operation is a standard highlevel Euler operation for halfedge data structure, which is a de facto data structure of the boundary representation. More details about the halfedge data structure including coedges are given in Section 4.2. The main operations of the gluing operation are to swap the partner coedges for all common edges of two bodies, then merge all faces into one body. Mntyl (1988) gave an equation to represent union operation by gluing operation,
(3.4)
(3.7)
Considering the relation with bB, the boundary faces of A can be divided into three kinds of faces: faces outside of bB, faces on bB, and faces inside of bB. That is, bA = (bA out bB) + (bA on bB) + (bA in bB). Similarly, bB = (bB out bA) + (bB on bA) + (bB in bA). 109 (3.8) (3.9)
In Problem MPC, M = M1 M2. From Equation (3.6) and (3.7), bM = bM1 bM2 = (bM1 out bM2) (bM2 out bM1). (3.10) Since M1 and M2 are two different bodies that are assembled together, (bM1 in bM2) and (bM2 in bM1) in Equation (3.8) and (3.9) are null. So bM1 = (bM1 out bM2) + (bM1 on bM2); bM2 = (bM2 out bM1) + (bM2 on bM1). (3.11) (3.12)
If bM1 and bM2 are given, based on Equation (3.10) ~ (3.12), bM can be generated by gluing operation (from Figure 3.25.b to Figure 3.25.a) with three steps. (1) Finding faces (bM1 on bM2) and (bM2 on bM1) from bM1 and bM2, delete them from M1 and M2 respectively (Equation (3.11) and (3.12)); (2) Swap partner coedges for all common edges of M1 and M2; (3) Merge all faces of M1 and M2 into one body M with two shells (Equation (3.10)). As shown in Figure 3.25.b, faces (bM1 on bM2) and (bM2 on bM1) are actually the contact faces between M1 and M2 when they are assembled together. A definition for them is given.
Definition 3.7. A Glue Face (GF) of a mold piece M1 related to another mold piece M2 is one of the faces (bM1 on bM2).
According to the definition, for each glue face of M1, there is a corresponding glue face of M2. These two faces are in the same position but with opposite face normals. However, in Problem MPC, bM1 and bM2 are unknown. They are actually what is to be generated. Since MB and P are given in Problem MPC, M and bM can be generated quite easily based on the equation M = MB P. The boundary of a 3D model is faces. So bM = F(M). From equation (3.5) and (3.10), it is evident that FoutM + FoutM + ~F(R1) + ~F(R2) = (bM1 out bM2) (bM2 out bM1) Therefore, suppose (bM1 out bM2) = FoutM + ~F(R1); (bM2 out bM1) = FoutM + ~F(R2). (3.13) (3.14)
If all the glue faces (bM1 on bM2) and (bM2 on bM1) are also known, M1 and M2 can be generated based on Equation (3.11) and (3.12) with three steps. (1) Remove faces FoutM + F(R1) and FoutM + F(R2) from M, and use them to generate two new bodies M1 and M2 respectively (Equation (3.13) and (3.14)); (2) Generate glue faces (bM1 on bM2) and (bM2 on bM1), and add them to M1 and M2 respectively (approaches are discussed in Section 3.6.2 in more details); (3) Swap partner coedges for all common edges of M1 and M2 (Equation (3.11) and (3.12)). In this dissertation the above processes are named Reverse Glue operation.
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In the reverse glue operation, Step (1) and (3) are straightforward. However, Step (2), the generation of glue faces, may be rather difficult for some geometry. The approaches of MPMDM for the generation of glue faces are presented in the next section.
3.6.2 Generation Approach of Glue Faces
verseGlue and M2 from the reverse glue process ( M ' Re M1 ! M 2 ) is not definitive. Using different glue faces will give us different mold piece designs. For example, the approach described in Section 2.3 generates parting surfaces by extending parting lines. These faces are also glue faces since they also satisfy (bM1 on bM2) and (bM2 on bM1) when assembling M1 and M2 together. So the key of problem MPC is actually to find appropriate glue faces. In this dissertation, only planar parting surfaces are considered since they can reduce mold fabrication cost and material flash in the injection molding process (refer to Section 2.3).
For equation M = M1 M2, if M1 and M2 are given, the result M obtained from the M ' ) is unique. However, if M is given, the result M1 gluing process ( M1 ! M 2 Glue
In this section, a formal problem formulation for generating glue faces is presented first. Three kinds of glue faces are identified. Algorithms for generating them are described, with the focus on the generation of the inner glue faces.
Problem Formulation of the Glue Face Generation Suppose the given parting surface PS intersects with the outside faces of M at edges EFout. The boundary edges of a region on the cavity of M are called its parting edges (PEs). They may compose one or several closed parting loops (CPL), as shown in Figure 3.26.a. One loop is the outer loop and others are inner loops.
PF P MB CPL1 M' PF F1 F4 F3 EFout F2 F7 CPL2 F8 F5 F6 F1 F8 F1 PF F3 F2 F7 F6 F6 F1 F8 F4 F5 F6 F3 F2 F7
M1
F8
M2
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To form mold piece M1 from FoutM and F(R1), and M2 from FoutM and F(R2), the glue faces should have the given parting edges and EFout as their boundary edges, as shown in Figure 3.26.b. So the generation of glue faces is actually a geometric reconstruction problem, that is, generating faces according to their boundary edges. For given parting edges and EFout, there may exist several solutions. As an example, for the part given in Figure 3.26.a, the glue face F3 shown in Figure 3.26.b is not required to be perpendicular to PS. So glue faces will be changed correspondingly, and result in another mold piece design for the given part. So the generation of glue faces considered in this dissertation can be formulated as:
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(2) for each vertex vi of CPL1, // project the vertex into PS (3) pv projection(vi); (4) if(pvi vi) pei make_edge(vi, pv); (5) otherwise pei NULL; (6) for each edge ei of CPL1, (7) if edge_in_plane(ei, PS) = TRUE, sei ei; // edge is in PS (8) else // edge is not in PS // project ei onto PS for sei (9) sei projection(ei, PS); (10) gf_proj make_face(ei, pei, sei, pei+1); (11) Add gf_proj to SGF; // generate inner loop of GFpf (12) Lpi make_loop(se); (13) Lpo intersection (PS, Fout(M)); // generate outer loop of GFpf 4 (14) gf_pf make_face(Lpo, Lpi); (15) Add gf_pf to SGF. There are only two individual loops in Algorithm Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop. So the cost of the algorithm is O(ne), where ne is the edge number of loop CPL1. (3) Inner glue faces (GFinner): Inner parting loops imply the existence of holes in part P. Correspondingly, inner glue faces should be generated to separate two mold pieces. If an inner parting loop CPLi is in a plane, such as loop CPL2 shown in Figure 3.26.a, it is straightforward to generate a face GFinner according to the loop (F8 shown in Figure 3.26.b). However, in more general cases, loop CPLi may not be in a plane. Therefore several glue faces are to be generated for the loop. The generation of inner glue faces according to a given loop is discussed in more details as follows. After generating the glue faces for region R1, the glue faces for region R2 can be generated just by face copying, because glue faces for M1 and M2 are in same positions with reversed directions.
Generation of Inner Glue Faces The shape of inner glue faces is determined by inner parting loops. For an arbitrary
R1
LR1
E1
E2 CPL2 R2
(a) Part with a snap fit
f3
E3
E4 LR2 f1
f2
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inner parting loop, the generation of inner glue faces may be much more complicated. As an example, a part with a snap fit feature is shown in Figure 3.27.a. Suppose the part faces are divided into two regions, R1 and R2. Accordingly two closed parting loops are formed. Between them, CPL2 is an inner parting loop, where the edges of CPL2 are not in one plane. For CPL2, there are two coedge loops LR1 and LR2 related to R1 and R2 respectively as shown in Figure 3.27.b. The generation of inner glue faces from inner parting loops is actually a geometric reconstruction problem. Let A be a linked parting loop, and T a transformation such that T(A) B, where B is some planar faces whose boundary is defined by A. One common reconstruction approach of surfaces from points consists of projecting the points to a plane, triangulating them, and converting this into a triangulated surface by projecting each vertex back into three dimensions (Goodman and O'Rourke, 1997). The approach is often used for cartographic problems. However, in our problem, a plane and the projection of points are not defined. So it is difficult to find such a plane to avoid the coincidence of point projections. To construct inner glue faces for Problem GFG, new edges are to be generated and they should satisfy two requirements: (1) each new edge is not within a face of M; (2) each new edge is not an existing edge in M. For requirement (1), if a new generated face or edge is within a face of M, the mold piece generated by reverse gluing operation will be invalid because of face overlapping. Similarly, for requirement (2), if a new edge is an existing edge in M, we will get a body with an edge shared by more than two faces. So the mold piece will be nonmanifold. Similar to many geometric reconstruction problems, faces that satisfy all the above requirements for a loop may be different. In this dissertation a greedy heuristic is used to minimize the number of generated faces. That is, starting from each coedge ei of a linked loop, the number of succeeding coedges (nci) that can form a planar face with ei is counted and assigned to ei. For example, for LR2 shown in Figure 3.27.b, the number for each coedge is shown in Figure 3.28.a. So every time the approach starts from a coedge emax with the biggest nci to generate a face. emax and all succeeding coedges are added to an empty set SE until a succeeding coedge is not in the same plane. If the first and the last
(2)
(1) (0)
(0) (1)
(2)
(1) (0)
f1
f2 (4)
f1
(0) (0)
(2) LR2
(0) (2)
(1)
(4) f3 (4)
(4)
(a) nc of coedges
(b) f1 is generated
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coedges in SE are not linked, a new edge is generated with two related coedges to connect them. One coedge is added to SE so that the coedges in SE can form a face, which is then added to a face set. Another coedge is added to the linked loop to replace all the coedges in SE. Some edges in the loop may need to update their number nc. This process continues until no more coedges are in the loop. An example for the above process is shown in Figure 3.28 for the inner parting loop given in Figure 3.27. When calculating the number of succeeding coedges to form a planar face, it is required to determine if a new edge to form a new face is valid. For example, in Figure 3.27.b, E1 is an existing edge of the part, and E2 is within a face of R2. So they are all invalid according to the requirements of new generated edges. For a face with an invalid new edge, nc of all the coedges except the last one is assigned 0. The algorithm to generate GFinner is presented as follows. Algorithm: Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop Input: A linked parting loop CPLi. Output: A set SGF with glue faces GFinner. (1) for each edge ei of CPLi, (2) nci edge_nc(ei, CPLi); // calculate nc for ei in CPLi (3) while edges of CPLi are not null, (4) esn biggest_edge(nc, CPLi); // find the edge with biggest nc (5) m nc(esn), if m = 0, return error; (6) set Sce null; (7) add coedge esn, , esn+ m to Sce; (8) if esn and esn+ m have a same vertex, ne null; // new edge to form a closed loop (9) else ne make_edge (esn, esn+m); (10) generate coedges cne1 and cne2 from ne; // if ne = null, cne1 and cne2 are null // generate new face (11 ) gf_inner make_face(Sce, cne1); (12) add gf_inner to SGF; (13) replace all coedges in Sce with cne2; (14) update_edge_nc(cne2, CPLi); // update nc for cne2 and its preceding edges The main loops of the algorithm are Step (3) and (4). Since it takes O(lgn) to get an element with the biggest number in an array with n elements, the cost of the algorithm is O(nelgne), where ne is the edge number of loop CPLi. In this section the algorithms for generating glue faces are presented. Based on them the algorithms for constructing twopiece molds and multipiece molds are presented respectively in the next section.
3.6.3 Reverse Glue Algorithm and Parting Surface
Based on the steps of the reverse glue operation (Section 3.6.1) and Algorithms Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop and Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop (Section 3.6.2), the algorithms of MPMDM for constructing mold pieces and the selection of parting surface are discussed in this section.
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Algorithm for Twopiece Molds Based on Equation (3.11) ~ (3.14), the algorithm for generating two mold pieces is given as follows.
Algorithm: Two_Mold_Piece_Generation Input: Parting surface (PS) and Boolean mold base M with faces Fout(M), ~F(R1) and ~F(R2). Output: Mold piece M1 and M2. (1) for each vertex vi of the parting edges of ~F(R1), (2) get edges that share vi; (3) for each edge ei, (4) if ei intersects PS, split ei into edge ei+ and ei by PS; (5) Use PS to cut Fout(M) into faces FoutM and FoutM. (6) generate parting loops CPLk from the parting edges of ~F(R1); (7) classify CPLk into an outer loop CPL1 and several inner loops CPLi; (8) initialize set SGF NULL; (9) Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop(CPL1, SGF); // generate GFps and GFproj (10)For each inner loops CPLi, (11) Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop(CPLi, SGF); // generate GFinner (12)set SGF copy_reverse_faces(SGF); // copy glue faces (13)Swap partner coedges for all common edges of SGF, FoutM and ~F(R1); (14)Swap partner coedges for all common edges of SGF, FoutM and ~F(R2); (15)Generate body M1 with the faces of SGF, FoutM and ~F(R1), then Regulate M1. (16)Generate body M2 with the faces of SGF, FoutM and ~F(R2), then Regulate M2. Suppose the edge number of the parting edges is ne. Among them, the edge number of the outer loop CPL1 is nLo, and the edge number of the inner loops CPLi is nLi. So the cost of Step (1) to (11) is O(ne+ nLilg nLi). The cost of Step (13) and (14) depends on ne and the edge number of the part npe. One simple implementation to find all common edges is to use two iterations. One checks all edges of ne, and another checks all edges of npe. So the cost of Step (13) and (14) is O(nenpe). Therefore the cost of the algorithm is
E1 V E2
E GFinter1
PS
E3
PE1
Figure 3.29 An Example for Coedge Splitting.
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O(ne+ nLilg nLi + nenpe). The edge splitting process in Step (1) ~ (4) is necessary. Without the splitting, some coedges of GFproj may not be able to find a partner coedge. So the generated M1 and M2 will be invalid bodies. For example, if the parting surface PS is chosen for a part as shown in Figure 3.29, glue face GFinter1 is generated by projecting PE1 into PS. If edge E is not divided into E1 and E2, edge E3 of GFinter1 will not be able to find a partner coedge. A mold piece generated by the reverse glue approach may have several coplanar faces. A body regulation operation is called in Step (15) and (16) in order to merge these coplanar faces.
Algorithm for Multipiece Molds The algorithm to generate twopiece molds can be extended for generating multipiece molds.
Algorithm: Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation Input: Boolean mold base M with faces Fout(M), and ~F(Ri) (1 i n). Output: Set of mold piece Mi (1 i n). (1) rank region number i according to the main parting direction and region volumes; (2) for 1 i n1, // only need to run n1 times (3) assign attributes ~F(R1) to faces ~F(Ri); (4) assign attributes ~F(R2) to all faces ~F(Rj) (i+1 j n); (5) assign attributes Fout(M) to all glue faces; (6) generate parting surface (PSi); (7) Two_Mold_Piece_Generation(PSi,M,M1, M2); //call twopiece mold function (8) Mi M1; (9) if i = n1, Mn M2; (10) else, M M2. Step (1) considers the generation order of mold pieces. It is quite obvious using different orders will give us different results. The two heuristics considered are (i) generating mold pieces for regions in main parting direction first; (ii) generating mold pieces for regions with bigger volumes (calculate by bounding box) first. Accordingly the given regions can be ranked before generating mold pieces for them. Suppose the number of mold piece is nm, the average number of parting edges for each region is ne, the average edge number of CPLi is nLi, and the average edge number of the part is npe. The cost of the algorithm is O(nmne + nmnLilg nLi+ nmnenpe). The algorithm based on the Reverse Glue operation is very efficient. First it uses Euler operations directly rather than sweeping and Boolean operations. Second the algorithm complexity can be only related to the parting edge number instead of the edge number of the part, if more advanced data structures are used. That is, for step (13) and (14) in Algorithm Two_Mold_Piece_Generation, there is no need to determine all edges of the part if we record all candidate edges for the reverse glue operations in advance. The number of parting edges is usually far less than the edge number of a part, which is evident from the examples given in Section 4.4. Therefore the mesh sizes of quadric surfaces or parametric surfaces can be refined without affecting the execution time of Algorithm Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation significantly. 117
Step (6) in Algorithm Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation is generating a parting surface for region Ri. An approach for this step is discussed in more details as follows.
Selection of Parting Surface For the approaches based on extending parting lines, the parting surface is decided entirely by the parting lines. For a given parting direction and some parting lines, there is only one parting surface (refer to Section 2.3). However in the approach of MPMDM, parting surface (PS) is also a mold design variable, similar to parting direction (PD) and parting line (PL).
The principle of the reverse glue operation given in Section 3.6.1 does not have any requirement on the parting surface. So the approach can generate mold pieces for an arbitrarily chosen parting surface. For example, three mold designs for a simple part P are shown in Figure 3.30.a ~ Figure 3.30.c. Their PD and PL are the same. The only difference is PF1 ~ PF3 are in different positions.
M1 P M2 PF1 P M1 PF2 M2 M2 M1 e2 e1 P M2 PF3 M1 e2 e1 P PF3
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Although all the designs satisfy the requirements given in Problem MPC, the fabrication cost related to each design is different. For M1 in Figure 3.30.c, the shape formed by e1 and e2 is a small protrusion, which may break easily in injection process. As a worse situation, if e1 becomes vertical to PD, e2 and e1 will form a protrusion with no volume as shown in Figure 3.30.d. Although theoretically M1 is still a valid shape, it is not manufacturable anymore. So the designs given in Figure 3.30.a and Figure 3.30.b are valid for the part, while the designs shown in Figure 3.30.c and Figure 3.30.d are not. To generate a parting surface for a part with given PD and PL, the heuristic rule used in the approach is given as follows. First all the vertices of the outer parting loop are rotated to make PD as the zaxis of the new coordination system. By adding different z value of each vertex to an array, zpf in the array that has the highest count number is identified. So the parting surface to be generated is the plane defined by zpf and face normal PD. User can also change it interactively in RTMDS, which will be discussed in Section 4.2.
3.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 3
In this chapter a systematic method (MPMDM) is presented for the design of multipiece molds for Rapid Tooling. An introduction to MPMDM is given first (Section 3.1). Then problem formulations and the steps of the method are presented in Section 3.2 and Section 3.3 respectively. Approaches associated with the different steps are presented in Section 3.4 ~ 3.6. This chapter provides foundations for developing a mold design
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system that can be used to design molds to fabricate prototype parts of different complexity. This mold design system (RTMDS) will be presented in Chapter 4. Although not explicitly presented in the chapter, the discussions on the different requirements, information flow and information processing for the different steps of MPMDM provide partial theoretical structural validation for Hypothesis 1, and the theoretical analyses of the algorithms provide partial theoretical performance validation for Hypothesis 1. These results are summarized below (Figure 3.31):
Hypothesis 1: Steps of MPMDM were presented in Section 3.3. The input and output information of each step provides partial validity of the entire structure of MPMDM. From the description it is evident that the output from each of the steps are used in subsequent steps, which provides theoretical structural validation of MPMDM. Further the final output of the MPMDM is mold pieces that satisfy Problem MCD and Problem MPD (Section 3.2.2), which compose Problem MD. Therefore the results of MPMDM were the targeted output of Problem MD. The theoretical structure validation of the three steps of MPMDM combined, also provides partial structure validation of MPMDM. The algorithms for each step were analyzed theoretically (Section 3.4~3.6). These algorithm analyses provide an insight on the performances
Information flow for The method different steps of performance in basic element basic element generation phase generation phase is are consistent. The acceptable based final elements are on algorithm the desired output. analysis.
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Information flow for The method different steps of performance in region combining phase are consistent. region combining phase is acceptable The mold piece based on algorithm regions are the analysis. desired output.
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The method Information flow for performance in different steps of mold piece mold piece construction phase construction phase is acceptable are consistent. The mold pieces are the based on algorithm analysis. desired output.
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Figure 3.31 Partial Theoretical Validation.
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of the algorithms for general inputs. Therefore they also provide partial performance validation of MPMDM. The empirical structural and performance validation of the MPMDM will be presented in Chapter 4, 7 and 8.
Hypothesis 1.1: Face connectivity and demoldability of mold pieces are two main concerns in multipieces mold design. They were considered in Problem MCD. For a given part, the convex and concave properties of its faces are a main factor to decide demoldability of mold pieces, and therefore its mold design. Correspondingly concave regions and convex faces are proper elements for mold design. Seven lemmas were presented to provide partial theoretical structural validation of Hypothesis 1.1 (Section 3.4.1). Although complete splitting can generate a unique result of concave regions and convex faces for a part, the running time of the approach is not feasible. In the approach for generating concave regions and convex faces, some heuristics were considered in selecting splitting surface and splitting criterion in the region splitting. The approach gives a feasible solution with satisfied running time. The algorithm analysis of SR (Section 3.4.3) provides partial theoretical performance validation of Hypothesis 1.1. Hypothesis 1.2: By generating small regions, the efficiency to explore face combinations is improved. As a criterion to determine feasible combinations of regions and faces, parting direction of a region needs to be calculated. The process of calculating VMap and making selection from it can be combined into a linear program (Section 3.5.1). Solving a linear program can give us a satisfactory solution much more quickly and easily. The algorithm for Problem PDLP, which runs in linear time and linear storage, provides partial theoretical performance validation of Hypothesis 1.2. Detection of nondrafted surfaces is an important step in mold design. Since draft type is tightly related to a parting direction and parting lines, the detection should be executed in the determination process of parting direction (Section 3.5.2). In region combination process, it is noticed that mold design knowledge and related heuristic rules are needed since it is infeasible to explore and generate all the combinations of regions and faces (NPhard problem). The algorithm based on region combination is flexible in adding more design knowledge (Section 3.5.4). The analysis of the combining process and related algorithms provides partial theoretical structural validation of Hypothesis 1.2. Hypothesis 1.3: Automatically splitting the core and cavity inserts is an important step in the mold design process. Reverse glue operation is tightly related to glue operation, which has sound theoretic basis in the area of geometric modeling. The mathematical proof of the reverse glue operation (Section 3.6.1) provides partial theoretical validation of Hypothesis 1.3. Different glue faces will lead to different mold piece design. It is better to generate a planar glue surface since it can reduce mold fabrication cost and material flash in injection process. The generation of inner glue faces is a geometric reconstruction problem. A formal problem definition of the glue face generation is presented with two algorithms (Section 3.6.2). From the algorithm analyses (Section 3.6.3), it is evident that the approach based on the reverse glue operation is very efficient. It provides partial theoretical performance validation of Hypothesis 1.3. The approach can provide instantaneous visual feedback on the mold design results even for a part with rather complex geometries (Section 4.4.3).
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In the next chapter (Figure 3.32) the Rapid Tooling Mold Design system (Section 4.1), an experimental system that can be used on the design of molds to fabricate prototype parts with widely varying complexities, will be presented. Two test examples (Section 4.4) and three industrial cases (Section 4.5) whose molds were automatically generated by the system will be presented. These examples provide part of the empirical structural and performance validation of the hypotheses.
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CHAPTER 4
Rapid Tooling and multipiece molding can dramatically reduce the fabrication time for complex injection molded prototypes. A systematic approach based on regions is developed for automated design of multipiece Rapid Tooling molds in Chapter 3. In this chapter, an experimental system, the Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) which is based on the MPMDM presented in Chapter 3, is described. First an overview of the RTMDS is given in Section 4.1. Then the supporting modules and the related software tools used in the system are presented in Section 4.2. The implementations of the mold design modules are discussed in Section 4.3. These modules are the cores of the system. The problems and related limitations in the implementations of the modules are also presented in Section 4.3. With all the modules presented, two test examples and three industrial examples are described in Section 4.4 and Section 4.5 respectively. Finally the relationship between the RTMDS and the validation of the hypotheses are discussed in Section 4.6.
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4.1 OVERIEW OF RAPID TOOLING MOLD DESIGN SYSTEM The method described in Chapter 3 has been employed to develop a Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS). The system is part of the RTTB project (Rapid Tooling Testbed) under development at Georgia Institute of Technology (Section 1.2.2). The role of the system is to design mold pieces for a part whose prototypes are to be produced by Rapid Tooling. The RTMDS consists of several modules and related data (Figure 4.1). The main modules of RTMDS are (1) region generation, (2) region combination and (3) mold piece construction. They correspond to the three steps of the Multipiece Mold Design method shown in Figure 3.6. The modules are linked to a graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI controls the execution order, set options for each module, and graphically displays the results. ACIS manipulation module and LINGO manipulation module are two supporting modules which are used by these three main modules. Related to the given CAD model, the ACIS manipulation module provides functions to evaluate geometry and topology of the part, and to make necessary modifications to the part. Related to Problem PDLP (Section 3.5.1), the LINGO manipulation module generates the Linear Programming formulations that are to be solved by LINGO@. The module also transfers the results into a parting direction and sends it back to the main modules. Related to the system modules, the data flow of RTMDS is from CAD models of a part and a mold base to CAD models of mold pieces. Besides these CAD models, the main data structures of RTMDS include several arrays for regions (Section 3.5.3) and convex faces. They are generated by the region generation module and modified by the region combination
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Figure 4.1 The Organization and Data Flow of the RTMDS. 123
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module. Finally they are used by the mold piece construction module for generating mold pieces. In this chapter, RTMDS is presented in the following manners. First the supporting modules (ACIS manipulation, LINGO manipulation, and GUI) and their related data are introduced in Section 4.2. Their implementations and related software tools (ACIS, LINGO, and MSMFC) are also presented Section 4.2. Based on the supporting modules, the implementation and limitations of the three main modules (region generation, region combination, and mold piece construction) are discussed in Section 4.3. Finally two test examples and three industrial examples are presented in Section 4.4 and Section 4.5 respectively. They illustrate the usage of RTMDS for mold design besides verifying the system. Finally a summary of the chapter is given in Section 4.6. 4.2 SUPPORTING MODULES AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATIONS As shown in Figure 4.1, three main support modules in RTMDS are ACIS manipulation, LINGO manipulation, and graphical user interface. They support the implementations of MPMDM (Chapter 3) in the following manners. MPMDM is developed mainly based on the geometric properties of a part. Consequently the ability of evaluating and manipulating the part geometries is critical for the system. The author chose ACIS as the geometry kernel for RTMDS because it is the most powerful solid modeling kernel today (Section 4.2.1). The part and the mold base inputted to the system are all represented in ACIS format. Correspondingly the ACIS manipulation module is developed to support the operations that are related to geometries. To determine parting directions in the generation and combining processes, a linear programming (LP) problem needs to be solved (Section 3.5.1). The LINGO manipulation module can generate the LP formulation related to the parting direction problem. It can also call the LINGO system to solve the problem and send back the results (Section 4.2.2). Finally, the Graphical User Interface module allows the user of the system to visually examine the results of each step. The user can then interactively change design options, or the results directly based on the displayed results (Section 4.2.3). 4.2.1 ACIS Manipulation Module and Part Representation
Threedimensional (3D) geometric modelers are central to applications that are related to 3D geometries. However it is difficult and usually impossible for the developers of the applications to create a modeler from scratch. Therefore an existing geometric modeler should be used in an application. In this section, the geometric modeler used in the RTMDS, ACIS, is introduced briefly first. Then the preparation process to generate a part that can be read by ACIS is described. Finally the implementation of the ACIS manipulation module is presented after the data structures of ACIS are briefly introduced. ACIS ACIS 3D Geometric Modeler (ACIS) from Spatial Technology Inc. (renamed Spatial Corporation recently, www.spatial.com) is a wellknown solid modeling kernel for creating an end user application. As the leading 3D geometric modeler in the world, ACIS has been used in over 200 applications. Some of them are today's leading CAD/CAM/CAE software applications including AutoCAD 2000. 124
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The ACIS kernel consists of a set of C++ classes (including data and member functions, or methods) and functions (Spatial Technology, 2000). These classes and functions provide a foundation of common modeling functionality (e.g. Boolean operations). They also provide users the flexibility to be adapted and extended for particular application requirements. ACIS stores the information of a model to ACIS save files. ACIS also restores the model information from these files. There are two types of ACIS save files: Standard ACIS Text files (file extension .sat) and Standard ACIS Binary files (file extension .sab). The only difference between these two files is that the data is stored as ASCII text in a .sat file and as binary form in a .sab file. The organization of a .sat file and .sab file is identical. Therefore the term SAT file is generally used to refer to both in this dissertation. To get a valid SAT file that can be handled by RTMDS, the converting process for a CAD model of a part or a mold base is presented as follows. The Preparation of Input Files The RTMDS can only handle the SAT file as the input. In addition, since MPMDM only considers planar surfaces (Section 3.5), the boundary faces of a part or a mold base that are inputted to the system must also be planar. Therefore the format for RTMDS should be a SAT file with only planar faces (called PFSAT file in this dissertation). The process to generate a PFSAT file for RTMDS is shown in Figure 4.2. A given CAD model can be in any format, e.g. a SAT file, or a PRT file (ProEngineer), or a SLDPRT file (SolidWorks). The first step is to transfer the CAD file to a STL file. The STL or stereolithography format is an ASCII or binary file used in manufacturing. It is the standard input for most rapid prototyping machines. In this process, quadric or parametric boundary surfaces are approximated with a series of planar faces. The second step is to transfer the STL file into a SAT file. In this process, all planar faces that are in the same surface are combined into one face. The topology of faces, loops and edges are also added to the file. Both STL and SAT are the formats that are supported in most
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major commercial CAD systems. In STL file, the shape of the object is defined by a list of the triangular surfaces that must meet up exactly with each other, without gaps or overlaps. The number of triangles used can be userdefined. As the number of triangles increases and the relative triangle size decreases, the shape begins to represent the outline of the quadric or parametric faces more accurately. This is often referred to as the "facet resolution." CAD programs often contain optional settings that will give the designer some level of control over the quality of the STL file output. The most common settings or variables in the CAD systems are "Chord Height" and "Angle Control." Their values are determined by the tradeoff between the accuracy requirements and the file size of the model. Part Representation and Implementation ACIS is a boundaryrepresentation (Brep) modeler, which means that it defines the boundary between solid material and empty space. This boundary is made from a closed set of surfaces in some spatial relations. The geometry and topology entities in ACIS are given in Figure 4.3. Another entity class shown in the figure, which is extensively used in RTMDS, is Attributes. An attribute is an object that is attached to an entity in an ACIS model. It stores information about the entity that is not provided within the ENTITY class itself. Therefore developers can attach applicationspecific data to entities by deriving their own attribute classes.
Figure 4.3 Focus of the ACIS Entity Classes in RTMDS (Spatial Technology, 2000). 126
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Since only straight lines and planar faces are considered in RTMDS, the manipulations related to the geometry entities are simple. However, in order to maintain a valid model, the manipulations related to the topology entities may be difficult. Therefore the ACIS manipulation module mainly focuses on managing the topology entities. The relationship between them is shown in Figure 4.4. Most functions in the module are related to face, loop, coedge, edge and vertex.
Focus of RTMDS
Figure 4.4 The Relationship of Topology Entity Classes in ACIS (Spatial Technology, 2000). C++ applications may interface to ACIS through Application Procedural Interface (API), functions, C++ classes, and Direct Interface (DI) functions. C++ applications for 127
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Microsoft Windows platforms may also take advantage of the ACIS interface to Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC), which is implemented in the ACIS Microsoft Foundation Class Component (AMFC). The author adopted C++ classes, functions, and AMFC in the development of RTMDS. The detail files and classes of the module are listed in Appendix A. In the next section, another supporting module of RTMDS is introduced. 4.2.2 Problem PDLP and LINGO
Problem PDLP was presented in Section 3.5.1 to evaluate a parting direction of some faces. It is a linear optimization problem since the goal and the constraints are all linear functions of the variables. Many algorithms and systems can solve the problem. Among them the Simplex method is the most famous method to solve linear programs (Reklaitis, et al., 1983). Mainly based on the availability, a linear programming solver, LINGO, is used in RTMDS for solving Problem PDLP, which is developed by Lindo Systems Inc (www.lindo.com). LINGO provides both the Dynamic Link Library (DLL) and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) standards for interfacing with other applications. In RTMDS, the LINGO DLL is used to access LINGO's functionality. In the implementation of the LINGO manipulation module, the author found writing all constraints explicitly in a model file is more robust than using a set with a template model file. The detail implementation information is described in Appendix A.4. 4.2.3 GUI and Control Options
The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of RTMDS consists of menus, toolbars, and a drawing area as shown in Figure 4.5. The user can control the running of the system by
Menu Toolbar
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using the menus and toolbars. The generated results are displayed in the drawing area for visualization. Usually different colors are used to help the user to interpolate the results. All the figures shown in Section 4.4 and 4.5 are the screen captures of the results shown in the drawing area. The GUI module of RTMDS is implemented based on Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). MFC consist of nearly 200 C++ classes, which are designed by Microsoft to make Windows programming easier and quicker. Application programs inherit functionality from MFC as needed. In the development of RTMDS, the ACIS Microsoft Foundation Class (AMFC) is also integrated with the MFC provided in the Microsoft Developer Studio. The detail implementation information of the module is also given in Appendix A. In the mold configuration design and mold piece construction processes, the user may want to change some control options based on the running results (Section 4.3). These control options can be changed interactively in RTMDS. An example of setting tolerances is given in Figure 4.6.
Figure 4.6 Setting Tolerance Values in RTMDS. In light of the supporting modules describe in this section, the implementations of the main modules, especially the limitations of the system, are discussed in the next section. 4.3 THE IMPLEMENTATION AND LIMITATIONS OF MOLD DESIGN MODULES The three mold design modules discussed in this section are the region generation module, region combination module, and mold piece construction module (Figure 4.1).
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All the codes of the modules are written in the C++ language using the Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 compiler from personal computers (PC). The algorithms of MPMDM presented in Chapter 3 are implemented in eight steps in RTMDS. They correspond to the eight buttons in the toolbar of the system. The steps and the related descriptions in Chapter 3 are listed as follows. Step 1: Find concave edges, and generate combined regions and convex faces (Section 3.4.3). Step 2: For each region, find parting edges, neighboring faces and a parting direction (Section 3.5.3). Step 3: For regions without a parting direction, divide them into several regions such that each one has a parting direction (Section 3.4.3 and Section 3.5.1). Step 4: Get region properties (main parting direction and core/cavity) and change region orders accordingly (Section 3.5.4). Step 5: Combine neighboring regions and faces into several regions (Section 3.5.4). Step 6: Judge parting surface for each region (Section 3.6.3). Step 7: Get suitable mold base for the part; Put it in a proper position and subtract the part from the mold base (Section 3.6.1). Step 8: Generate mold pieces for each regions (Section 3.6.2 and Section 3.6.3). Among them, Steps 1 ~ 3 belong to the region generation module; Steps 4 and 5 belong to the region combination module; and Steps 6 ~ 8 belong to the mold piece construction module. From Section 4.3.1 to Section 4.3.3, the problems and limitations identified in the implementation of the three modules are presented individually. 4.3.1 Region Generation
The region generation module is to generate combined regions and convex faces from the faces of a part. The implementation of the module was based on the algorithms presented in Section 3.4. The detail implementation information of the module is provided in Appendix A. In testing the module with different cases, the author identified three problems related to the region generation process. They also present the limitations of the RTMDS. The Validity of Input Models For a model input to RTMDS, it is assumed that each edge must be the border between two and only two polygons. Related to the two polygons, two coedges are linked to the edge and they should take each other as the partner coedge. Most CAD models satisfy this requirement. However, in the testing of RTMDS the author observed some CAD models with coedges whose partner coedges are null. Also since ACIS support Nonmanifold object, some CAD models may have edges that have more than two coedges. If these CAD models are input to RTMDS, the system may exit abnormally or even generate a system error. To generate a PFSAT file, a CAD model is converted to a STL file first. Then the STL file is converted to a SAT file. This converting process, especially the translation from the modeling format to STL, may lead to problems including missing geometry and looporientation inconsistencies. If different CAD systems are used in the process, some
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small edges of the model may be omitted due to the different tolerances used in the systems. The validation of a CAD model is a research area in solid modeling. The Eulers Rule can be used to check if a model is manifold (Mntyl, 1988). The Difficulties in the Face Splitting In Section 3.4.3, Algorithm Split_Region is presented to generate concave regions from a combined region that does not have a feasible parting direction. The face splitting in Step (4) is a major operation in the algorithm. A splitting surface (SS) can divide all the faces of the region into two sides. The faces in one side are added to region CR+, and the faces in another side are added to region CR. An illustrative example of the face splitting of face F is shown in Figure 4.7.
F+ SS F SS F
Figure 4.7 A Simple Example of Face Splitting. In RTMDS, a face is represented by a polygon (outer loop) with zero or many inside polygons (inner loops). Depending on the positional relationship of the polygons and the splitting surface, lots of situations should be considered. For example, an edge of the outer loop can be in the plane of SS, which is shown in Figure 4.8.a. Also, an edge of an inner loop can be in the plane of SS as shown in Figure 4.8.b. The face splitting algorithm in RTMDS is based on the intersection edges of two faces. It can handle general cases as shown in Figure 4.7, and some special cases as shown in Figure 4.8. However, a face in a given part may be rather complicated with many special cases like edge in SS or point in SS (Figure 4.9). Therefore it is rather difficult to develop a general face splitting algorithm that considers all the special cases.
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SS F
Figure 4.9 A Complicated Example of Face Splitting. The face splitting is also a research problem in geometric modeling. It is actually one step of the Boolean operations. However, the author did not find a function in ACIS to implement this operation. Also if the MPMDM is extended for a triangulated CAD model, it is straightforward to develop a general face splitting algorithm for triangles. Data Structure and Memory Usage Arrays instead of dynamic pointers are used in the current implementation of RTMDS, since checking the values of an array is much easier in debugging. However, this may bring into a problem in the memory usage. For a complicated part as shown in Section 4.5.3, there are more than 5000 faces. The size of several arrays, like array of concave edge, convex faces and combined regions, should be bigger than 3000. Each element of the arrays may take 40 bytes for a concave edge to 500KB for a combined region (Section 3.5.3). So the memory required for running the part will be more than 3k x 500kB = 1500 MB. It is beyond the capability of the computer used to test the system, which has 512 MB DRAM. So when running the part in RTMDS, an error of low memory was observed and the program exited abnormally. If changing all the arrays to pointers, the memory can be applied dynamically from the operation system (Windows). After finishing the usage of an array, its memory is released and returned back to the operating system. Therefore the above problem related to the low memory can be avoided. 4.3.2 Region Combination
From the regions and convex faces generated by the module of region generation, the region combination module explores their different combinations to minimize the number of mold pieces. The implementation of the module was based on the algorithms presented in Section 3.5. The detail implementation information of the module is provided in Appendix A. The problems and related limitations of the module are discussed as follows.
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Different Combining Order and Options in RTMDS As discussed in Section 3.5.4, the combining order of regions affects the combining results, and correspondingly the generated mold pieces. However, it is rather difficult, or even impossible, to get some general rules on the combining order. Sometimes opposite rules are observed for different parts. For example, in most cases, neighboring faces in a same plane should be combined into a region first. However, for a camera roller as shown in Figure 4.10, it is desired not to combine the neighboring faces in the same plane first (F1, F2, and F3, F4).
F2 F3 F4 F1
Figure 4.10 The Combining Order of Faces in a Same Plane. Consequently several options were provided in RTMDS to control the combining orders for different parts. These options include (1) if regions in the main parting direction are combined first; (2) if the core and cavity properties of a region are considered in the combining process; (3) the combining iteration number before regions that are not in the main parting direction are added to the combining process; (4) if faces in the same plane are combined first. The user can set these options quite easily by the menus of RTMDS. Several interactive tools are also provided in the system to inquire and change the order of the generated regions. Besides the order of regions, the order of neighboring faces of a region will also affect the combining results (Section 3.5.4). However, their relations are not so evident as the relations between the order of regions and the combining results. Therefore the order of neighboring faces is not considered in the current implementation of RTMDS. Robustness and Accuracy A main combining criterion for the region combination process is whether a feasible parting direction exists for all faces. The evaluation approach used in RTMDS is based on solving Problem PDLP (Section 3.5.1). In the problem, 1 is a tolerance variable for the plane constraints: dpi = xi d x + yi d y + zi d z 1 for each face Fi. After solving the problem, 2 is another tolerance variable for judging if faces are combinable according to the solution. That is, suppose the solution of Problem PDLP is v(x, y, z). The combinability of the faces can be determined by judging the length of v with 2. if (v.xv.x + v.yv.y + v.zv.z < 2) then Faces are combinable; else Faces cannot be combined. 133
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Setting proper values of 1 and 2 is important for the combining process. Considering the approximation errors of quadric or parametric surfaces, it is desirable to set 1 and 2 smaller to make the combining process more robust. However, this may also lead to some undesired results. As an example, a camera roller is shown in Figure 4.11, in which F is a planar face for the approximation of a cylindrical face. It is desired to combine face F with region R1. However, if 1 is set as 0.0174, and 2 is set as 0.85, face F is also combinable with region R2 based on Problem PDLP. The plane constraints and the solution of problem PDLP are also given in Figure 4.11. From the plane constraints, especially the inequality of F, it is quite obvious that 1 makes x of v nonzero.
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Problem PDLP for Determining the Combinability of R1 and F : MAX= (0.134028*(x1x2))+(0.380045*(y1y2))+(0.000000 *(z1z2)); : !The plane constraints; : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(1.000000*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.980783*(x1x2))+(0.195102*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(1.000000*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(0.000000*(y1y2))+(1.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.980783*(x1x2))+(0.195102*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(1.000000*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(0.000000*(y1y2))+(1.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.000000*(x1x2))+(1.000000*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.831473*(x1x2))+(0.555566*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.555566*(x1x2))+(0.831473*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.195102*(x1x2))+(0.980783*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.195102*(x1x2))+(0.980783*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.555566*(x1x2))+(0.831473*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.831473*(x1x2))+(0.555566*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); : (0.987689*(x1x2))+(0.156430*(y1y2))+(0.000000*(z1z2))>=(0.017400); F Solution of Problem PDLP : v = (0.2057, 0.94488, 0.0). Length v = 0.935. Figure 4.11 An Example for Setting Tolerance Value.
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The combining errors in the beginning stages will affect the determinations thereafter. Therefore the errors may spread and undesired results may be generated. For example, as the result given in Figure 4.11, the parting direction of region R1 is v1 (0.2057, 0.94488, 0.0) instead of v2 (0.0, 1.0, 0.0). So some faces that are not combinable in v2 can now be combined in v1; on the contrary, some faces that are combinable in v2 cannot be combined in v1. In RTMDS, interactive tools are provided for setting values of these tolerance variables (Figure 4.6). Picking tools are also provided to change faces of a region to a different region. 4.3.3 Mold Piece Construction
The mold piece construction module is to generate mold pieces from the regions of a part and a given mold base. The implementation of the module was based on the algorithms presented in Section 3.6. The detail implementation information of the module is provided in Appendix A. After testing the module, the author discusses some limitations of the module as follows. Setting Parting Surface Parting surface is important in the mold piece construction (Section 3.6.3). There are cases that the parting surfaces automatically generated by the RTMDS were not the same as what the user expected. The RTMDS also provides interactive tools for the user to change the parting surface. Two approaches are provided in the system. The user can pick an existing face or two existing edges. A parting surface will be constructed by the system accordingly. Position the Part Relative to the Mold Base As discussed in Section 3.6.1, the RTMDS will translate a part to the center point of a mold base automatically. However, the position of the part in the mold base may need to be changed in the actual mold design. For example, the positions of possible ejector pins are fixed by the ejection pattern of an injection molding machine. Therefore the part should be positioned in the mold base based on the geometry of the part and the positions of the pins. RTMDS allows the user to change the position of the part interactively. Generation of Inner Glue Faces In Section 3.6.2, Algorithm Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop was presented for the generation of inner glue faces. In the algorithm, the greedy heuristic is used to minimize the number of generated faces. The algorithm can handle many cases, including the cases shown in Figure 3.25 and Figure 3.26. However, it is also observed that an inner loop of a part can be rather complicated. Consequently the generation of inner glue faces for the loop can be difficult. An illustrative example is given in Figure 4.12. The inner parting loop is shown in the figure with the parting surface. RTMDS was unable to generate inner glue faces from the loop that satisfies Problem GFG given in Section 3.6.2. It is noticed that no matter how complicated the inner loop can be, the generated inner glue faces should satisfy Problem GFG. Therefore the author believes Problem GFG is a general problem formulation for the generation of inner glue faces. No publications in the areas of computational geometry and CAD were found that discussed
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Parting Surface
Figure 4.12 Mold Pieces for a Pocket with Empty VMap. Problem GFG or similar geometric problems. However, in order to construct mold pieces for an injection molded part, the problem should be studied further. Mold Piece Construction Order In Algorithm Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation (Section 3.6.3), mold pieces are constructed in the order of region R1, R2, , Rn. Before the algorithm is executed, the user of the RTMDS can also interactively change the construction order via the tools provided by the system. In light of the RTMDS and its modules described in the last section and this section, some testing examples of the RTMDS will be presented in Section 4.4 and 4.5. These parts have widely varying complexities as shown in Table 4.1. Table 4.1 The Complexities of the Example Parts in Section 4.4 and 4.5.
Complexity Example Part 1 (Section 4.4.1) X Example Part 2 (Section 4.4.2) X Industrial Part 1 (Section 4.5.1) X Industrial Part 2 (Section 4.5.2) X X Industrial Part 3 (Section 4.5.3)
4.4 INTUITIVE EXAMPLE PARTS The main purpose of the examples given in this section is to test the methods presented in Chapter 3. Since the examples are intuitive, it is easier to verify the implementation of the system described in the last two sections. There are four steps that 136
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are taken in each example to verify the results from the system are correct and make sense. These steps or tasks are: Task 1: Verify the regions and the convex faces generated by the system are the same as what are expected from the method; Task 2: Verify the regions after combining are the same as what are expected from the method; Task 3: Verify the generated mold pieces can form the combined regions inside and the mold base outside; Task 4: Examine the running time of each module to determine whether they are in accordance with the algorithm analysis of MPMDM (Chapter 3). Besides industrial parts as shown in Section 4.5, the author constructed more than 10 example parts and tested them in the RTMDS. The two parts presented in this section are chosen because (1) they represent the two most common undercuts, protrusion and extrusion; (2) they are the simplest parts that are related to twopiece molds and multipiece molds respectively. A detail description of the results for each step of the RTMDS is given in Section 4.4.2 because the complexity of the test example 2 is suitable for explaining the running results. It also illustrates the correctness of the implementations of the system. For other examples given in this and the next sections, the results of each example are organized in the following manners. First, the information of the part (the size of the file, face number, etc.) is presented in a table. The screen captures of the graphical results of some key steps given by the RTMDS are given in figures. The information related to these steps is also provided in the table. Finally the running time of each step and the total time are listed in the table. All the tests in this dissertation are based on a personal computer with a 700 MHz IntelIII processor. 4.4.1 Test Example 1: A Box with a Rib
Input SAT file size: 11 KB. The first test example is a rib part as shown in Figure 4.13. It is a simple part with only 11 faces. The part has only one protrusion feature, and two mold pieces are sufficient for producing the part. Table 4.2 lists the information regarding the part, generated regions, and the execution time of each step. Figure 4.14 shows the graphical outputs of the RTMDS. Different regions and convex faces (CVX) are marked with different colors.
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Figure 4.13 A Test Example of a Rib Part. Table 4.2 The Information for Test Example 1.
Part Info. Region Info. Reverse glue Info. Face No. 11 Initially generated 1 CPL No. 1 GFps No. 1 Step 1 0.01 Step 4 0.12 Step 7 0.02 Concave face No. 5 After dividing 1 Edge # of CPL1 4 GFproj No. 0 Step 2 0.44 Step 5 0.38 Step 8 0.29 Concave edge No. 4 After combining 1 Edge # of CPLi 0 GFinner No. 0 Step 3 0.00 Step 6 0.01 Total Time 1.27
Besides the results automatically generated by the RTMDS, the user can also change some faces of a region to the set of convex faces interactively. In Figure 4.15.a, the region and convex faces of the part are shown, which are slightly different from the results shown in Figure 4.14.b. Correspondingly, different mold designs are generated by the RTMDS, which are also shown in Figure 4.15.
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Region
Region
(d) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 4.14 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Test Example 1.
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Region
(a) Region Combination Result with the Parting Surface (1 region + 5 CXFs)
(d) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 4.15 Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for Test Example 1.
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4.4.2
Figure 4.16 A Test Example of a Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves. The second test example is a box with a through hole and two grooves as shown in Figure 4.16. It is a simple part with only 18 faces. The part has three extrusion features. It cannot be made by two mold pieces. Therefore multipiece mold design is needed for producing the part. Table 4.3 lists the information regarding the part, generated regions, reverse glue operation, and the execution time of each step. Table 4.3 The Information for Test Example 2.
Part Info. Region Info. Face No. 18 Initially generated 3 CPL No. 2 GFps No. 1 CPL No. 1 GFps No. 1 Step 1 0.01 Step 4 0.05 Step 7 0.02 Concave face No. 12 After dividing 3 Edge # of CPL1 4 GFproj No. 0 Edge # of CPL1 12 GFproj No. 2 Step 2 0.49 Step 5 0.45 Step 8 0.32 Concave edge No. 14 After combining 2 Edge # of CPLi 4 GFinner No. 1 Edge # of CPLi 0 GFinner No. 0 Step 3 0.0 Step 6 0.00 Total Time 1.34
A detail description of the results generated in each step is given as follows. It can familiarize the reader with the notions given in the result table. It also illustrates the correctness of the implementations of the RTMDS.
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Step 1: Based on the criterion of judging convex and concave edges (Section 3.4.3), there are 14 concave edges (5+5+4) in the part as shown in Figure 4.17. If a face contains one or more concave edges, it is a concave face. Therefore 12 concave faces (4+4+4) are identified. Based on their connectivity, three regions are generated for all the concave faces (Figure 4.17). All the remaining faces are convex faces. Therefore the total face number is 12+6 = 18.
R3 5 concave edges 4 concave faces 1 region
z x y
Figure 4.17 Illustration of the Running Results of Test Example 2. Step 2: For each region, the parting edges and neighboring faces are recorded in the data structure of the RTMDS. Also a parting direction for each region is generated by the LINGO system. They are: PD1 for R1 is (0.0, 1.0, 0.0), PD2 for R2 is (0.707, 0.0, 0.707), PD3 for R3 is (0.707, 0.0, 0.707). Step 3: Since all regions have a parting direction, this step is skipped. However, for industrial example 2, this step is critical since a generated region R has no feasible parting direction (Figure 4.24). Step 4: The main parting direction of the part is in yaxis because the volume of the bounding box of R1 is the biggest. Also R1 is a core since one of its edge loops is an inner loop of a face. Instead R2 and R3 are cavities since all their edge loops are outer loop of faces. Step 5: Based on the connectivity of faces and combining criterion (Section 3.5.1), R1 and a convex face are combined into a region. R2, R3 and a convex face are combined into a region (Figure 4.18.b). In the figures, different regions and convex faces (CVX) are marked with different colors. After the region combination process, 2 regions (R1, R2) and 4 convex faces are generated. For the four convex faces, a new region R3 is generated.
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Step 6: The parting surfaces generated for R1 and R2 are shown in Figure 4.18.d and Figure 4.19.c respectively. The parting surface for R3 is not used in the mold piece construction process, therefore it is not shown here. Step 7: A mold base is generated based on the size of the part. After it is positioned as shown in Figure 4.18.d, the Boolean operation is executed with the part.
R3 R2 R2
R1 Convex Faces
R1
Convex Faces (a) Region Generation (3 regions + 6 CXFs) (b) Region Combination (2 regions + 4 CXFs)
R2
R1
Convex Faces (c) Another View of the Region Combination Results (d) Mold Base and the Parting Surface
Figure 4.18 Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2. (Step 1~7)
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GFinner GFps
GFinner GFps
GFproj
(f) Putting Three Mold Pieces Together Figure 4.19 Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2 (Step 8).
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Step 8: Since three regions are generated in the region combination process (Figure 4.18.b and c), there are two phases in Algorithm Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation. Figure 4.19.a and b show the graphical outputs of the first phase. Figure 4.19.d and e shows the graphical outputs of the second phase. In the generated mold pieces, the generated glue faces are in the same color as those of the related regions. In the first phase, there are two parting loops (related to R1). Each of them has 4 edges. Since all the edges of CPL1 are in the parting surface, there is no GFproj (Section 3.6.2). Related to the two parting loops, faces GFps and GFinner are generated as shown in Figure 4.19.a and b. In the second phase, there is only one parting loops with 12 edges (related to R2). Among them, six of the parting edges are not in the parting surface, and they form two GFproj and one GFps (Figure 4.19.d and e). There is no GFinner in the second phase. After the correctness of the implementations of the RTMDS is illustrated, the running time of each step is also given in Table 4.3. From the results, it is evident that the RTMDS is also very efficient. Since the running time for this example is too short, further analysis on the computation time of the RTMDS is given in Section 4.5.3. In the next section, three industrial parts are presented to further verify the mold design method, and also to demonstrate that the RTMDS is capable to handle more complex cases. 4.5 INDUSTRIAL CASES In this section three industrial parts whose molds were designed by the RTMDS are presented. For each example the four tasks described in Section 4.4 are also followed to verify that the results from the system are correct and make sense. In addition, the author also physically validated the mold design of industrial example 1 and produced prototypes for the part design. The examples were chosen as the case studies of the RTMDS mainly for the reasons given as follows. (1) The three example parts are typical injection molded parts; (2) The complexity of the parts covers a typical range of part complexities based on the face number of a part. The three examples have face number from 330 to 5000, which correspond to medium complexity to high complexity. (3) The size of the first example is suitable for an existing mold base of a MorganPress injection molding machine, which is located at RPMI. Therefore it can be used to test the RTMDS in loading an existing CAD model of a mold base. (4) The second example has a combined region which does not have a feasible parting direction. So the region needs to be divided into several concave regions. Also the part has several inner parting loops. Therefore the algorithms of dividing regions and generating inner glue faces can be tested by the second example. (5) The third example has more than 5000 faces. It is used mainly to test if the RTMDS can handle parts with high complexity. The three examples are organized based on their complexities. From industrial example 1 to 3, the part complexity is increased. The results of each example are organized in the same way as that of the examples given in Section 4.4. The information
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of the part and the mold design steps is presented in a table. The screen captures of the graphical results of some key steps given by the RTMDS are given in figures. All the tests are also based on a personal computer with a 700 MHz IntelIII processor. 4.5.1 Industrial Example 1: A Housing
Input SAT file size: 409 KB. The first industrial example is a housing for a telephone adapter as shown in Figure 4.20. The original part was produced by the injection molding process. There are both protrusion and extrusion features in the part. Table 4.4 lists the information regarding the part, generated regions, and the execution time of each step. Figure 4.21 shows the graphical outputs of the RTMDS. Different regions are marked with different colors. The standard mold base used in a MorganPress injection molding machine is also shown
Figure 4.20 A Housing for A Phone Adapter. Table 4.4 The Information for Industrial Example 1.
Part Info. Region Info. Face No. 330 Initially generated 28 CPL No. 1 GFps No. 1 Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop 0.03 Step 1 0.06 Step 4 0.04 Step 7 0.94 Concave face No. 207 After dividing 28 Edge # of CPL1 54 GFproj No. 23 Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop 0.0 Step 2 2.40 Step 5 7.15 Step 8 1.75 Concave edge No. 223 After combining 2 Edge # of CPLi 0 GFinner No. 0 Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation 1.57 Step 3 0.0 Step 6 0.36 Total Time 12.7
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in Figure 4.21.c. The mold design generated by the RTMDS (Figure 4.21.d) is further verified by physical validations. First the mold design is built directly by a SLA3500 machine. A photo of the built mold pieces is given in Figure 4.22.a. Using the SLA mold pieces, more than 10 functional prototypes of the part are produced by the MorganPress machine, which are shown in Figure 4.22.b. The material of the prototypes is polystyrene. The parameters used in the injection molding machine are: Temperature (Barrel / Nozzle): 430 / 450 oF. Pressure (Injection / Pilot): 2450 / 70 psi; Clamp Force: 13 tons. Time (injection / Cooling): 13 / 390 second. Therefore, it is validated that the mold design for the housing (Figure 4.21.d) can produce the part by the Rapid Tooling process.
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R1
R2
(d) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 4.21 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 1.
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(b) Injection Molded Parts Figure 4.22 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for Industrial Example 1.
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4.5.2
Figure 4.23 A Thin Wall Part for A Phone Adapter. The second industrial example is a thin wall part as shown in Figure 4.23. Both the top view and the bottom view are given. The part is a component of the telephone adapter whose housing is presented in Section 4.5.1. The original part was produced by the injection molding process. The part is rather complicated with several through holes and slots. Table 4.5 lists the information regarding the part, generated regions, and the execution time of each step. Figure 4.24 shows the graphical outputs of the RTMDS. Different regions are marked with different colors. A combined region shown in Figure 4.24.a is divided into eight concave regions as shown in Figure 4.24.b. In the dividing, face F1 and F2 (Figure 4.24.a) are the splitting surfaces because they have the biggest number of convex internal edges (Section 3.4.3). Finally the generated mold pieces for the part are given in Figure 4.25. Table 4.5 The Information for Industrial Example 2.
Part Info. Region Info. Face No. 606 Initially generated 31 CPL No. 12 GFps No. 1 Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop 0.03 Step 1 0.18 Step 4 0.13 Step 7 1.08 Concave face No. 489 After dividing 38 Edge # of CPL1 50 GFproj No. 14 Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop 18.0 Step 2 2.84 Step 5 10.4 Step 8 21.04 Concave edge No. 543 After combining 2 Edge # of CPLi 184 GFinner No. 11 Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation 21.0 Step 3 5.15 Step 6 0.02 Total Time 40.84
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F2 R F1
(a) Region Generation (31 regions)
R8 R3 R2 R4 R1 R7 R6 R5
(b) Region Dividing (38 regions, R is divided into R1 ~ R8)
R1
R2
(c) Region Combination (2 Regions) Figure 4.24 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 2.
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Figure 4.25 Generated Mold Pieces for Industrial Example 2. 4.5.3 Industrial Example 3: A Complex Housing
Input SAT file size: 5.3 MB. The third industrial example is a complex housing as shown in Figure 4.26. The original part was produced by the injection molding process. As discussed in Section 4.3.1, the current implementation of the RTMDS requires more than 1500MB memory for this part. Therefore in the PC used for testing the system, an error of low memory was given by the operation system when loading the part in the system. However, the author used interactive tools that are provided by the RTMDS to divide the faces into two regions. The two regions are marked with different colors and shown in Figure 4.27. The par was used to test the module of mold piece construction in the RTMDS. Table 4.6 lists the information regarding the part, the reverse glue operation, and the execution time of the algorithms used in the module (Section 3.6). Finally the generated mold pieces for the part are given in Figure 4.28.a. The author also built the mold pieces using a SLA3500 machine. A photo of the built mold pieces is shown in Figure 4.28.b.
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R1
R2
Figure 4.27 Region Combination (2 regions). Table 4.6 The Information for Industrial Example 3.
Part Info. Face No. Edge No. 5493 9344 Concave face No. Concave edge No. 4880 4448 CPL No. Edge # of CPL1 Edge # of CPLi 1 234 0 GFps No. GFproj No. GFinner No. 1 13 0 Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation 0.18 0.0 40.5
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(b) Two mold pieces made by SLA Figure 4.28 Mold Pieces for Industrial Part 3. From the running results shown in Table 4.6, it can be observed that the computation times of algorithms Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop and Glue_Faces_Inner_Loop are mainly affected by the edge number of CPL1 and CPLi respectively. The industrial part 2 is an interesting example with several inner parting loops. From its results, it is noticeable that our algorithm to generate the inner glue faces GFinner, which is O(nelgne) (refer to Section 3.6.2), is more timeconsuming than the algorithm to generate GFps and GFproj, 154
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which is only O(ne) (Section 3.6.2). Besides the edge number of CPL1 and CPLi, the computational time of algorithm Multi_Mold_Piece_Generation is also affected by the edge number of the part npe. These observations are all in accordance to our algorithm analysis presented in Section 3.6. Based on the test examples and the industrial examples presented in Section 4.4 and 4.5, an evaluation of the algorithms of the RTMDS is provided in the next section. 4.6 EVALUATION OF EXAMPLES AND CASES In Chapter 3, algorithm analyses of several key steps of the MultiPiece Mold Design Method were presented. Comparing the theoretic analysis results with the experiment results obtained from the RTMDS, we can partially validate the implementation of the RTMDS. Based on the examples presented in this chapter and the case studies presented in Chapter 7 and 8, the running time of the three stages is discussed individually. 4.6.1 Region Generation Process
The region generation process is the first step of the MultiPiece Mold Design Method (Section 3.3). For the algorithms presented in Section 3.4.3, the running time of the region generation process is O(ne + nf2), where ne and nf are the edge number and the face number of a given part respectively. In the RTMDS, steps 1 to 3 are related to the region generation process. By adding the running time of step 1 ~ 3, we get the running time of the region generation process as shown in Table 4.7. It is noticed that industrial example 2 is not considered here because it is the only part which has regions to be divided in step 3. Table 4.7 Experimental Data of Region Generation Process.
Total Face Concave Face Total Edge Concave Edge Region Generation No. (nf) Time (second) No. No. (ne) No. 11 5 24 4 0.45 18 12 48 14 0.5 92 66 206 40 1.84 330 207 712 223 2.46 544 336 1274 446 3.05
Test Exp1 Test Exp2 Robot Arm Industrial Exp1 Camera Roller
The relations of the running time of the region generation process with the face and edge number of parts are shown in Figure 4.29. The lines in the graph are in accordance with the algorithm analysis result.
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Region Generation
3.5 3
Running Time (sec)
2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 0 500 1000 1500 Face/Edge No. Total Face No. Concave Face No. Total Edge No. Concave Edge No.
Figure 4.29 Relations of Region Generation Time with Face/Edge Number. 4.6.2 Region Combination Process
The approaches for the region combination process utilized in the RTMDS are presented in Section 3.5. Based on the algorithm analysis (Section 3.5.4), the running time of the region combination process is O(nf2), where nf is the face number of a given part. In the RTMDS, steps 4 to 6 are related to the region combination process. By adding the running time of step 4 ~ 6, we get the running time of the region combination process as shown in Table 4.8. It is noticed that the camera roller is not considered here because its combination process has three iterations instead of one (Figure 8.5). Table 4.8 Experimental Data of Region Combination Process.
Total Face No. (nf) Test Ex1 11 Test Ex2 18 Robot Arm 92 Industrial Exp1 330 Industrial Exp2 606 Concave Face No. 5 12 66 207 489 Total Edge No. 24 48 206 712 1337 Concave Edge No. 4 14 40 223 543 Region Combination Time (second) 0.51 0.5 0.72 7.55 10.55
The relations of the running time of the region combination process with the face and edge number of parts are shown in Figure 4.30. The lines in the graph are in accordance with the algorithm analysis result.
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Region Combination
12
Running Time (sec)
10 8 6 4 2 0 0 500 1000 1500 Face/Edge No. Total Face No. Concave Face No. Total Edge No. Concave Edge No.
Figure 4.30 Relations of Region Combination Time with Face/Edge Number. 4.6.3 Mold Piece Construction Process
The region generation process is the last step of the MultiPiece Mold Design Method (Section 3.6). For the algorithms presented in Section 3.6.3, the running time of the region generation process is O(npe + nLi lg nLi + npe ne), where ne, nLi and npe are the total edge number, the inner loop edge number, and the parting edge number of a given part respectively. In the RTMDS, steps 7 and 8 are related to the mold piece construction process. By adding the running time of step 7 and 8, we get the running time of the mold piece construction process as shown in Table 4.9. Table 4.9 Experimental Data of Mold Piece Construction Process.
Parting Total Concave Total Edge Edge No. ne * npe Face No. Face No. No. (ne) (npe) Test Exp1 11 5 24 4 96 Test Exp2 18 12 48 8 384 Industrial Exp1 330 207 712 54 38448 Industrial Exp2 606 489 1337 234 312858 Industrial Exp3 5493 4880 9344 234 2186496 Mold Piece Construction Time (Second) 0.48 0.31 1.92 0.34 192.24 2.69 1564.3 22.12 10932.5 40.5 K* ne * npe
The relations of the running time of the mold piece construction process with the face and edge number of parts are shown in Figure 4.31. A constant K is multiplied to each value in the column of ne npe to make the value of ne npe fit in the figure. The lines in the graph, especially k ne npe, are in accordance with the algorithm analysis result.
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35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 2000 4000 6000 Face/Edge No. 8000 10000 12000 Total Face No. Concave Face No. Edge No. K*ne*npe
Figure 4.31 Relations of Mold Piece Construction Time with Face/Edge Number. 4.6.4 The Whole Process of RTMDS
Finally, the total running time of the mold design process is shown in Table 4.10. It corresponds to the sum of the running time of steps 1 ~ 8 in the RTMDS. The relations of the total running time with the face and edge number of parts are shown in Figure 4.32. The lines in the graph illustrate the running time behavior of the RTMDS for a given part.
Figure 4.32 Relations of Mold Design Running Time with Face/Edge Number.
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In the next section, a brief summary is given which discusses the relevance of these results with regard to the hypotheses of the dissertation. 4.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 4 Mold design is a laborious process that requires significant time from the mold designer. Automated mold design significantly reduces the mold design time, and therefore reduces the leadtime of Rapid Tooling process in producing functional prototypes. In this chapter, a Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) is presented for the automated design of multipiece molds for Rapid Tooling. An introduction to the RTMDS is given first (Section 4.1). Then the supporting modules and the software tools used in the system are presented in Section 4.2. The mold design modules are the implementation of the Multipiece Mold Design Method (Chapter 3). Problems in the implementation of the modules are described in Section 4.3. Finally two test examples and three industrial examples are presented in Section 4.4 and Section 4.5 respectively. The RTMDS and the given case studies provide partial empirical structural and performance validation of Hypothesis 1 (Figure 4.33). The results from testing the hypothesis are summarized as follow. Hypothesis 1: The implementations of the RTMDS were presented in Section 4.2 and 4.3. The case studies for testing the system are described in Section 4.4 and 4.5. Although not explicitly presented in the sections, the discussions on the relations and the implementations of the modules of the RTMDS provide partial empirical structural validation of Hypothesis 1, and the discussions on the results and the running time of different examples provide partial empirical performance validation of Hypothesis 1. The summary of testing the subhypotheses (H1.1 ~ H1.3) presented below will provide more details. Hypothesis 1.1: The region generation module is developed based on the basic elements of concave regions and convex faces (Section 4.3.1). The module can generate the basic elements of mold design for several test parts and industrial parts in acceptable time (Section 4.4 and 4.5). The generated elements can be used in the region combination process for mold configuration design. Hypothesis 1.2: The region combination module is developed based on the concave regions and convex faces generated in the region generation module (Section 4.3.2). The module can generate mold configuration design for several test parts and industrial parts in acceptable time (Section 4.4 and 4.5). The generated mold configuration design can be used in constructing mold pieces for the parts.
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H1
Mold designs of the case stuides are Develop the RTMDS based generated by the on the MPMDM. The RTMDS in acceptable system can be used to time, and they can be generate mold design for used to produce several test parts and prototpyes in the Rapid industrial parts. Tooling process.
H1.3
Mold pieces of the Develop the mold piece case stuides are constructing module for generated by the the combined regions module in acceptable and a mold base. The time, and they can be module can generate used in the Rapid mold pieces for several Tooling process to test parts and industrial produce prototypes. parts.
H1.2
Develop the region combining module based on the concave regions and convex faces. The module can generate mold configuration design for several test parts and industrial parts. Mold configurations of the case stuides are generated by the module in acceptable time, and they can be used in constructing mold pieces for the parts.
H1.1
Develop the region generation module based on the basic elements of concave regions and convex faces. The module can generate the basic elements of mold design for several test parts and industrial parts. Basic elements of the case stuides are generated by the module in acceptable time, and they can be used in the region combining process of mold configuration design.
Figure 4.33 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for Hypothesis 1. Hypothesis 1.3: The mold piece construction module is developed according to the combined regions of a part and a given mold base (Section 4.3.3). The module can generate mold pieces for several test parts and industrial parts in acceptable time (Section 4.4 and 4.5). The generated mold pieces can be used in the Rapid Tooling process to produce functional prototypes. Automatic generation of mold design is also a key step of DesignforManufacturing system for injection molding process (Chapter 6). After CAD models of molds are generated, detailed DesignforManufacturing feedback can be provided to the designer, and RP process planning and Injection molding simulation is enabled. In the next chapter (Figure 4.34), geometric tailoring, which is part of designformanufacture (Figure 1.14), will be presented. After discussing the principles of functional testing (Section 5.2) and design decision templates (Section 5.3), the usage of the template for Rapid Tooling is presented in Section 5.4. Three case studies, a tensile bar, a rib part and a ring gear, are used to test the presented scenario (Section 5.5). They also provide partial validation of Hypothesis 2.1.
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Part P F1 F3 F2 F4 F6 F8 F5 F7 Part P
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Given Analternative to be im proved throughmodification; Assum ptions used tomodel the domain of interest. The systemparameters: n num ber of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints p equality constraints q inequalityconstraints m num ber of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function fk(di ) function of deviation variables to be minimized at priority level k for thepreemptive case. Find i = 1, ... , n Values for the systemvariables Xi Values for the deviation variables di, di+ i = 1, ... , m Satisfy Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear) gi(X ) = 0; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear) Ai(X) + di  di+ = Gi ; i = 1, ..., m Bounds min max i = 1, ..., n Xi Xi Xi ; Deviation variables di, di+ 0 ; di . di+ = 0 ; i = 1, ..., m Minimize Preemptive deviation function (lexicographic minimum)
Z =[ f1(di,d+ ),..., fk(di, d+ )] i i
PL1
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n F
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Design Techniques
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CHAPTER 5
Archimedaindeviationfunction
Z=
!W(d
i
+ di+) where
!W = 1, W 0
i i
In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, the iterations of design changes between the designer and manufacturer may take a long time before productionrepresentative prototypes are produced. In this chapter, a geometric tailoring approach, material geometric tailoring, is presented to reduce the iterations due to the material property differences between the products and prototypes. First the properties of Rapid Tooling, especially the part properties of the AIM tooling, are introduced to provide a context of material geometric tailoring (Section 5.1). Related to the principle of functional testing and similarity methods, the fundamentals of geometric tailoring are presented in Section 5.2. The material geometric tailoring decision template is introduced in Section 5.3, which enables a clean digital interface between design and fabrication, effectively separating design activities from manufacture activities. The usage of the MGT decision template, including formulating function properties and solving approaches, is presented in Section 5.4. Finally three test examples are discussed in Section 5.5 to demonstrate a scenario of designmanufacture collaboration with the MGT decision template.
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5.1 PROPERTIES OF RAPID TOOLING As discussed in Section 1.2, the two problems in the current usage of Rapid Tooling (RT) that are addressed in this dissertation are: (1) The mold design step in the process of using RT may take a long time for parts with a wide variety of geometries; (2) The iterations of design changes may take a long time for parts with a wide variety of design requirements. In Chapter 3 and 4, the Multipiece Mold Design method (MPMDM) and the related Rapid Tooling Mold Design system (RTMDS) were presented, which addressed the first problem. In this chapter and the next chapter, approaches that address the second problem will be presented. The properties of Rapid Tooling are discussed first in this section to provide a context for Chapter 5 and 6. They also foster a better understanding of Geometric Tailoring which is to be presented in the remainder of this chapter. In the RTTB project (Section 1.2.2), the direct AIM tooling is the focus of the research on design for RT (Section 1.1.3). Therefore the properties of direct AIM Tooling and its differences from the steel tooling are discussed in this section. In other literature like (Karapatis, et al., 1998) and (Barlow, et al., 1996), the properties of other RT processes are also discussed. Compared with the conventional steel tooling, the direct AIM tooling has three unique properties: (1) the mold material properties, (2) the fabrication method to get the tools, and (3) the part material properties. They are discussed in detail as follows. 5.1.1 Mold Material Properties
In the Direct AIM tooling, tools are made of epoxybased Stereolithography photopolymers. Currently a series of materials are available for SLA machines (e.g. SL 7540, SL 7510, SL 5530, SL 5520, SL 5510, SL 5190, refer to www.3dsystems.com). Each material has slightly different thermal and mechanical properties. However, if compared with the properties of steel, they are pretty similar. Some of the chief physical properties of the stereolithographic materials that may have an influence in the injection molding process are: Compressive strength Tensile Strength !" Flexural Strength !" Shear Strength !" Impact Strength !" Wear Resistance !" Surface Hardness !" Coefficient of thermal expansion !" Thermal Conductivity !" Specific Heat !" Thermal Diffusivity !" Heat Deflection Temperature & Glass Transition Temperature * (Unique to plastic mold. It is a measure of temperature up to which the material can be used without significant degradation in strength).
!" !"
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Thermal Fatigue !" Creep behavior under load for extended periods of time Not all the properties are discussed in this section. Instead the author will focus on the properties of thermal conductivity, tensile strength, and shear strength, and discuss their effects on the injection molding process as follows.
!"
Stereolithography material has a thermal conductivity of 0.185 W/mK, while the value of steel mold is typically 50 W/mK (Dawson, 1998). Because this value is 300 times lower than the thermal conductivity of steel, longer cycle times must be employed to allow the part to cool before ejection. The maximum shear and tensile strengths of epoxy resins are much lower than those of steel (e.g. the tensile strength of a typical alloy steel is 650 MPa). Furthermore, the shear and tensile strengths of epoxy resins are tightly related to temperature of the material. As the temperature increases, both the tensile and shear strengths of the material decrease. The relation of strength versus temperature of epoxy SL5170 is given in Figure 5.1 (Rahmati and Dickens, 1997). As hot plastic which is above 200 oC is injected into the mold, the mold loses much of its strength. However, due to the low thermal conductivity of the mold material and the short period of injection, this tooling method is able to produce parts. Cooling time requirements must be adjusted to deal with the reduction in material strength at higher temperatures.
Figure 5.1 Maximum Tensile and Shear Strength of SL5170 Versus Temperature. Because of the low shear and tensile strengths of the mold materials, lower injection pressures should be used to keep the mold from breaking. Also while the stressstrain data are normally used for metal tool design, the creeprupture data are more suitable for composites and plastics (Jayanthi and Hokuf, 1997). Hence the design strength of the mold is dependent upon both the magnitude of the applied load and the duration of its application. The strength required must be adequate to resist the compressive, bending
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and shearing stresses set up by the molding material under pressure as it moves into the mold cavity and hardens. In summary, the mechanical properties of the mold materials are quite different from those of conventional steel molds. The low thermal conductivity and limited material strength of the mold need to be considered in the injection molding process of the direct AIM tooling. Recently Dawson discussed the rapid mold selection and injection molding conditions in (Dawson, 2001). It provides more details of the relations between the injection molding conditions and the mold material properties. 5.1.2 Mold Fabrication Properties
The layer based SL fabrication induces sidewall surface imperfections due to the stairstepping effects as shown in Figure 5.2.a. This is due to the parabolic profile of the cured region in the photopolymer, as shown in Figure 5.2.b. The effect can act as localized undercuts in the cavities which can make ejection of the mold part difficult.
(a)
(b)
Figure 5.2 Stair Stepping Effect of Layer Manufacturing and Reason. Also the algorithm that generates the build file from the solid model CAD data turns all surfaces into a series of triangles. This approximation of the CAD model leads to inaccuracies in built geometry, as well as to the above stair step roughness on curved surfaces. Inaccuracies of building geometry also are caused by part shrinkage as the stereolithographic polymer cures. The direct AIM tooling has different mold material and fabrication properties from steel tooling. Therefore the mold life of direct AIM tooling is much lower than that of the steel tooling. The actual failure of a feature may occur during injection or ejection in the direct AIM tooling (Palmer, 1999). In the injection process, failures are caused by a features inability to resist the force of the polymer flow. In the ejection process, failures are caused when a feature cannot overcome the shrinkage forces of the part upon ejection. Therefore the three main types of failure are flow, pullout, and chipping (Palmer, 1999), which are introduced briefly as follows. (a) Flow failure: When the polymer is injected into the cavity, the pressure, which is a factor of injection pressure, gate dimensions, and shot size, may cause the feature to bend or break.
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(b) Pullout failure: When the parts are ejected, the shrinkage force of the polymer onto the mold causes the frictional force between the mold and the part. The maximum tensile strength of the mold is reached before the part can be ejected, and the mold features break off. (c) Chipping failure: The most probable cause of chipping occurs due to a crack in the material. Chipping failures usually do not occur on the first shot. It is assumed that the failure is due to a defect or crack within the bulk material of the feature. The low mold life of the direct AIM tooling will be considered in Chapter 6, which will address more general issues of the design for rapid tooling. 5.1.3 Part Properties of the AIM Tooling
Thermoplastic materials that can be used in the direct AIM tooling include polypropylene, polyethelene, delrin, polystyrene, ABS, polycarbonate, glass filled nylon, glass filled PBT, etc. All of these materials are used in production. Although the parts produced from the direct AIM tooling can be in the same material as that of the production parts, their mechanical behavior and performance may be different (Dawson, 1998). The mechanical properties of an injection molded part are affected by the microstructure of the part. In polymers the microstructures that affect the properties are crystallinity, molecular orientation, and defects such as voids. Since the use of SL inserts may lead to longer cycle time, different properties of the injection molded parts is unavoidable. Dawson (1998, 2001) gave a comparison of the mechanical properties of the molded materials that were simultaneously injected in a SL mold and a steel mold. Some results taken from his work are given in Table 5.1 and Table 5.2. The results indicate a variation in the material properties of atactic polystyrene parts produced from steel and SLA molds. Another result in (Dawson, 1998) is that the residual stress of the parts obtained from the Direct AIM tooling is smaller than that of the parts obtained from the steeling tooling. Table 5.1 Tensile Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene (Dawson, 1998).
Tooling Steel Direct AIM Ultimate Stress (Mpa) 37.4 32.8 Youngs Modulus (Gpa) 3.2 3.4 Ultimate Elongation (%) 1.3 1.1 Density (g/cc) 1.045 1.042
Table 5.2 Flexural Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene (Dawson, 1998).
Tooling Steel Direct AIM Ultimate Stress (Mpa) 67.5 71.0 Youngs Modulus (Gpa) 3.0 4.0 Ultimate Elongation (%) 2.6 1.9
From the part properties of the AIM tooling, it is noticed that the prototypes produced by the RT process have properties different from those of the production parts. This may lead to difficulties in the prediction of product behaviors through the functional testing of the prototypes, which is discussed in the next section in more details. To address this problem, the principles of functional testing are presented first. Based on the 166
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principles, a designforprototyping approach, geometric tailoring, is introduced in the next section. 5.2 PRINCIPLES OF FUNCTIONAL TESTING AND GEOMETRIC TAILORING Although RT has the potential to be used in lowvolume manufacturing (Section 1.1.4), the parts produced by rapid tooling are still mainly used for functional testing. To develop reliable functional tests, systematic methods based on sound principles are necessary. 5.2.1 Principle of Functional Testing Buckingham Theorem
Currently the Buckingham theorem is the basis in prototype testing to get the correlation between physical models and products (Baker, et al., 1991). The basic idea of the theorem is using dimensionless variables in the analysis. A brief description of the Buckingham theorem is given as follows, which is adapted from (Cho, et al., 1999). Consider two systems (a test model and a product) that can be described as Model: Xm = f (dm,1, dm,2,, dm,n), Product: Xp = f (dp,1, dp,2, , dp,n), where X is the state of interest, and di is a system parameter. In the equations, subscripts m and p denote the model and the product respectively. From the Buckingham theorem, the above system equations can be equivalently represented as Model: m,x = F (m,1, m,2, , m,N), Product: p,x = F (p,1, p,2, , p,N), where i is a dimensionless parameter and N = nk. The i is a power function of system parameter set D = {d1, d2, , dn}, and the x is a power function of system parameter set D and the state X. From the nondimensional equations, m,x and p,x are identical if m,i = p,i for any i = 1, 2, , N. As a consequence, one can correlate the model and product states from
(5.1) (5.2)
Equations 5.1 and 5.2 are the fundamental basis of the functional testing. The former is called the prediction equation, and the latter are conditions for scaled models or similarity constraints. One should design prototypes not to violate any of the similarity constraints, in order to predict the product states through the prediction equation. A simple example is given as follows to aid the reader to understand the theorem, and the limitations of the similitude method which will be presented in the next section. This example is adapted from web site www.mech.uwa.edu.au/courses/e101/. Suppose a car travels straight with a velocity U ms1. The car has a mass M kg. If the driver suddenly applies the brakes so that a constant force F kgms2 is applied, one
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wants to know how long will the car take to stop. To design a prototype to test the distance, a brief analysis based on Buckingham theorem is given. Suppose L is the distance the car takes to stop. It is the variable to test. So one can write f (L, U, M, F) = 0. To get dimensionless variables, one can know LF LF , which is a = 1 from the units of the variables. Therefore = 2 MU MU 2 dimensionless variable.
LM N
OP Q
Suppose 0 is the solution or root of the equation f () = 0, one can know MU 2 L = 0 . F Therefore an experiment can be designed with M, U and F to test L, and calculate 0 accordingly. After substituting M, U and F with the given values we are interested, the value of L can be calculated from the equation. One thing to be noticed is that in the testing, M, U and F can be much smaller than M, U, and F. Based on the Buckingham theorem, a complex system can be constructed and tested by geometrically scaling down, or changing materials, or simplifying models. By doing that one can dramatically reduce the cost and time in building prototypes while getting reasonable predictive values. 5.2.2 Similarity Methods
The similarity method, which is based on the Buckingham theorem, is widely used for both effective empirical modeling and scale testing (Baker, et al., 1991). It can experimentally predict the behavior of a target system through an indirect scaled testing provided the two systems are similar. To use the similarity method, one should be able to list all dominant system parameters, which is shown in the example given in the last section. If any dominant system parameters are not considered, the system states cannot be well represented, and the correlation between the systems may become erroneous. Also the parameter values of the model and product should be known beforehand. An additional assumption made in the method is that the unknown governing equations f of the model and the product should be identical. However, the assumption may not be satisfied especially for prototypes that are built from different materials by various rapid prototyping techniques. This is also the main reason why rapid prototyping is mostly utilized in early design phases for visualization, while rapid tooling is utilized in later design phases for functional testing. Motivated by using RP techniques in functional testing, which presents significant benefits through the material changes, a group of researchers at University of Texas at Austin presented an empirical similarity method (ESM) to improve the accuracy of scale testing (Cho, et al., 1998; Cho, et al., 1998; Cho, et al., 1999; Cho, et al., 1999). ESM utilizes specimens to derive the similarity transformation, which correlates model and product states, empirically. As shown in Figure 5.3, the model and the product specimens are the geometrically simplified versions of the scaled model and the product. 168
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Figure 5.3 Fundamental Terms and Concept of the ESM (Cho, et al., 1999). In the ESM, the product state is predicted through the specimen pair (the model and the product specimens) and the scaled model. The ESM is proposed for the scale testing with RP. In the case studies given in the papers, some tested prototypes had widely different material and geometry scale from those of the production parts. However, ESM requires additional effort to fabricate a specimen pair, although the additional effort is much smaller than that required to fabricate geometrically complex test products. Although guided by the similarity method, the reliability of scale testing results has been challenged frequently (Baker, et al., 1991). This may be because some of the model parameters or loading conditions are difficult to control, or there are some uncertain noises that affect the accuracy. Considering the properties of rapid tooling, a designforprototyping approach, geometric tailoring, is proposed. It is also based on the Buckingham theorem. Its fundamentals are presented in the next section. 5.2.3 Fundamentals of Geometric Tailoring
A mechanical designer may describe a new product with many attributes, which may include the shape of the component, material, tolerance information, cost and time. Some of the attributes are related to the design functions, such as geometric variables and material properties. Some of the attributes are related to the fabrication process conditions such as cost and time. In this chapter, the author only considers the attributes that are related to the design functions. Other attributes will be considered in the next chapter. 169
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With the representations given in Section 5.2.1, suppose two parts (a test model and a product) that are described as Xm = f (dm,1, dm,2,, dm,n), Xp = f (dp,1, dp,2, , dp,n). Where X is the state of interest, and di is a system parameter. In the equations, subscripts m and p denote the model and the product respectively. Therefore two observations on X and di are the basis of this research. Observation 5.1. In order to get accurate prediction results of XP, it is generally desired to control the system parameters dm,i and dp,i identically. This is because in functional testing, the representation of the function f is usually unknown. Therefore there may exist some unknown system parameters, or uncertain noises, or uncontrollable loading conditions. All these factors will affect the accuracy of scale testing results. Therefore it is desired to make dm,i = dp,i. Observation 5.2. System parameters di (1 i n) are not equally important to X. For an attribute Xj, some parameters are rather important. Other parameters may have only negligible effects. For example, to test the fatigue of a gear design, the maximum stress of the gear under the designed constraints and loads is important. However, the small changes of the gear dimension may have only negligible effects on the fatigue. Therefore the system parameters can be divided into two categories based on their relations with X. Suppose parameters d1, d2, , dk are important to X, while parameters dk+1, dk+2, , dn are negligible to X. Therefore the principle of the approach developed in this research is to change parameters dm,j (k+1 j n) to make dm,i as close to dp,i (1 i k) as possible. And these parameter changes are named Geometric Tailoring in this dissertation. A formal definition of geometric tailoring given in Section 1.2.4 is revisited as follow. Geometric tailoring, in this dissertation, is to change the geometry of a part to lower fabrication cost and time, and to produce functional prototypes to mimic the production functions, because the material and fabrication process to get molds and parts are different from those in producing products. The manufacturability of a given design depends on the following three factors: (1) the ability to produce the design within the specifications; (2) the ability to produce the design with a low production cost; (3) the ability to produce the design within a short production time. Related to these three factors, two kinds of geometric tailoring are considered in this dissertation. Material Geometric Tailoring (MGT), which is the geometric tailoring to mimic the production functions related to material properties, is presented in this chapter. Material Process Geometric Tailoring (MPGT), which is the geometric tailoring to lower the fabrication cost and to mimic the production functions including accuracy and surface finish, is discussed in Chapter 6. MGT is actually a special case of MPGT. However, because the cost and some functions such as accuracy,
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which are related to the fabrication process, are also considered in MPGT, the process planning should also be included in the solving process of MPGT. Therefore its solving strategy is much more complicated (Section 6.4). Since a part design may have a wide variety of design requirements for its prototypes (Section 1.2.3), both MGT and MPGT have their applications in actual situations. For example, for a part design, if the functional properties are much more important than the cost and time, MGT should be used. However if the fabrication cost and time are also concerns for the prototypes, MPGT should be used instead. Correspondingly process requirements such as mold life are added in the problem formulation of MPGT (Section 6.2). Although the geometric tailoring approaches in this dissertation are developed for rapid tooling, they also have implications in design for rapid prototyping. For example, SOMOS 8120 and SOMOS 9120 are two materials used in Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA). They have properties close to polyethylene and polypropylene respectively. The geometric tailoring of prototypes may be necessary in order to get better results by testing the prototypes that are built with SOMOS 8120 and SOMOS 9120 for polyethylene and polypropylene parts (Sambu, 2001). Parts produced from the direct AIM tooling have slightly different mechanical properties from those of the production parts produced with steel tools (Section 5.1.3). Although these differences are much smaller than those between the parts built by rapid prototyping and the production parts, the accuracy of the functional tests will be affected. Lots of design functions such as the maximum stress, fatigue, deflection of a rib, are related to the material properties. A systematic approach that is developed for handling the differences of material properties in using Rapid Tooling is presented in the next section. 5.3 DESIGN DECISION TEMPLATE FOR MGT Based on the Buckingham theorem, it is important for a prototype to behave similarly to a product in order to verify the design with more confidence. However since the relationship between the attributes and parameters is usually complex, it may not be straightforward to choose some parameters and tailor them to get the same values of the attributes. Also a designer may have several functions of interest in a prototype. Therefore several attributes of the prototype need to be tailored for the same values as those of the product. Usually the changing of a system parameter for an attribute may affect some other attributes. More importantly, not all system parameters are in the control of the designer. For example, the material properties of the prototype are actually determined by the manufacturing process, and therefore are in the control of the manufacturer. Considered all these factors, a scenario of designmanufacture collaboration based on the MGT decision template is proposed for the material geometric tailoring. The steps in the method are illustrated in Figure 5.4. As stated in Section 1.2.1, the designer and manufacturer are usually distributed geographically and organizationally in the current usage of Rapid Tooling. The RTTB project is trying to develop a clean digital interface to divide the designer and manufacturer of RP and RT (Allen and Rosen, 1997; Rosen, 2000). The DFM approaches presented in this dissertation are actually only one scenario of separating the 171
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designer and manufacturer in a distributed computing environment. However the focus of this work is how to formulate and solve the DFM problem provided the scenario had been chosen (e.g. material and process had been selected by other modules). There are eleven steps to the scenario based on the MGT decision template as illustrated in Figure 5.4. The input to the problem is the part design to be tested. Based on it, the designer first needs to determine which and how many functions are to be tested in a prototype. Sometime several functions can be integrated into one prototype in order to reduce cost. However this may bring difficulties in producing production
Designer
Manufacturer
Step 2 Determine loading conditions, attributes, and system parameters that are relevant to the properties of interest.
Step 3 Determine the importance of the attributes and their relations with system parameters.
Step 7 Formulate additional relations in the MGT template, hence complete deisgn decision formulation for MGT.
Step 4 Formulate attributes, system parameters and their requirements in MGT design template.
Step 5 Send MGT design template, CAD model. and/or FEA model to the manufacturer.
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representative prototypes for all the attributes. According to the properties of interest (e.g. fatigue), the designer can determine design attributes and system parameters that are related to the properties (e.g. maximum stress, refer to Section 5.5 for more details). Also the loading conditions in the tests are to be determined. Generally the loads and boundary conditions should be the same as those of the production design. They may have already been formulated in a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model in the part design process. Otherwise in Step 7 the manufacturer may build response surface models according to analysis based on the loads and boundary conditions (Section 5.4). Step 3 is to determine the importance of the attributes and related system parameters. Some attributes and parameters are important for the prototypes. For example, the attributes that are related to the properties of interest should be productionrepresentative. Some geometry parameters that are related to assembly are also important. They should also remain unchanged in the prototypes. Other geometry and material parameters are much less important for the purpose of the functional testing. Therefore they provide more design freedoms for the geometric tailoring. Currently Steps 1 to 3 mainly depend on the knowledge and experience of the designer. Tools to help the designer in these steps are important. However they are beyond the scope of this dissertation. Based on the MGT decision template, which is to be presented in this section, the designer can formulate the requirements of the attributes and parameters in a compromise DSP format (Step 4). Then the formulated decision template and CAD model can be sent to the manufacturer (Step 5). If a FEA model is constructed in the part design process for the production material, it can also be sent to the manufacturer and used in the analysis of the prototype with its material properties. The rapid development of the Internet provides a distributed computing environment for sending these models. The formats and approaches developed in the RTTB for this step are presented in the theses of (Gerhard, 2001) and other ongoing students. The approaches of selecting the material and process to produce the prototypes in the RTTB are presented in (Herrmann and Allen, 1999). For a chosen fabrication material and process, the manufacturer first needs to determine which attributes and parameters are needed in the geometric tailoring (Step 6). Based on the decision template and CAD model, additional relations or missing values are added to the template to formulate a complete decision problem (Step 7). Then the formulated compromise DSP can be solved (Step 8). Accordingly the manufacturer can change the part design and produce prototypes for it (Step 9). After the prototypes are produced, they are sent back to the designer for the functional tests (Step 11). Of these steps, the author will focus on Steps 4, 7, and 8, which are enclosed with thicker lines in Figure 5.4. The MGT decision template, which is discussed in the reminder of this section, is related to Step 4 and 7. Its methodology and formulation are presented in Section 5.3.1 and 5.3.2 respectively. The approaches to generate the relations in the MGT template and to solve the MGT problem are presented in Section 5.4. They are related to Step 7 and 8 respectively.
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5.3.1
For the designmanufacture collaboration problem (transfer design information from the designer to the manufacturer), a Solid Interchange Format (SIF) has been proposed as a clean digital interface between design and manufacturing in the area of RP (Sequin and McMains, 1995). SIF contains part geometry and possibly surface finish, tolerance, material, and perhaps other related information types. Although this information is a significant extension beyond STL, IGES, or even STEP file formats, it is still insufficient to support design for functional prototyping (Section 5.2.3). In this research, a design decision template is proposed as an effective digital interface. It incorporates a series of compromise decisions. Using the template, enough design information is transferred to enable the manufacturer to explore alternative part designs in the event that the functional testing requirements cannot be achieved. Effectively, this transfers the burden of design for manufacturing to the manufacturer with more design freedom. Therefore the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer may be reduced. The methodology of using the decision template as the digital interface between the designer and manufacturer is further illustrated in Figure 5.5. Suppose the design functions that the designer plans to test in the prototype are Fi. The design variables of the part design that are related to Fi are Di. As stated before, only the design functions that are related to the material properties are considered in the MGT. So suppose material properties that are related to Fi are Mi. The relations between Fi, Di, ard Mi can be formulated as Fi = f(Di, Mi). This relation f can be rather simple and may be given as a simple equation (Section 5.4.1). It can also be complicated and unknown to the designer. In this case, the response surface model is employed in this dissertation to formulate their relation (Section 5.4.2). One thing to be noticed is that in Rapid Tooling, the material
Desired Point Desired Range Function Space Design Solution Space Solution Point
Design Variables Di
Desired Range
Designer Manufacturer
Material Properties Mi
Material Properties Space
Process Variables Pi
Figure 5.5 The Decision Template for the MGT and Design Freedom. 174
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properties of the prototypes are determined by the fabrication process variables Pi. Therefore Mi is actually controlled by the manufacturer, while Di is controlled by the designer. In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, a STL file or a SIF file is transferred from the designer to the manufacturer. In the file, the designer has already set the values of the design variables and functions (by the requirements on material properties). For a selected fabrication process and material, the only design freedom for the manufacturer is the process parameters, which are adjusted to achieve the desired material properties. However, the relation of Mi and Pi may be complicated especially for Rapid Tooling which composes several steps. It is rather difficult, sometimes even impossible to achieve the desired material properties (Section 5.1.3). Therefore the design is sent back to the designer and a new iteration begins. In most cases, tradeoffs between different functions have to be made if the desired values cannot be achieved for all Fi. To reach such a satisfying solution for the designer and manufacturer, several iterations and lots of negotiations may be necessary. This process may take a long time for some complicated part designs. By using the decision template, the author believes that the designer and manufacturer can make tradeoffs more quickly to reach the satisfying solution. This is because the designer has formulated the design requirements on the prototype in the decision template. Based on the template, the manufacturer will have more design freedom in producing prototypes. Besides the selection of the process parameters, the additional design freedom may come from the following two sides. (1) Design variables of the part design are given in desired ranges instead of specified points. As discussed in Section 5.2.3, the principle of geometric tailoring is to change some unimportant parameters to make the more important variables more productionrepresentative. Therefore based on the decision template, the manufacturer has the freedom to change the unimportant parameters in the specified ranges. (2) Design functions of the part design are given in desired ranges instead of specified points. The decision template is based on the feasible and satisficing regions of the design space. The term satisficing was coined by (Simon, 1996) to describe a particular form of lessthan optimal solutions (Section 2.4). Instead of sending an optimal solution based on the design information, the designer can send the decision template to the manufacturer for a satisficing solution. Therefore the manufacturer will have more design freedom in producing prototypes. The additional design freedom enables the manufacturer to slightly change the material properties of the prototypes. That is, if the material properties Mi are changed to Mi, the manufacturer can adjust Pi to Pi to achieve the same function Fi. In many cases, the manufacturer may feel much more confident in producing prototypes with properties Mi instead of Mi (Section 5.1.3). Therefore it is more likely that the required prototypes can be produced without being sent back to the designer for a redesign. Three examples
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and two case studies are given in Section 5.5, and Chapter 7 and 8 respectively. They illustrate the applications of the decision template and its advantages. Related to the MGT and MPGT, two kinds of design decision templates are introduced in this dissertation. They have the same methodology. The decision templates are: MGTDT Material Geometric Tailoring Decision Template, a compromise decision in which the components dimensions are modified to provide similar functional performance when a prototype material replaces the production material. MPGTDT MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring Decision Template, a compromise decision in which the components dimensions are modified to suit a prototype material and fabrication process. They embody the relevant design information and designer preferences. The formulation of the MGTDT is presented in the next section. MPGT and MPGTDT will be discussed in Chapter 6. 5.3.2 Formulation of the MGTDT
The compromise Decision Support Problem (DSP) is a general framework for solving multiobjective, nonlinear optimization problems (Section 2.4). In this research it was employed to formulate the MGTDT. The compromise DSP is central to modeling multiple design objectives and assessing the tradeoffs pertinent to the design for Rapid Tooling. The compromise DSP word formulation of the MGTDT is presented in Table 5.3. Table 5.3 Word Formulation of the MGTDT.
GIVEN: Parametric CAD model of part Material properties Functional property models Goal preferences as weights Target values for functional properties FIND: System Variables: Deviation Variables: Geometry variables Deviation of goals from targets SATISFY: Goals: Meet target functional properties Meet targets of geometry variables Constraints: Meet geometry and/or assembly constraints Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
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Mathematically, the compromise DSP is a multiobjective decision model based on Mathematical Programming and Goal Programming. A general mathematical formulation of MGTDT is presented in Table 5.4, which is an extension of the word formulation given in Table 5.3. Table 5.4 Mathematical Formulation of the MGTDT.
GIVEN: nf  number of functions; ng  number of geometry variables; p equality constraints; Geometry variables Gp, i Material properties Mp, i Design functions Fp, i = fi (Gp,j, Mp,n) Material properties Mm, i** Design functions Fm, i = fi (Gm,j, Mm,n) Weight Wi FIND: System Variables: Gm, i Deviation Variables: di+, diSATISFY: Goals: Fp, i / Fm,i  di+ + di = 1 Gp,i / Gm,i  dnf+i+ + dnf+i = 1 Constraints: di+ di = 0, di+ 0, di 0 gj(Gi) = 0, gk(Gi) 0 Bounds: Gimin Gi Gimax Fimin Fi Fimax MINIMIZE: Deviation Function: Wi (di+ + di) where Wi = 1, Wi 0 (i= 1, , ng+nf)
Note: 1. 2. Subscripts m and p denote the prototype model and the product respectively. Symbol ** denotes the entries that are to be completed by the manufacturer. i = 1, , nf i = 1, , ng i = 1, , ng+nf i = 1, , ng; j=1, , p; k=1, , q [5.3] [5.4] i = 1, , ng+nf
**
i = 1, , ng
i = 1, , ng i = 1, , nf
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The math formulation contains systems variables, goals and constraints. The system variables in the MGTDT are the geometry variables (Gj) and material properties (Mn). The geometry variables typically include modifying dimensions (e.g. lengths and angles) of features in a part. In some cases geometry variables could be a whole feature. In such cases the manufacturer has freedom to redesign the feature, e.g. use a rib instead of boss to fulfill the same function. Material properties Mi include Youngs modulus, tensile strength, and elongation yield, etc. The goals in the MGTDT include functional and geometry goals. The functional goals (Equation 5.3) include matching the functional properties of prototype parts to their target values. Target values correspond to functional properties of the production part. These functional properties Fi can be stress, deflection, weight, or some others. The geometry goals (Equation 5.4) include matching the geometry variables of the tailored part to their target values. Target geometry values are the most desirable values of part dimensions provided by the designer. The constraints in the MGTDT include geometry constraints that arise due to space and weight limitations. While performing geometric tailoring of an assembly, the assembly requirements are also considered in the constraints. One thing to be noticed is that in the formulation, the designer does not have all the information (the material properties of the prototypes are out of his/her control). The entries indicated by ** in Table 5.4 denote information that the manufacturer must supply in order to complete the problem formulation and generate a solution. However, based on his/her information, the designer can instantiate the MGTDT to create the problem formulation suitable for communicating to the manufacturer. In light of the methodology and formulation of the MGTDT presented in this section, the usage of MGTDT is discussed in the next section, especially the approaches to formulate the relation f in the template. 5.4 USAGE OF MGTDT In the MGT decision template, the designer provides target values for geometry variables and design functions, and also their preferences. The Manufacturer provides material properties of prototype parts and related quantitative relations between goals and system variables. Therefore the information required to solve the material geometric tailoring problem comes from the design and manufacturing organizations. Essentially the MGTDT is actually a method to organize the design and manufacturing information into one formulation. After the MGT problem is formulated, it can be solved with the aid of engineering optimization software (e.g. OptdesX). The approaches to formulate the required quantitative models for functional properties are presented in Section 5.4.1. The process of solving the MGT problem is discussed in Section 5.4.2. 5.4.1 Formulating Functional Properties in the MGTDT
The functional properties Fi in Table 5.4 are related to the geometry variables (Gj) and material properties (Mn). Suppose the relationship can be stated as Fi = fi(Gj, Mn). Here fi is the function of Fi for a set of design variables Gj and Mn.
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For simple geometry, it is possible to obtain an analytical equation for the design functions such as stress or weight. But for complicated geometry it is usually not possible. In such circumstances, design functions can be represented as a response surface generated by fitting a surface through experimental data points. Both approaches are described in more details as follows. They correspond to the two types of quantitative models in common use: Analytical models and Simulation models.
Figure 5.6  A Cantilever Beam. (1) Functions Represented as Analytic Equations In numerous handbooks of mechanical design, different design functions are usually represented as analytic equations of geometric variables and material properties. For example, a cantilever beam is shown in Figure 5.6. If a force F is applied at one end of the beam, the equations of the maximum stress (), maximum strain () and maximum displacement () in the beam can be calculated by Equations 5.5 ~ 5.7 respectively (Shigley and Mischke, 1989).
FLc I FLc = YM * I FL3 = 3 I * YM
Therefore for a cantilever beam, if the design functions of interest in the MGTDT are the maximum stress, or maximum strain, or maximum displacement, the functions fi may be represented as analytic equations directly. In the equations, L, c and I are geometry variables (refer to Figure 5.6, I is the moment of inertial of the crosssection area about z axis). YM is material property, which represent Youngs modulus. Depending on loading conditions, the same design functions may be represented in different equations. For example, if a displacement , instead of a force F, is applied in at one end of the cantilever beam, the maximum stress, maximum strain and force required to cause this displacement are calculated by Equations 5.8 ~ 5.10 respectively.
3c * YM L2
[5.8]
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3c L2 3 I * YM F= L3
[5.9] [5.10]
Therefore in the MGT problem the loads and boundary conditions for testing the design functions are also very important. The designer should formulate them in functions fi in the MGTDT, or in a FEA model that is to be transferred to the manufacturer. Based on the loading conditions, the manufacturer can tailor the part and produce productionrepresentative prototypes more quickly. For more complicated geometry, the analytical equations are usually not accurate enough for the MGT problem. Therefore, the response surface models are employed to represent function fi in this dissertation. (2) Functions Represented as Response Surface Equations Response surface methodology, or RSM, is a collection of mathematical and statistical techniques that are useful for the modeling and analysis of problems in which a response of interest is influenced by several variables and the objective is to optimize this response (Section 2.5). The result response surface equations (RSEs) allow for a better understanding of the relationships between the inputs and the response. In the examples given in Section 5.5.2 and 5.5.3, second order response surfaces are used (k = 2). So the RSE can be written in the form of a polynomial function as:
y = b0 + ! bi x i + ! bii x i + !
2
i =1
i =1
i=1 j = 1, i j
!b x x
i i
[5.11]
In much of this work, response surfaces are used to replace computationally complex, but high fidelity analyses for usage during design synthesis. Response surfaces approximate the actual design space and are based on the high fidelity analyses, but enable much faster syntheses. After synthesis, a check is performed to ensure that the performance indicated by the synthesis result is not too far off. This type of synthesis is particularly useful during concept exploration (Chen, 1995). The method is called the Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Section 2.5). In order to create the response surfaces for the system goals, a number of experiments must be run to gather data for an empirical model. When the system goals are dependent on two or more factors (system variables), Design of Experiments (DOE) techniques can be practiced to determine the experiment sequence for the empirical model (Montgomery, 1991). Factorial experiment designs involve testing a number of variables, or factors, at different values, or levels. In the examples given in this chapter, the experiments used to construct response surfaces (model building experiments) were fractional factorial experiment designs with a face centered central composite design. Three levels of each factor were considered. Other techniques for constructing response surface equations can be found in (Box and Draper, 1987; Khuri and Cornell, 1987; Myers and Montgomery, 1995). Based on the experiment design, the experiments can be performed either on analysis packages or through physical experimentation. In the examples given in Section 5.5.2
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and 5.5.3, ANSYS (www.ansys.com), a finite element analysis (FEA) software system, is used to get the responses of maximum stress and maximum deflection. After the experiments, MINITAB (www.minitab.com), a statistical software system, is used to fit response surface equations through the experimental data. These response surface equations are incorporated into the MGTDT for the MGT problem. 5.4.2 Formulating and Solving the MGT Problem
The mathematical formulation of the MGTDT presented in Table 5.4 is a general formulation that can be used for a specific case. For a part design, the designer first identifies all the functional requirements of the prototype. Once the functional requirements are identified, the geometry variables that have some design freedom and that affect the functional requirements should be identified. Appropriate bounds should be chosen for the geometry variables. The other requirements such as space or weight constraints should also be identified. Once all the problem specific information is identified, the quantitative relationship between goals and system variables should be generated. For simple factors like weight, analytical equations can be developed. For complicated factors like stress, experimental approach should be used. Design of experiments can be used to identify the list of experiments required to generate a response surface model. The experiments could be performed on analysis packages such as ANSYS. After all the design information is filled in the MGTDT, the designer can send it to the manufacturer with other information such as a CAD model and FEA model. Based on the template, CAD model, and FEA model, the manufacturer can identify the problem specific information and generate quantitative models in the same way. Three examples are given in Section 5.5 to demonstrate the above process to formulate the MGT problem based on the MGTDT. After completing the formulation of the MGT problem, the manufacturer can solve it with the aid of computer. Since the MGT problem is formulated in compromise DSP format, it can be solved using the ALP algorithm (Mistree, et al., 1993), which is part of the DSIDES (Decision Support in Designing Engineering Systems) software. The examples given in Section 5.5.2 and 5.5.3 are comparatively simple, which are used to verify the idea of material geometric tailoring. Since the efficiency of the solving process is not the main concern in these examples, the author employed the exhaustive search method to solve the compromise DSP. In the two case studies to be presented in Chapter 7 and 8, OptdesX (www.et.byu.edu/~optdes), an engineering optimization software system, was employed in the solving process. With the MGT and MGTDT presented, three examples are given in the next section which verify the idea of the material geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling. 5.5 INITIAL CASE STUDIES In this section, the author went through three case studies to verify the correctness of the material geometric tailoring (MGT). They also illustrate the application of the material geometric tailoring decision template (MGTDT). In Section 5.1, a tensile bar example is presented which is used to familiarize the reader with the basic idea of the MGT and the formulation of the MGTDT. It is the simplest example, in the authors opinion, that can illustrate the MGT problem. In Section 5.2 a rib part problem is
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considered for both design requirements (maximum deflection) and manufacturing requirements (mold life). Tradeoffs are made by solving a compromise DSP based on the MGTDT. In Section 5.3, a ring gear part, which is taken from a cordless drill, is studied in order to get functional prototypes using the AIM tooling. The examples were planned to test different aspects of the MGT problem (Table 5.5). In the tensile bar problem a simple equation is derived, while simulation software (ANSYS) is used to study the design requirements with relation to geometry variables in the rib and gear problems. The number of design functions considered in the problems of tensile bar and rib is only one. However two design functions are considered in the ring gear example. In the rib problem, the author also added the mold life consideration in formulating and solving the MGT problem. It sets the stage for the research to be presented in Chapter 6, which will consider more manufacturing requirements of the Rapid Tooling process. Table 5.5 Experimental Plan For Testing the MGT.
Exp 1: Tensile Bar Function Representation Analytic Equations Response Surface Equations Number of Design Functions One Many Design Functions Force Deflection Stress Other Manufacturing Requirements Yes No X X X X X X X X X X X X Exp 2: Rib Part Exp 3: Ring Gear
5.5.1
In this section the author uses a simple example to illustrate the principle of the MGT and MGTDT. Problem Introduction Suppose the designer finished a product design, within which a tensile bar is used to hold some other components to the housing of the product (Figure 5.7). In the design process, the designer was not sure about the weight of these components (F). So he/she had to estimate a value for F and continued the design of the tensile bar. The design equation for the tensile bar is pretty simple (Shigley and Mischke, 1989). From F = , the designer can know F = h t , where is the stress of the part under the ht load. It should be smaller than the ultimate yield strength of the material, Su. The value of Su is related to the material and fabrication process for the part design. Although different scenarios for the selection of material and fabrication process are feasible and explored in the RTTB project, the author assumes that the designer will select them in this example. Suppose atactic polystyrene and H13 steel tools are selected 182
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Fixed L h t F
Figure 5.7 The Illustration of a Tensile Bar Example. for the production parts. By referring to design handbooks, the designer can get the value of Su. Suppose Su = 37.4 MPa (Dawson, 1998).
. Suppose the values of the variables are h = h0 and t = t0. After finishing the Su initial design, the designer hopes to do functional testing to verify that the design works. In industries prototypes are also used as the milestones for different design phases. Instead of waiting for production injection mold tooling for the tensile bar, the designer decides to fabricate a prototype tensile bar using the AIM tooling with the same material atactic polystyrene. Since the designer is unsure about the maximum load F which may vary widely in the running of the product, the designer would like the prototype tensile bar to have the same safe factor as that of the production tensile bar. Therefore problems (e.g. the value of the maximum load is assumed too small in the design) can be identified in the functional testing of the product. Base on the equations of and , one can get
max
Accordingly the designer can finish the tensile bar design by using a safe factor
Fmax . Su h t
[5.12]
Therefore the functional property of interest in this example is the maximum force Fmax. Since Su of the prototypes is unknown for the designer, he/she can formulate the above design information in a MGTDT and let the manufacturer to take care how to produce qualified prototype tensile bars. Designer Activities To begin, the designer must define the problem from his/her perspective, ensuring that the design intent is communicated and design freedom is properly specified. For the tensile bar, the designer specifies three design variables, length (L), width (h), and thickness (t). For the product design as shown in Figure 5.7, L and t also affect the assembly of the product. Therefore the designer may do not want the manufacturer to change their values. However, h can be tailored by the manufacturer in a range specified by the designer without affecting other components. Therefore the designer can 183
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
formulate L and t into the MGT formulation but given them tight ranges. The designer can also formulate h as the only geometry variable in the formulation that can be changed by the manufacturer. The latter way is used in the formulation shown in Table 5.6. Suppose the range of h is 0.4 to 0.6 inch, and the range of Fm is 0.99Fp to 1.01Fp. These ranges also specify the allowable design freedom within which the manufacturer may tailor the design. One thing to be noticed is that if the design freedom given to the manufacturer is too small, the manufacturer may not be able to find a satisfying solution for the MGT problem. Therefore the design will be sent back to the designer to begin a new iteration. In the MGT formulation (Table 5.6), the two goals include one goal on meeting width value of the production tensile bar (Equation 5.13) and the other goal on achieving Table 5.6 MGT Tensile Bar Problem Formulation. Given: !" Length L = 5.0 inch, Thickness t = 0.2 inch, Width h = 0.5 inch !" Ultimate yield strength of the product Su, p = 37.4 Mpa !" Ultimate yield strength of the prototype Su, m** !" The maximum force of the product, Fp= Su,p h t !" Weight W1, W2 Find: !" The geometric variables: Width, h !" The maximum force of the prototype, Fm !" Deviation variables d1+, d1, d2+, d2Satisfy: !" Goals: 0.5 Width: + d 1 d +1 = 1 h F Maximum Force: p + d 2 d + 2 = 1 Fm !" The Force Equation: Fm= f(Su,m, h, t) ** !" 0.99 Fp Fm 1.01 Fp !" di, di+ > 0, i = 1, 2 di di+ = 0, i = 1, 2 !" The bounds on the system variables: 0.4 inch h 0.6 inch Minimize: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation): Z = W1( d 1 + d +1 ) + W2 ( d 2 + d + 2 ),( Wi = 1)
Note: Symbol ** denotes the entries that are to be complemented by the manufacturer.
[5.13]
[5.14]
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the same maximum force in the prototype tensile bar as will exist in the production tensile bar (Equation 5.14). An analytic equation for the last goal is also given in the formulation based on Equation 5.12. The designer can assign different weight for the goals based on the requirements. In this example, the force goal is much important than the width goal. Therefore a weight scenario can be W1=0.05 and W2=0.95. In Chapters 7 and 8, a method using preference model to generate weights for different goals is employed in the two case studies (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). With this information, the designer instantiates the MGT template to create the problem formulation that is suitable for communicating with the manufacturer. This instantiated template is shown in Table 5.6. The entries indicated by ** denote information that the manufacturer must supply in order to complete the problem formulation and generate a solution.
Manufacturer Activities With the aid of agents in a distributed computing environment (Gerhard, 2001), the manufacturer can receive the MGT formulation sent by the designer, and also the material and process that are selected for the prototypes. In the MGT formulation, two pieces of information from the manufacturer are required: the prototype material property Su,m, and the force behavior as a function of system variables. Suppose the AIM tooling for polystyrene is chose for the prototype. Based on his/her knowledge and experience on the material and process, the manufacturer knows:
Su,m=32.8 Mpa Fm= Su,m h t. Therefore the empty entries in Table 5.6 can be completed. And the complete problem formulation can be solved using an exhaustive search algorithm. The results for the weight scenario W1=0.05 and W2=0.95 are: h = 0.57 inch, Max Force = 3.739, Deviation Z= 0.6%. Comparing to the target values h = 0.5 inch and Fp = 3.74, the errors of h and Fm are 14% and 0.2% respectively. Considering the weigh W2 = 0.95, this result makes sense. Another comparison given here is to compare the error of Fm with that of the tensile bars produced without geometric tailoring. For this example, Fm will be 3.28 if no geometric tailoring is executed. Therefore the error of Fm is 12.3%, which is much bigger than 0.2%. Besides the weight scenario given by the designer, the manufacturer may also explore other scenarios. Three weight scenarios and the related results are shown in Table 5.7. In these scenarios, the dimension goal is weighted more highly. As can be seen, the
Table 5.7 Scenarios of Goal Weights and Related Results.
Scenario 1 2 3 Width Goal 0.1 0.5 0.9 Max Force Goal 0.9 0.5 0.1 h 0.57 0.57 0.564 Fm 3.739 3.739 3.703
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results across all scenarios are almost identical, indicating a solution that is stable with respect to preferences. Based on the results, the manufacturer can reconstruct a CAD model of the tensile bar using the variable values. The designer may be notified about the results by a message from the manufacturer before the prototypes are produced. In the fabrication process, the manufacturer should also make efforts to make the prototypes have the material properties that are formulated in the MGT (Su,m=32.8 Mpa for this example).
Physical Validation The research presented in this section is mainly based on the work given in (Dawson, 1998). The author also did some physical validation for the example. The validation results presented in this section will also used in Section 7.5 for an example of a robot arm.
First a pair of SLA molds was built in the tooling mode in a SLA3500 machine (Figure 5.8). Then a Morganpress" injectionmolding machine (G100T) from Morgan Industries Inc. was used to fabricate the prototypes of the tensile bar. The material was generalpurpose polystyrene from the Dow Chemical Company (www.dow.com). The main injection molding parameters used in the process were:
Barrel/Nozzle temperature: Clamping Force: Injection Pressure: Pilot Valve Pressure: Injection Time: Cooling Time: Cycle Time: 430 / 450 oF 11 tons 2.5 x 103 psi 6x10 psi 35 second 200 second 6 minutes
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More than 10 parts were produced. Some of them are shown in Figure 5.8. Among the prototypes, four tensile bars are used to determine material properties (Figure 5.9). The obtained values are presented in Table 5.8. In the table, the values in estimated row correspond to the material properties from (Dawson, 1998) and are used in the MGT problem; mean row corresponds to the mean values of the material properties obtained from physical experimentation. The variation of the material properties (maximum % deviation) for different specimens is 4 9%. This is a small error and hence the values can be considered to be consistent. Comparing the actual and estimated values, tensile strength and Youngs modulus have an error of 1.7% and 2.5% respectively. These values are very small indicating a very good match between the estimated and actual values. Strain values are not used in the MGT problem and hence no comparisons are provided.
Table 5.8 Material property validation results for polystyrene.
Replication 1 2 3 4 Mean Max. Deviation Percentage Estimated Deviation Percentage Tensile Strength Young's Modulus (MPa) (MPa) % Strain @ Yield 30.7 3392 1.01 32.2 3730 0.97 33.6 3698 1.10 32.5 3123 1.15 32.3 3486 1.06 4.81% 7.03% 8.51% 32.8 3400 1.71% 2.46%
Figure 5.9 Photo of Prototype Tensile Bars Used for Tensile test. 187
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Discussion The design freedom given by the designer to the manufacturer is important for reducing the iterations between the designer and manufacturer. In this example, the author noticed that if the bounds of h given by the designer are changed from 0.4 h 0.6 to 0.45 h 0.55, no solution could be found for the given requirements. Therefore the design may be sent back to the designer to begin a new iteration.
From the testing results shown in Table 5.8, it can be noticed that the material properties of the prototypes are actually in a certain range instead of a point. This is because of some inevitable noise factors in the rapid tooling process (Figure 5.10). Suppose the material property of interest is Y and its distribution can be represented as the normal distribution as shown in Figure 5.10. The mean and standard deviation of Y are Y and Y. They are mainly determined by the capability of the manufacturing process. For a given target value y, bias(y) = yY. If bias(y) is larger than the given tolerance, the produced parts will have very low quality. Therefore the principle of geometric tailoring is to change the target value y to y in order to make bias(y) < bias(y). It is obvious that the best value of y is Y. In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, y is set by the designer who may have no experience of the process and material. Therefore y may have a big bias. However, by using the MGTDT, the manufacturer can set the value of y with a lower bias based on his/her understanding of the process and material. Therefore geometric tailoring can help the manufacturer to produce qualified prototypes much more easily. The designer can also benefit from it because less iteration is needed.
Standard deviation
Probability Distribution
x Part P y
Quality distribution
Tolerance deviation
Y ,Y
Mean Y y' Geometric Tailoring Target y
z , z
With the detail usage of the MGTDT presented in this section, two other examples are presented in the next two sections. Instead of analytic equations, the Response Surface Equations (RSEs) are used to represent functional properties.
5.5.2 Building Prototypes of a Rib Part
Problem Introduction Suppose a rib part as shown in Figure 5.11 is used to support a load F = 25 pounds. Similar to the tensile bar example presented in Section 5.5.1, atactic polystyrene and H13
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steel tools were chosen for producing the production parts. The designer finished the rib design as b = 0.192 inch, h = 0.75 inch, w= 0.852 inch. No draft angle was considered ( = 0). According to the design, the deflection of the rib under the load will be 0.02 inch, which satisfies the assembly requirements of the product. However since this deflection is critical to the performance of the product, the designer needs 50 prototypes to validate his/her design within one week. Suppose the error of the deflection of the prototypes is 5%. Since the leadtime to get the production tools for the part is too long, the designer decides to use the AIM tooling in producing the prototypes.
Designer Activities In this example, suppose the designer is only interested in the deflection of the rib when testing the prototypes. Therefore the functional property of interest in this example is the maximum deflection of the rib, which is related to the flexural Youngs modulus of the material. The flexural Youngs modulus of a production part made of atactic polystyrene with H13 steel molds is YMsteel = 3.0 Gpa = 436710 psi (Dawson, 1998).
In the design process, the designer had already used a Finite Element Analysis software system (e.g. ANSYS) to simulate the maximum deflection related to the load. This simulation was used by the designer in his/her design. Suppose in the production part the maximum deflection of the rib is 0.02 inch. Based on this value and the errors that are allowed in the functional testing, the designer may set the range of the maximum deflection for the prototypes as 0.019 MDm 0.021. Among the three design variables (b, h, w) of the rib, assume w is fixed because of other assembly requirements. Therefore b and h are the design variables that can be changed by the manufacturer. Their ranges are shown as follows. 0.182 b 0.202; 0.71 h 0.79. 189
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
In the rib design, the designer did not consider any draft angles because he/she was not aware of its necessity. Therefore based on all the information, the designer may initiate a MGT rib problem formulation as shown in Table 5.9.
Table 5.9  MGT Rib Problem Formulation By the Designer. Given: !" b = 0.192 inch, h = 0.75 inch, w= 0.852 inch !" Load F = 25 lb !" Flexural Youngs modulus of the product YMsteel = 436710 psi !" Flexural Youngs modulus of the prototype YMSLA** !" The maximum deflection of the rib MDp = 0.02 inch !" Weight W1, W2, W3 !" 50 prototypes are needed Find: !" The geometric variables: Thickness, b Height, h !" The maximum deflection, MDm !" Deviation variables d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3Satisfy: !" Goals: 0192 . Thickness: + d 1 d +1 = 1 b 0.75 Height: + d 2 d +2 = 1 h 0.02 Maximum Deflection: + d 3 d +3 = 1 MDm !" The maximum deflection equation: MDm = f(b, h) ** !" 0.019 inch MDm 0.021 inch !" di, di+ > 0 i = 1, 2, 3 di di+ = 0 i = 1, 2, 3 !" The bounds on the system variables: 0.182 inch b 0.202 inch 0.71 inch h 0.79 inch Minimize: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation): Z = W1( d 1 + d +1 ) + W2 ( d 2 + d + 2 ) + W3 ( d 3 + d + 3 ),( Wi = 1)
Note: Symbol ** denotes the entries that are to be complemented by the manufacturer.
In the MGT formulation (Table 5.9) three goals are considered (Equations 15 ~ 17). The designer can assign different weights to them based on his/her requirements. Different weight scenarios will be discussed further in the solving process of the MGT. 190
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
The MGT formulation and CAD model of the part can be sent to the manufacturer. In addition, the designer can also send the FEA model that was used in determining the maximum deflection of the rib to the manufacturer.
Manufacturer Activities After receiving the above design information, the manufacturer can begin the geometric tailoring for the part. Suppose the AIM tooling for polystyrene is chose for the prototype. Correspondingly the manufacturer knows that the flexural Youngs modulus of atactic polystyrene of parts produced with SLA molds are YMSLA = 4.0 Gpa = 582280 psi (Dawson, 1998). The manufacturer can also employ the FEA model to understand the relation of the maximum deflection with the material differences of the prototype ribs. After getting an equation of MDm, all the empty entries in Table 5.9 can be completed. The solving process will be very similar to that of the tensile bar example (Section 5.5.1).
However, suppose the manufacturer notice that there is no draft angle in the rib design. This may lead to some difficulties in the injection molding process (Rosato and Rosato, 1995). Especially the mold life of SLA molds will be significantly lower for a part design without draft angle (Palmer, 1999). Suppose this consideration needs to be added to the MGT formulation. To tailor the draft angle based on the mold life, the manufacturer must have an analytical equation to represent the relation of the mold life and the draft angle. Based on the work of (Palmer, 1999), suppose a response surface equation is generated as:
Number of Shot = 23.13 14.54hr + 16.06 + 1.4hrhr + 0.67  2.24hr,
where hr is the height ratio (h/b) and is the draft angle. Although this model is developed for a mold protrusion and may be rather crude, the author will use it in this example to demonstrate how to integrate the design and manufacturing considerations. The manufacturer can add draft angle as an additional geometry variable in the MGT formulation with its target value as 0.5o. Accordingly there are two thickness variables, b1 and b2, which are related to the top and bottom thickness of the rib (Figure 5.12). They have the relation as: b1 = b2  2htan() where h is the height and is draft angle.
b1
h a b2
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Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Furthermore another constraint is related to the value of b1. In the injection molding process, the top surface of the rib will be used as the ejection position. After the calculation, mold designer decided that the ejection pins need to be 0.125 inch in diameter. Therefore, the top thickness b1 should be greater than 0.125 inch. Correspondingly the relation MDm = f(b, h) in Table 5.9 is changed to MDm = f(b2, h, ). This relation can be represented by a Response Surface equation. Based on the FEA model given by the designer, the manufacturer can simulate the maximum deflection related to the load and boundary conditions for different geometries. This process is described in more details as follows. The three design factors chosen for the experiments and their ranges are given in Table 5.10. The experimental design that is used in this example is CCF (Central Composite Faced) design (Montgomery, 1991). There are totally 15 experiments. The experimental design and related results are shown in Table 5.11.
Table 5.10 Design Factors and Their Ranges.
Design Factor Bottom Thickness (b2) (in.) Height (h) (in.) Draft Angle () (o) Low Band (1) 0.182 0.71 0 Middle (0) 0.192 0.75 1.25 High Band (1) 0.202 0.79 2.5
Response Max. Deflection (inch) 0.0210 0.0171 0.0184 0.0136 0.0295 0.0204 0.0243 0.0154 0.0178 0.0206 0.0205 0.0154 0.0211 0.0154 0.0178
In the FEA analysis, the element type that is used is Brick 20 node (solid 95). The author also noticed that the maximum stress given by ANSYS is around 4000 psi, which is less than 6000 psi. Therefore the stress for the rib design is not a main concern. Two screen dumps given by ANSYS for two experiments (experiment 6 and 7) are shown in Figure 5.13.
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Figure 5.13 Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Rib Part.
A statistical software system, MINITAB (www.minitab.com), was used to generate the response surface model for the above experiments. The response surface equation given by MINITAB is:
Max_Deflection = 0.43  4.799b2 + 0.093h + 0.021 + 14.722b2b2 + 0.139hh 1.281b2h 0.093b2  0.002h
2 2
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The response surface of the maximum deflection has very high R2 and R2 (adj) values. This indicates that the response surface fits very well through actual data. The graphical relations of the response and the variables given by MINITAB are shown in Figure 5.14. They are provided for a better understanding of the response surface equation.
inch
Therefore the manufacturer can formulate the MGT problem by adding all the manufacturing requirements. The complete MGT problem formulation is shown in Table 5.12. In the formulation five design goals are considered instead of the three goals given 194
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
in Table 5.9. The goals of draft angle (Equation 5.18) and shot number (Equation 5.19) are added by the manufacturer.
Table 5.12 Complete MGT Rib Problem Formulation. Given: !" b2 = 0.192 inch, h = 0.75 inch, w= 0.852 inch !" Load F = 25 lb. !" Flexural Youngs modulus of the product YMsteel = 436710 psi !" Flexural Youngs modulus of the prototype YMSLA = 582280 psi !" The maximum deflection of the rib MDp = 0.02 inch !" Weight W1, W2, W3, W4, W5 !" 50 prototypes are needed. Find: !" The geometric variables: Bottom Thickness, b2 Height, h Draft angle, !" The maximum deflection, MDm !" Shot number of a mold before failure, NS. !" Deviation variables d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3, d4+, d4, d5+, d5Satisfy: !" Goals: 0192 . Bottom thickness: + d 1 d +1 = 1 b2 0.75 Height: + d 2 d +2 = 1 h 0.02 Maximum Deflection: + d 3 d +3 = 1 MDm 0.5 Draft Angle: + d 4 d +4 = 1
[5.18]
50 [5.19] + d 5 d +5 = 1 NS !" The maximum deflection Response Surface Model: MD = 0.43 4.799b2+ 0.093h +0.021 +14.722b2b2+ 0.139hh 1.281b2h 0.093b2  0.002h !" 0.019 inch MDm 0.021 inch !" Top thickness: b1 = b2 2htan() !" Requirement of ejector pin: b1 > 0.125 !" Height ratio: hr = h/b2 !" Number of shot: NS = 23.13 14.54hr + 16.06 + 1.4hrhr + 0.67  2.24hr !" di, di+ > 0 i = 1, , 5 + di di = 0 i = 1, , 5 !" The bounds on the system variables:
Shot number:
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A C program using the exhaustive searching method is developed to solve the formulated problem. Four different goal preference scenarios were investigated. All goals were weighted evenly in Scenario 1. In Scenario 2, the dimensional goals were weighted more highly. Scenarios 3 weighted the shot number goal more highly. In Scenario 4 the shot number goal was not considered and all other four goals were weighted evenly. Weights for the four scenarios are shown in Table 5.13.
Table 5.13 Scenarios of Goal Weights.
Scenario 1 2 3 4 Thickness Goal 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.25 Dimension Goals Height Goal 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.25 Draft Angle Goal 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.25 Max. Deflection Goal 0.2 0.05 0.1 0.25 Shot Number Goal 0.2 0.05 0.6 0
Results of the MGT problem are shown in Table 5.14 for each of the four scenarios. As can be seen, the results across all scenarios are almost identical, indicating a solution that is stable with respect to preferences. However, the deviations of the solutions are rather high. This is because the goal for shot number is set too high (50) and the response surface equation of the shot number is crude. However, the author believes these solutions can help the designer and manufacturer to understand the possible difficulties in making tradeoffs. Therefore the negotiations between them may be speeded up.
Table 5.14 Rib Part MGT Results.
Scenario Bottom Thickness b2 (inch) 0.19 0.19 0.19 0.195 Height h (inch) 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.79 Draft Angle Max. Deflection MDm (inch) 0.0191 0.0191 0.0191 0.0191 Shot Number NS 10 10 10 1 Deviation 0.97 0.45 2.48 0.21
()
2.5 2.5 2.5 1.7
1 2 3 4
Since the main goal of this example is to illustrate the capability of the MGTDT in integrating the design and manufacturing requirements, no further errors are made in improving the accuracy of the solutions for the example. Based on the results, the manufacturer selects the following rib part dimensions: 196
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Although the response surface equation of the shot number is not accurate, it can foster a better understanding of the necessity of the geometric tailoring. When the mold life requirement is considered, the draft angle given by solving the MGT problem is 2.5o. Correspondingly the SLA molds can produce 10 parts before they fail. However if this manufacturing requirement is not considered, draft angle is 1.7o and the shot number for the SLA molds is only 1 (Scenario 4). This will be not acceptable in producing the prototypes. Even worse, the draft angle given by the designer is 0o. The manufacturer may not be able to get a single part for this design. In Chapter 6, the author will present an approach for Rapid Tooling in order to consider more requirements that are related to the manufacturing process.
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Physical Validation For the tailored part design, the author used a SLA3500 and Morganpress injectionmolding machine in producing molds and parts respectively. The material is a generalpurpose polystyrene from the Dow Chemical Company (www.dow.com). Over 18 parts were made before a pullout failure happened in a SLA mold piece. Two parts are shown in Figure 5.15. The SLA molds and the pullout failure are shown in Figure 5.16.
Pullout Failure
However, because of the lack of experiment device, the deflection of the prototypes is not tested under the load. In the next section a ring gear example is presented, in which two functional properties are considered in one prototype.
5.5.3 Building Prototypes of a Ring Gear
Problem Introduction The design problem under consideration here is the design of ring gears for a speed reducer in a family of cordless drills. These speed reducers are planetary gear trains,
Ring gear of interest
Figure 5.17 The Ring Gear and the Speed Reducer of a Cordless Drill.
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typically with three stages, as shown in Figure 5.17. Suppose ring gears for layer 1 and 2 are made of injection molded, atactic polystyrene. In this problem the author only considered the ring gear for layer 1. For different drill with voltage of 9.6V, 12V, 14.4V and 18V, the maximum torque to chuck is given in Table 5.15. A gearshift is used for providing two different output speeds (1400 rpm and 400 rpm) for the user by engaging and disengaging the second planetary layer.
Table 5.15 Maximum Torque of The Speed Reducer.
Voltage (V) 9.6 12 14.4 18 Maximum Torque (inlb) 156 200 237 330
Suppose a gear train has been designed and a prototype gear train is required for functional testing. Rather than waiting for production injection mold tooling for the ring gear to be machined, the designer wants to fabricate prototype ring gears using a Rapid Tooling process. In the cordless drill design, the reliability of its transmission is rather important. Therefore suppose the prototype ring gears are to be used for fatigue testing. The error requirement of the fatigue is 5%.
Figure 5.18 Some Terminology Describing a Spur Gear (Shigley and Mischke, 1989).
Designer Activities A spur ring gear can be determined by three design variables, teeth number (N), pitch diameter (PD), and face width (W). They are shown with other terminologies in Figure
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5.18 (Shigley and Mischke, 1989). The diameter of the pitch circle is called pitch diameter. Suppose the ring gear design in layer 1 are: N=54, PD = 1.335inch, F= 0.215 inch. Since the speed reducing ratio of the gear train is related to the teeth number by equation N2 1 = . The designer may not want the manufacturer to change the number of N N1 2 because of the speed requirements. Therefore face width (F) and pitch diameter (PD) are the design factors that can be tailored by the manufacturer. Suppose their ranges are: 0.204 F 0.226; 1.268 h 1.402. Then because the fatigue property of the ring gear is investigated in the functional testing, the designer should determine an approach to evaluate the fatigue of the ring gear. An approach based on the maximum stress is presented as follows. When the cordless drill is in work, the ring gear is under fluctuating stresses as shown in Figure 5.19.a. Suppose the maximum Von Mises stress is max. Since min = 0 for the ring gear, one can get mean stress (m) = (max + min ) / 2 = max /2, stress amplitude (a) = (max  min ) / 2 = max /2.
max
Sa
a
Time
(a) Fluctuating Stress in the Gear
0
(b) The StressLife Curve
The fatigue, or gear life, can be represented by the number of cycles (N) that the teeth can run before it breaks. The gear life is related to the fluctuating stresses in the gear teeth (Shigley and Mischke, 1989). Suppose a factor is c, nominal stress Sa = ca. The relation of Sa and N can be illustrated in Figure 5.19.b. Dowling (1993) gave a way to calculate the number of cycles for given fluctuating stresses. For different materials including polymer, N = (Sa/a)1/b, where a= k1 Sut, b = k2. In the equations, Sut is the tensile strength of the material, k1 and k2 are all factors. Since Sa = ca = cmax /2, for a teeth of the ring gear,
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[5.20]
Suppose k = kakbkckdkekf, where ka is surface factor, kb is size factor, kc is load factor, kd is temperature factor, ke is material factor, kf is miscellaneouseffect factor (corrosion, residual stress, metal spraying, cyclic frequency, stress concentration, etc.). Since the production and prototype gears have similar surface, size, load, temperature, and material, ka, kb, kc, kd, ke, kf in the above equations can be thought as equal. Based on Equation 5.20, Nprototype = kprototype (max/Sut)prototype 1/k2prototype, Nproduct = kproduct (max/Sut) product1/k2product, Therefore, similar fatigue performance (Nproduct = Nprototype) can be achieved by making the ratio max/Sut of prototype gears and production gears as similar as possible. In this example, since the same ring gear is operated in two different speeds, two different loads are added to the ring gear. In the functional testing, it is desired that the prototype ring gears will behavior similar to the performance of the production ring gears in both loads. Therefore two functional properties (MS1, MS2) should be considered in the MGT formulation. Related to different output speeds, two speed ratios are 0.0613 (use layer 1, 3) and 0.019 (use layer 1, 2, 3). Suppose the number of planet gear is 5. For the given design, High torque T1= 156/5*0.0613=1.913 lbin; Low torque T2= 156/5*0.019=0.593 lbin. The maximum stresses of the product ring gear for low and high speed given by ANSYS are 3282 psi and 1017 psi respectively. The tensile strength of a production ring gear made of atactic polystyrene is 37.4 Gpa (Dawson, 1998). That is, Sut, product = 37.4 Gpa = 5430 psi. Based on all the information, the designer may initiate a MGT ring gear problem formulation as shown in Table 5.16.
Table 5.16  MGT Ring Gear Problem Formulation By the Designer. Given: !" N = 54, PD = 1.335 inch, W= 0.215 inch !" Load T1 = 1.913 lbin, T2 = 0.593 lbin !" Yield Strength of the product Su, p = 5430 psi !" Yield Strength of the prototype Su, m ** !" The maximum stress of the product gear under T1: MS1, p = 3282 psi !" The maximum stress of the product gear under T2: MS2, p = 1017 psi MS1, p Su,m !" Target maximum stress of the prototype gear under T1: TMS1,m = Su, p MS2, p Su,m !" Target maximum stress of the prototype gear under T2: TMS2,m = Su, p
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!" Weight W1, W2, W3, W4 !" 50 prototypes are needed Find: !" The geometric variables: Pitch Diameter, PD Face Width, W !" The maximum stress under T1, MS1,m !" The maximum stress under T2, MS2,m !" Deviation variables d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3, d4+, d4Satisfy: !" Goals: 1335 . Pitch Diameter: + d 1 d +1 = 1 PD 0.215 Face Width: + d 2 d +2 = 1 W TMS1,m Maximum Stress under T1: + d 3 d +3 = 1 MS1,m
TMS2,m + d 4 d +4 = 1 [5.24] MS2,m !" The maximum deflection equation: MS1,m = f1(PD, W, T1) ** MS2,m = f2(PD, W, T2) ** !" 2733 psi MS1,m 3021 psi 846.9 psi MS2,m 936.1 psi !" di, di+ > 0 i = 1, 2, 3, 4 di di+ = 0 i = 1, 2, 3, 4 !" The bounds on the system variables: 1.268 inch PD 1.402 inch 0.204 inch W 0.226 inch Minimize: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation): Z = W1( d 1 + d +1 ) + W2 ( d 2 + d + 2 ) + W3 ( d 3 + d + 3 ) + W4 ( d 4 + d + 4 ),( Wi = 1) Maximum Stress under T2:
Note: Symbol ** denotes the entries that are to be complemented by the manufacturer.
In the MGT formulation (Table 5.16), four goals include two goals on geometry (Equations 5.21 and 5.22) and two goals on maximum stress (Equations 5.23 and 5.24). The MGT formulation and CAD model of the part can be sent to the manufacturer. In addition, the designer can also send the FEA model that was used in determining the maximum stress of the ring gear to the manufacturer.
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Manufacturer Activities After receiving the design information, the manufacturer can begin the geometric tailoring for the part. Suppose the AIM tooling for polystyrene is chose for the prototype. Correspondingly the manufacturer knows the yield strength of atactic polystyrene of gears produced with SLA molds are Su,m = 32.8 Gpa = 4760 psi (Dawson, 1998).
The manufacturer can also employ the FEA model to understand the relation of the maximum stress with the material and geometry differences of the prototype ring gear. The design variables given by the designer are PD and W. Correspondingly the design factors and their ranges for the experiments are given in Table 5.17. CCF (Central Composite Faced) design is used in the experimental design in this example (Montgomery, 1991). There are totally 9 experiments for each load. The experimental design and related results given by ANSYS are shown in Table 5.18.
Table 5.17 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Ring Gear.
Design Factor Thickness W (inch) Pitch diameter PD (inch) Low Band (1) 0.204 1.268 Middle (0) 0.215 1.335 High Band (1) 0.226 1.402
Table 5.18 Results of the Experiments for Ring Gear. Design Factors
Exp. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
W (in.)
0.226 (1) 0.226 (1) 0.204 (1) 0.204 (1) 0.215 (0) 0.215 (0) 0.226 (1) 0.204 (1) 0.215 (0)
PD (in.)
1.402 (1) 1.268 (1) 1.402 (1) 1.268 (1) 1.402 (1) 1.268 (1) 1.335 (0) 1.335 (0) 1.335 (0)
Response Max. Stress (psi) Torque = Torque = 1.913 lbin 0.593 lbin
2581 3325 2939 3591 2924 3535 2956 3183 3282 800 1031 911 1113 906.4 1096 916.4 986.8 1017
In the FEA analysis, the element type that is used is Tet10 node (solid 72). Two screen dumps given by ANSYS for two experiments (experiment 1 and 7) are shown in Figure 5.20. Based on the results of the experiments, the response surface equations for the maximum stress given by the statistical software (MINITAB) are:
MS1,m = 50522 + 565972*W  3537*PD 1249312*W*W + 1968*PD*PD  31208*W*PD;
(R2 = 99%, R2 (adj) = 97.3%, Max. dev = 1.5%, Avg. dev = 0.8%)
(R2 = 99.0%, R2 (adj) = 97.3%, Max. dev = 1.5%, Avg. dev = 0.8%)
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Figure 5.20 Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Ring Gear.
The response surfaces of the maximum stresses have very high R2 and R2 (adj) values. This indicates that the response surface fits very well through actual data. The graphical relation of MS1,m and the design variables (PD and W) given by MINITAB is shown in Figure 5.21. It is provided here for a better understanding of the response surface equation. Although not shown, MS2,m has a similar relation with the design variables. Based on all the information, the manufacturer can formulate a complete MGT problem as shown in Table 5.19.
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Table 5.19 Complete MGT Ring Gear Problem Formulation. Given: !" N = 54, PD = 1.335 inch, W= 0.215 inch !" Load T1 = 1.913 lbin, T2 = 0.593 lbin !" Yield Strength of the product Su, p = 5430 psi !" Yield Strength of the prototype Su, m = 4760 psi !" The maximum stress of the product gear under T1: MS1, p = 3282 psi !" The maximum stress of the product gear under T2: MS2, p = 1017 psi MS1, p Su,m !" Target maximum stress of the prototype gear under T1: TMS1,m = Su, p MS2, p Su,m !" Target maximum stress of the prototype gear under T2: TMS2,m = Su, p !" Weight W1, W2, W3, W4 !" 50 prototypes are needed Find: !" The geometric variables: Pitch Diameter, PD Face Width, W !" The maximum stress under T1, MS1,m
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!" The maximum stress under T2, MS2,m !" Deviation variables d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3, d4+, d4Satisfy: !" Goals: 1335 . Pitch Diameter: + d 1 d +1 = 1 PD 0.215 Face Width: + d 2 d +2 = 1 W TMS1,m Maximum Stress under T1: + d 3 d +3 = 1 MS1,m
TMS2,m + d 4 d +4 = 1 MS2,m !" The maximum deflection equation: MS1,m = 50522 + 565972*W  3537*PD 1249312*W*W + 1968*PD*PD  31208*W*PD MS2,m = 15634 + 175337*W  1119*PD  386502*W*W + 631*PD*PD  9837*W*PD !" 2733 psi MS1,m 3021 psi 846.9 psi MS2,m 936.1 psi !" di, di+ > 0 i = 1, 2, 3, 4 + di di = 0 i = 1, 2, 3, 4 !" The bounds on the system variables: 1.268 inch PD 1.402 inch 0.204 inch W 0.226 inch Minimize: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation): Z = W1( d 1 + d +1 ) + W2 ( d 2 + d + 2 ) + W3 ( d 3 + d + 3 ) + W4 ( d 4 + d + 4 ),( Wi = 1) Maximum Stress under T2:
A C program using exhaustive searching method is developed to solve the formulated problem. Three scenarios of goal preference were investigated. All goals were weighted evenly in scenario 1. The two other scenarios weighted the dimension goals more highly, as in scenario 2, or weighted the maximum stress goals more highly, as in scenario 3. Weights for the three scenarios are shown in Table 5.20.
Table 5.20 Scenarios of Goal Weights.
Scenario 1 2 3 Dimension Goals Face Width Pitch Diameter Goal Goal 0.25 0.25 0.4 0.4 0.1 0.1 Maximum Stress 1 Goal 0.25 0.1 0.4 Maximum Stress 2 Goal 0.25 0.1 0.4
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Results of the MGT problem are shown in Table 5.21 for each of the three scenarios. As can be seen, the results across all scenarios are almost identical, indicating a solution that is stable with respect to preferences.
Table 5.21 Ring Gear MGT Results.
Scenario 1 2 3 Face Width w (inch) 0.216 0.215 0.216 Pitch Diameter pd (inch) 1.401 1.402 1.401 Max. Stress 1 MS1 (psi) 2837.5 2885 2837.5 Max. Stress 2 MS2 (psi) 900.1 903.7 900 Deviation (%) 1 2 1.6
Based on the results, the manufacturer selects the following ring gear dimensions: W = 0.216 inch, PD = 1.401 inch, MS1 = 2837.5, MS2 = 900.
Discussion:
If no geometric tailoring is executed, the maximum stress of the prototype ring gear is 3282 psi to transfer T1, and 1017 psi to transfer T2. Therefore the errors between the prototype and production gears are (3282 32824760/5430)/ (32824760/5430) = 14% for T1 and (1017  10174760/5430)/ (10174760/5430) =14% for T2. Therefore the fatigue property of the prototype gears will be different from that of the product gears. After tailoring the dimensions, the error reduced to 1.4% (T1) and 1% (T2) respectively.
Physical Validation For the tailored part design, the author used a SLA3500 and a Sumitomo (75 Ton) injectionmolding machine (www.sumitomopm.com) in producing molds and parts respectively. The material is generalpurpose polystyrene from the Dow Chemical Company. Over 10 shots were made. The SLA mold is still in good condition after the injectionmolding process was stopped. The main injection molding parameters used in the process were:
Temperature setting: Zone 1: Throat of Hopper Zone 2: Melt Zone Zone 3: Transition Zone Zone 4: Metered Zone Zone 15 Nozzle Clamping Force: Hold Time: Hold Pressure: Shot Size: Cooling Time: Cycle Time: Injection Speed: 220 oC 225 oC 230 oC 235 oC 235 oC 50 tons 15 second 8.0 kgf/cm2 40.5 mm 450 second 8 minute 25 mm/sec
Some of the produced ring gears are shown in Figure 5.22. One of the SLA mold pieces installed in the standard mold plate of the injectionmolding machine is shown in Figure 5.23. However, because of the lack of experiment device, the maximum stresses of the prototypes are not tested under the loads.
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Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
After the test examples are presented for the MGT and MGTDT, a brief summary is given in the next section, which discusses the relevance of these results with regard to the hypotheses of the dissertation.
5.6 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 5
In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, the iterations of design changes between the designer and manufacturer may take a long time before productionrepresentative prototypes are produced. In this chapter and the next chapter, methods on geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling are presented to address the problem. One geometric tailoring problem, material geometric tailoring, is considered in Chapter 5. The properties of Rapid Tooling, especially the part properties of the AIM tooling, are introduced in Section 5.1 to provide a context of material geometric tailoring. Related to the principle of functional testing and similarity methods, the fundamentals of geometric tailoring are presented in Section 5.2. The material geometric tailoring decision template is introduced in Section 5.3, which enables a clean digital interface between design and fabrication, effectively separating design activities from manufacture activities. The usage of the MGT decision template, including formulating function properties and solving approaches, is presented in Section 5.4. Finally three test examples are discussed in Section 5.5 to demonstrate a scenario of designmanufacture collaboration with the MGT decision template. The research question and hypothesis that are related to this chapter are Q2.1 and subhypothesis 2.1, which are repeated here:
Q2.1. How to reduce the iterations between the designer and manufacturer in producing functional prototypes that have different material properties from products? SubHypothesis 2.1: The designer can initiate a material geometric tailoring (MGT) formulation based on a MGT decision template; therefore the manufacturer, who completes and solves the MGT problem, can produce productionrepresentative prototypes more quickly.
Although not explicitly presented in the chapter, the discussions on the properties of Rapid Tooling, the Buckingham theorem, information flow and information processing for the different steps in using MGTDT provide partial theoretical structural validation for Hypothesis 2.1. In Section 5.5, the usage of MGTDT in designing a prototype tensile bar, rib part and ring gear is presented. The discussions on the problem requirements of the examples and the usage of the MGTDT provide partial empirical structure validation for Hypothesis 2.1, and the discussions on solving process and physical validation of the examples provide partial empirical performance validation for Hypothesis 2.1. These results are summarized in Figure 5.24. The author also made an effort on providing theoretical performance validation for Hypothesis 2.1. Some explanations on the performance validation of the hypothesis are given as follows. Currently the decisions on part design are made by the designer. In the design process, the designer formulates goals, constraints and preferences to make the decisions. However these decision factors are not transferred to the next stages (e.g. Designfor209
Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Hypothesis 2.1
Theoretical Structure Validation The MGT is based on Buckingham PI theorem; the MGTDT is based on decision based design and other design technologies including compromise DSP and RSM. Empirical Structure Validation The requirements on producing functional prototypes of a tensile bar, a rib part, and a ring gear using the AIM tooling are representative of the problems. The MGTDT can be used to formulate the design and manufacturing requirements. Empirical Performance Validation Productionrepresentative prototypes of the tensile bar, rib part and ring gear were produced based on the scenario of using MGTDT to transfer DFM to the manufacturer without iterations. Theoretical Performance Validation
CUMULATIVE
0% Design Timeline
Design Freedom
Manufacture). So design freedom decreases quickly. Consequently the cost and time to make decisions in the later stages increase dramatically. In this research, the MGTDT is proposed to formulate sufficient design information for the material geometric tailoring problem. By communicating the formulated design information to later stages, the knowledge about design increases without decreasing design freedom dramatically. With the maintained design freedom, some difficulties in the later stages can be solved easily and quickly (Figure 5.24). This was illustrated in the discussions of the tensile bar example (Section 5.5.1). The validation of hypothesis 2.1 also partially supports Q2 and hypothesis 2, which are repeated here:
Q2. How to reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer in the usage of Rapid Tooling for a wide variety of design requirements?
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Chapter 5 Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Hypothesis 2: Geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling can be integrated with process planning based on decision templates and solved by the manufacturer, which can reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer.
Among different design requirements considered in Q2, only functional properties that are related to material properties are considered in Q2.1. Accordingly, for the geometric tailoring considered in hypothesis 2, only material geometric tailoring is tested in hypothesis 2.1. With the principles of geometric tailoring introduced in this chapter, a design for Rapid Tooling system is presented in the next chapter (Figure 5.25). Besides the requirements that are related to material properties, other requirements that are related to process planning are also considered in the system (Section 6.1). The MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring (MPGT) problem and the MPGT decision template are described in Section 6.3. A solving approach for the MPGT problem is presented in Section 6.4.
Part Design
Parametric CAD Model of Part A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System Part Design Requirements
(Chp3 & 4)
(Section 6.3)
The Designer's MPGT Problem Formulation
Given Part Design Find Design Parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minimize Deviation
(Section 6.2.1)
B. RP Process Planner
Surface Fin ish Accuracy Cost Time
(Section 6.2.2)
C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer
(Section 6.2.3)
E. Rapid Tooling Cost Predictor
Time Cost
Proces sor
Tailored Part Design and related Mold Design, RP and IJM Process Parameters
CDSP Template
Chp 4: RTMDS and its Usage Chp 6: Design for Rapid Tooling
Part P F1 F3 F2 F4 F6 F8 F5 F7 Part P
PD1
Part P F1 F9
F9
(1)
Fn
F3 F2
F6 F8 F5 F7 Fn
(2)
F4
Mold Base
F1 F3 F9 F6 F5 F8 Fn Rk R3
R1 F2
M1 (3)
PD1
2 F
1 F 3 F
Given Analternative tobeimprovedthroughmodification; Assumptions usedtomodel the domainof interest. Thesystemparameters: n number of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints p equalityconstraints q inequalityconstraints m number of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function fk(di ) functionof deviationvariables tobeminimizedat priority level k for thepreemptive case. Find Values for thesystemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n Values for thedeviation variables di, di+ i = 1, ... , m Satisfy Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear) gi(X) = 0; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear) i = 1, ..., m Ai(X) + d i  di+ = Gi ; Bounds Ximin Xi Ximax ; i = 1, ..., n Deviationvariables di, di+ 0; di . d i+ = 0; i = 1, ..., m Minimize Preemptive deviationfunction(lexicographicminimum)
Z=[ f1(di,d+ ),..., fk(di, d+ )] i i
PL1
M2
PD2
F4
F5 F7
Archimedaindeviationfunction
Mk
n F
Z=
!W(d
i
+ di+ ) where
!W =1, W 0
i i
F4 R2
PD2
PL2
F7
CAD Representation
DFM Strategies
Design Techniques
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
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CHAPTER 6
(Chp3 & 4)
(Section 6.3)
The Designer's MPGT Problem Formulation
Given Part Design Find Design Parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minimize Deviation
(Section 6.2.1)
B. RP Process Planner
Surface Finish Accuracy Cos t Time
(Section 6.2.2)
C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer
Draft A ngle Rib Height/width Ratio Part Thickness Mold Life
(Section 6.2.3)
E. Rapid Tooling Cost Predictor
Time Cost
Processor
Tailored Part Design and related Mold Design, RP and IJM Process Parameters
CDSP Template
In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, the iterations of design changes between the designer and manufacturer may take a long time before productionrepresentative prototypes are produced. Based on the principle of geometric tailoring presented in the last chapter, a design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS) was presented for materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) to address the problem in this chapter. First the infrastructure and scope of the DFRTS are introduced in Section 6.1. The components of the DFRTS that are related to the process planning of the AIM tooling are described in Section 6.2. The MPGT decision template for the designer and the integrated MPGT problem formulation are presented in Section 6.3. A solution strategy for the MPGT problem and a threestage solution process for the DFRTS are described in Section 6.4. Finally a comparison of the DFRTS and the current usage of RT is given from the perspective of decisionmaking.
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6.1 OVERVIEW OF DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING SYSTEM As stated in Section 1.2.3, the customers of the RTTB (Section 1.2.2) have a wide variety of design requirements. These requirements for the prototype parts may include the shape of the products, function properties, tolerances, surface finish, batch size, cost and time. Among these requirements for Rapid Tooling, the requirements on function properties are related to the material properties of the prototypes. In Chapter 5, the material geometric tailoring (MGT) problem and MGT decision template were presented to address the differences of the material properties between the products and prototypes. The principles of geometric tailoring (Section 5.2.3) and MGTDT (Section 5.3.1) are applicable to the materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) and MPGT decision template that are to be presented in Section 6.3. The example of the rib part (Section 5.5.2) also sets the stage for the research in this chapter with more manufacturing requirements considered. Some requirements for Rapid Tooling, such as tolerances, surface finish, batch size, cost and time, are tightly related to the fabrication process. Therefore the process planning of the Rapid Tooling should also be considered. Consequently a Design for Rapid Tooling System (DFRTS) is proposed in this chapter to address the geometric tailoring problem related to these requirements. Its relation with geometric tailoring and DFM is described in Section 1.2.4 and repeated here in Figure 6.1.
Figure 6.1 Relations of DFRT, Geometric Tailoring and DFM. In Chapter 5, the approach based on the MGTDT formulated the decisions in design stages into a compromise DSP, and then transferred it to later stages. The requirements of the later stages were integrated into the problem formulation, which was then solved for a satisficing solution (Section 5.3.1). In this chapter, the DFRTS employs the same principle. That is, the decisions of the part design, RP process planning, and IJM process planning are formulated into compromise DSPs. Instead of solving them for optimal solutions for each stage, the formulations are transferred to later stages and integrated into a bigger problem. Finally a compromise DSP solver is developed in the DFRTS to get a satisficing solution for all the stages. The process is illustrated in Figure 6.2.
213
Part Design
Parametric CAD Model of Part Part Design Requirements
(Chp3 & 4)
A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System
Parting Directions Parting Lines Parting Surfaces Mold Piece Number
(6.3.1)
The Designer's MPGT Problem Formulation
Given Part Design Find Design Parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minimize Deviation
(6.2.1)
B. RP Process Planner
Building Directin Layer Thickness Fill Overcure Hatch Overcure
(6.2.2)
C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer
Cooling Time Draft Angle Rib Height/width Ratio Part Thickness
(6.2.3)
E. Rapid Tooling Cost Estimator
Time Cost
Tailored Part Design and related Mold Design, RP and IJM Process Parameters
CDSP Template
Figure 6.2 Infrastructure of the DFRTS and Related Sections. The related sections in this dissertation for the components of the DFRTS are also shown in Figure 6.2. The input to the system is the part design whose functional prototypes are to be produced by the Rapid Tooling. For the given CAD model of the part, the method and related system for generating CAD models of mold pieces are presented in Chapter 3 and 4 respectively. The MPGT decision template for design
214
requirements is presented in Section 6.3.1. The RP process planner (B) and injection molding process analyzer (C) are discussed in Section 6.2.1 and Section 6.2.2 respectively. The MPGT problem formulation and the related MPGT problem solver (D) are presented in Section 6.3.2 and 6.4. By solving the integrated problem, the tailored part design and the related mold design, Rapid Prototyping and injection molding process parameters are determined. The DFRTS is a decisionbased system because the decisions and their formulations provide a unified framework for integrating design and manufacturing requirements for designformanufacturing (DFM) problem. In this chapter, the author will focus on formulating the decisions in the part design and solving the integrated problem. Before the components of the DFRTS are introduced, the research scope of the system is described as follows. As shown in Figure 6.3, four phases in using the direct AIM tooling to build prototypes are (1) design part, (2) design mold, (3) build mold, and (4) build part. For each phase, there are several variables. The variables that are considered in the DFRTS are marked by underlines in the figure. Some other variables in phases II, III, and IV that are not considered are also shown in the figure. The determination of the research scope was mainly based on the importance of the variables, and also the research work that had done at our lab (Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute). In the next section, the computational modules that are developed for RP and Injection molding (IJM) process are presented. Related to these modules, the software systems of SLA process planner, mold life predictor, and RT cost estimator are also described.
Mold build by RP
Injection Part
Phase III: Build Mold Layer Thickness Building Orientation Hatch Overcure Fill Overcure Zlevel wait Sweep period Boder Overcure Predip delay Postdip delay etc.
Phase IV: Build Part Cooling Time Thermal Cure Nozzle Temperature Clamping Force Injection Pressure Injection Time Holding Time Packing Pressure etc.
Cost Parting Direction Time Parting Lines Part Number Parting Surface Stress Part Orientation Strain Ejection Pin No. Weight Ejection Pin Position Surface finish Sprue Type Flatness tolerance Gate Size Parallelism tolerance Cooling Channels Positional tolerance etc. Circularity tolerance Concentricity tolerance Perpendicularity tolerance
215
6.2 PROCESSING PLANNING OF THE AIM TOOLING The process planning of the AIM tooling includes the process planning of Rapid Prototyping (RP) and injection molding (IJM) processes. The computational modules of building time, tolerances, and surface finish that are related to the RP process are presented in (McClurkin, 1997; Lynn, 1998; West, 1999). The computational modules of mold life that are related to the IJM process are presented in (Cedorge, 1999; Le Baut, 1999; Palmer, 1999; Pham, 2001; Rodet, 2001). The software systems that were developed based on these computational modules are presented in (Sambu, 2001). In the work of the DFRTS the author worked closely with Shiva Sambu, a M.S. student at our lab. We also used the same case studies, robot arm and camera roller, which will be presented in Chapter 7 and 8 respectively. To foster a better understanding of the DFRTS, the word and mathematical formulations of the RP and IJM processes shown in Figure 6.2 are presented in Section 6.2.1 and 6.2.2. The software systems of SLA process planner, mold life predictor, and RT cost estimator are briefly discussed in Section 6.2.1, 6.2.2, and 6.2.3 respectively. 6.2.1 SLA Process Planner
Related to the RP process used in the AIM tooling (Section 1.1.3), SLA process planner corresponds to the RP process planner (B) shown in Figure 6.2. SLA process planner develops a plan that is used to fabricate a part in the stereolithography process (Section 1.1.2). These plans consist of a set of parameter values that influence or control how the part is to be fabricated. Many properties of the fabricated parts, such as surface finish and tolerances, depend on the values of the process variables (e.g. build orientation and layer thickness). However changing the value of a process variable may affect several properties in the ways that may conflict with each other. For example, decreasing the layer thickness in the fabricating process can build parts with better surface finish. However, it will also increase the building time and cost significantly. Therefore tradeoffs are necessary in order to generate a good plan. As a multiobjective problem, the SLA process planning can be formulated using the compromise Decision Support Problem (cDSP). The word formulation of the SLA process planning is given in Table 6.1. Table 6.1 SLA Process Planning Word Formulation (Sambu, 2001).
GIVEN: CAD model of part Target values for SLA process goals Target mold life FIND: System Variables: SLA process variables SATISFY: SLA material property models SLA process models Goal preferences as weights
216
Goals: Meet target material properties Meet targets of SLA process goals
Constraints: Meet SLA process constraints Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
As shown in Figure 6.3, the SLA process variables that are considered are Part Orientation (PO), Layer Thickness (LT), Hatch Overcure (HOC) and Fill Overcure (FOC). The SLA process goals are Surface Finish (SF), Accuracy (AC), Build Time (BT), and material properties of Youngs Modulus (YM) and Tensile Strength (TS). For the process variables and goals, the mathematical formulation of SLA process planning problem is presented in Table 6.2. The formulation is a general math formulation which can be extended for other RP processes. The exact quantitative relationship between goals and system variables is given in (West, 1999) and (Sambu, 2001). Table 6.2 SLA Process Planning Mathematical Formulation (Sambu, 2001).
GIVEN: CAD model of part ACTi, SFTi AC = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP) SF = f (PO, LT) BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP) FIND: System Variables: Part Orientation in vat (PO) Slicing scheme (LT) Hatch Overcure (HOC) Fill Overcure (FOC) ZLevel wait (ZL) Sweep Period (SP) SATISFY: Goals: (YMT / YM)  d1+ + d1 = 1 (TST / TS)  d2+ + d2 = 1 (BTmax  BT) / (BTmax  BTmin)  d4+ + d4 = 1 (ACTk / ACk)  dk+ + dk = 1 (SFTj / SFj)  dj+ + dj = 1 YMT, TST, EYT YM = f (LT, HOC) TS = f (LT, HOC)
Deviation Variables: d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3, d4+, d4, dk+, dk, dj+, dj
Constraints: di+ di = 0 Large horizontal planes Support structures Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
MINIMIZE: Deviation Function: g (d1+, d1, d2+, d2, d3+, d3, d4, dk, dj)
217
A software system based on the ACIS solid modeling kernel was developed in C++ on a PC by (West, 1999) and refined by (Sambu, 2001). A screen capture of the SLA process planner is given in Figure 6.4.
Figure 6.4 Screen Capture of the SLA Process Planner. 6.2.2 Stereolithography Mold Life Predictor
Related to the SLA molds that are used in the injection molding (IJM) process of the AIM tooling, stereolithography mold life predictor corresponds to the injection molding process analyzer (C) shown in Figure 6.2. As discussed in Section 5.1, the mold life of the direct AIM tooling is much lower than that of the steel tooling because of the material and fabrication properties of stereolithography molds. Therefore the mold life is a main concern in the IJM process planning, and is formulated in the word formulation for the IJM process planning (Table 6.3). Table 6.3 IJM Process Planning Word Formulation (Sambu, 2001).
GIVEN: CAD model of molds Target mold life Mold life models Goal preferences as weights
218
Constraints: Meet IJM process constraints Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
Many factors affect the mold life of SLA molds (Cedorge, 1999; Le Baut, 1999; Palmer, 1999; Pham, 2001; Rodet, 2001). These factors can be broadly classified into four categories: geometry variables, injection molding parameters, SLA parameters and material properties. Material properties include the properties of both part and mold material. The factors that are investigated in the mold life predictor are shown in Table 6.4. These factors are chosen based on the data obtained from experiments performed at Georgia Tech. Some of these factors are investigated qualitatively while the others are investigated to obtain quantitative models. Table 6.4 Factors Selected for Mold Life Prediction (Sambu, 2001).
Geometry variables Feature type Feature size Draft angle Surface area Hydraulic radius Bonding Area Wall thickness Gating type Injection molding parameters Injection pressure Injection velocity Injection temperature Ejection temperature Ejection force Cooling time Hold pressure SLA parameters Layer Thickness Hatch Overcure Border Overcure Laser beam size Degree of cure Thermal cure Material properties Youngs modulus Tensile strength Heat deflection temperature Glass transition temperature Friction coefficient Poissons ratio Thermal expansion coefficient
Among the injection molding parameters, only the cooling time is related to the fabrication cost and time directly. Although the other variables are also related to the mold life, they are mainly determined by some other requirements. For example, the injection pressure should be large enough to enable the polymer to fill the whole cavity. These requirements are not considered in the IJM process planning formulation of the DFRTS. Therefore there is only one system variable (cooling time) in the cDSP mathematical formulation of IJM process planning problem (Table 6.5). In the formulation, cooling time (CT) is the time from injection of molten plastic into the mold to the ejection of solidified part from the mold. The cooling time has a lower bound of 180 seconds and an upper bound of 330 seconds. The lower bound is to ensure that the parts are solidified before they are ejected out of the mold. The mold life predictor is applicable for CT 330 and hence this value is chosen as the upper bound. The subscript k corresponds to the number of molds (NM) required to injection mold 219
the desired number of parts (NP). So, there is a total of NM system variables in Table 6.5. The formulation has two goals: cost and time. A modified cDSP formulation proposed in (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001) is used to formulate the goals and their weights, which is discussed in Section 6.3.2. The method to evaluate cost and time is presented in Section 6.2.3. Table 6.5 IJM Process Planning Mathematical Formulation (Sambu, 2001).
GIVEN: CAD models of mold pieces Mold life ML = f (CT) Time T = f (ML, CT, NP) FIND: System Variables: CTk SATISFY: Goals: RP variables used to build the mold Number of parts NP Cost C = f (ML, CT, NP) Deviation Variables:
d j+, p , d j, p
Constraints:
+ 1, p +1
C t1+, 5
+ T t2 ,5
d j+, p * d j, p = 0 d j+, p , d j, p 0
!!w
p =1 j =1
j, p
cd
+ j, p
+ d j, p
A software system based on the mathematical modes was developed in C++ on a PC by (Sambu, 2001). A screen capture of the SL mold life predictor is given in Figure 6.5.
220
Figure 6.5 Screen Capture of SL Mold Life Predictor. 6.2.3 Rapid Tooling Cost Estimator
The cost and time of the fabrication process are related to the process planning. Developing quantitative models of cost and time requires analysis of the whole rapid tooling process. The steps involved in obtaining injection molded parts from the CAD model of the part in rapid tooling process are listed in Table 6.6. The estimated values of time and cost for each step are also given in Table 6.6.
Table 6.6 Cost and Time Estimates for Different Steps in Rapid Tooling Process (Sambu, 2001).
Step Mold design SLA Preparation SLA Building RP Cleaning Postcuring Thermal curing Backfilling Machining Assembling Molding parts Cost ($ / hr) 50 50 SLA 250  35 BT SLA 3500  65 Human 0.25 Human 20 TPM 0.5 TPM 5 1 10 TC * 8 10 Human 0.25 Human 20 Setting 12 Setting 0 Human 20 0.25 Machine 20 Human 20 0.25 Machine 30 CyT * NP 30 Time (hr) 0.5 0.25
221
The time and cost of all the steps is straightforward except the SLA building step. The build time of prototypes using a SLA machine depends upon the geometry of the parts and also the SLA process variables. The SLA build time estimator, presented in (McClurkin and Rosen, 1998), reads the vector (.v) and range (.r) files created by 3Dlightyear or Maestro, 3D Systems software, and calculates the build time of the prototype to within roughly 2%. There are three common types of build vectors used in the stereolithography process: fill vectors, hatch vectors, and border vectors. These three types of vectors may be directly related to the properties of the sliced CAD model. A software system based on the data in Table 6.6 and the SLA build time estimator was developed in C++ on a PC by (Sambu, 2001). The Rapid Tooling cost estimator can receive RT process parameters and return the time and cost related to the process parameters. After the process planning modules of the DFRTS are presented, MPGT and MPGT decision template are described in the next section.
6.3 MPGT DECISION TEMPLATE AND MPGT PROBLEM FORMULATION
The designer may have different requirements for the prototypes of a part design. As stated in Section 5.3, if only functional properties (e.g. maximum stress and deflection) are the main concerns for the prototypes, the designer can initiate a problem formulation based on the material geometric tailoring decision template (MGTDT), and transfer it to the manufacturer. Since the process variables are not needed in the formulation, the problem can be solved quickly and easily (refer to the example given in Section 5.5). However, if the requirements of surface finish, tolerances, cost and time are also considered for the prototypes, the materialprocess geometric tailoring decision template (MPGTDT) should be used instead (Figure 6.6). Since more goals are added into the formulation, the tradeoffs have to be made between the functional properties and the other requirements, which are related to the process planning of RT. It is more difficult
Functional Properties
Surface Finish
Flatness tolerance Parallelism tolerance Positional tolerance Circularity tolerance Concentricity tolerance Perpendicularity tolerance
Tolerances
MPGTDT
222
because of the coupling between subproblems (Section 6.4). The word and mathematical formulations of the MPGTDT are presented in Section 6.3.1. Based on the MPGT formulation given by the designer and the process planning formulations given in the last section, an integrated MPGT problem formulation is described in Section 6.3.2.
6.3.1 MPGTDT
As stated in Section 5.3.1, the definition of MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring Decision Template is: MPGTDT MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring Decision Template, a compromise decision in which the components dimensions are modified to suit a prototype material and fabrication process. The MPGTDT has the same principle as that of the MGTDT (Section 5.3.1). They also have similar formulations, except more goals and constraints are added in the MPGTDT. The compromise DSP word formulation of the MPGTDT is presented in Table 6.7, in which tolerances and surface finish are called process goals.
Table 6.7 Word Formulation of the MPGTDT.
GIVEN: Parametric CAD model of part Target mold life Target values for functional properties Target values for process goals FIND: System Variables: Geometry variables SATISFY: Goals: Meet target functional properties Meet targets of geometry variables Meet targets of process goals Meet targets of mold life Meet target cost and time Functional property models Material Properties Prototype material properties Target cost and time
Deviation Variables: Deviation of goals from targets Constraints: Meet geometry and/or assembly constraints Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
Correspondingly to the word formulation, a general mathematical formulation of MPGTDT is presented in Table 6.8.
223
Time: [Tmin , Tmax], T** Wi FIND: System Variables: Gm, i Deviation Variables: di+, diSATISFY: Goals: Fp, i / Fm,i  di+ + di = 1 Gp,i / Gm,i + dnf+i = 1 SFi,T / SFi  dnf+ng+i+ + dnf+ng+i = 1 Toli,T / Toli  dnf+ng+nsf+i+ + dnf+ng+nsf+i(TmaxT)/(TmaxTmin) di+ + di = 1 (CmaxC)/(CmaxCmin) di+ + di = 1 dnf+i+ Constraints: di+ di = 0, di+ 0, di 0 gj(Gi) = 0, gk(Gi) 0 Bounds: Gimin Gi Gimax Fimin Fi Fimax SFimin SFi SFimax
i = 1, , ng
i = 1, , nf+ng+nsf+ntol+2
i = 1, , nf i = 1, , ng i = 1, , nsf
=1
i = 1, , ng i = 1, , nf i = 1, , nsf
224
i = 1, , ntol
Cmin C Cmax
Compared with the mathematical formulation of the MGTDT given in Table 5.4, more variables and goals (Equations 6.1 ~ 6.6) are considered in the MPGTDT besides geometry variables (Gj), material properties (Mn), and functional properties (Fi). These variables and goals include surface finish (SFj), tolerance (Toli), mold life (ML), time (T) and cost (C). As stated before, they are tightly related to the process planning. Therefore more entries are indicated by **, which denotes information that the manufacturer must supply in order to complete the problem formulation and generate a solution.
MPGTDT Given
Fh = f (Gj, MPg)
Analysis
Gi, j Fh
g lin up g co lin up co
System Variables
PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA
System Variables
CT
Synthesis
System Variables
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
225
Based on the design information, the designer can instantiate the MPGTDT to create the problem formulation suitable for communicating to the manufacturer. The usage scenario of the MPGTDT can be the same as the one presented in Section 5.3, therefore will not be repeated here. The problem formulation given by the designer and the formulations of the process planning can be integrated into a MPGT problem formulation (Figure 6.7), which is to be discussed in the next section.
6.3.2 MPGT Problem Formulation
In the MPGTDT problem, the requirements on productionrepresentative functions, accuracy, surface finish, and fabrication cost and time are considered. By integrating the problem formulations of the MPGTDT (Table 6.7), RP process planning (Table 6.1) and IJM process planning (Table 6.3), one can obtain a Material Process Geometric Tailoring (MPGT) problem formulation. The word formulation of the MPGT problem is shown in Table 6.9.
Table 6.9 MPGT Problem Word Formulation.
GIVEN: Parametric CAD model of part Functional property models Target values for process goals RP process goals models Target mold life Mold life models Target values for functional properties RP process models Target material properties Prototype material properties Target cost and time Goal preferences as weights FIND: System Variables: Deviation Variables: Deviation of goals from targets Geometry variables RP process variables IJM process variables SATISFY: Goals: Meet target functional properties Meet targets of geometry variables Meet targets of process goals Meet target mold life Meet target cost and time Constraints: Meet geometry and/or assembly constraints Meet RP process constraints Meet IJM process constraints Bounds: Bounds for all system variables
In the MPGT formulation, the system variables include geometry variables, RP process variables and IJM process variables. The goals include meeting the target functional properties, geometry variables, mold life, cost/time, and process goals. The process goals are the RP process goals. Experiments performed by (Cedorge, 1999) 226
showed that the surface finish of the part surfaces is very close to the surface finish of the mold surfaces. Therefore the accuracy and surface finish of the part depends on the accuracy and surface finish of the mold, and hence these goals are considered for the mold instead of the part. The mathematical models of accuracy and surface finish for RP process can be used here directly. The material properties of RP process are not considered in the formulation because they are related to the molds instead of the parts. The constraints include meeting the geometry constraints, RP process constraints and IJM process constraints. Related to the above word formulation, a MPGT problem mathematical formulation is presented in Table 6.10 by integrating the math formulations given for the design process (Table 6.8), RP process (Table 6.2) and IJM process (Table 6.5). One thing to be noticed in Table 6.10 is that the modified cDSP formulation proposed in (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001) is used (Section 2.5). Hernandez and coauthors modified the objective function (and correspondingly the goals) in cDSP formulation according to the Linear Physical Programming (LPP) formulation developed by Messac, et al. (1996). In LPP, all the goals are classified into class 1S, 2S, 3S and 4S. Class 1S corresponds to minimization goals, class 2S corresponds to maximization goals, class 3S corresponds to target matching goals and class 4S corresponds to range matching goals. Range matching goals have range of values as target instead of a single point. Hernandez and coauthors proposed to split all the goals of class 3S and class 4S into two independent goals of class 1S and class 2S. Therefore the designer can express preferences of each goal through various degrees of desirability: unacceptable, highly undesirable, undesirable, tolerable, desirable, and ideal.
Table 6.10 MPGT Problem Mathematical Formulation.
GIVEN: Function F h = fh (Gj, MPg) Parametric CAD model of part, GTi, Ts Accuracy AC = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP) Material properties MPg Surface finish SF = f (Gi, s, PO, LT) Mold life ML = f (Gi, s, LT, TC, CT) Build time BT = f (Gi, PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP) ACTq, SFTr, FTh, NP, CT, TT, MPTg Total time T = f (BT, CT, TC, ML, NP) Cost C = f (BT, CT, TC, ML, NP) FIND: System Variables: Deviation Variables: Gi, S POkm, LTkmn, HOCkm, FOCkm, ZLkml, SPkml TCk, CTk SATISFY: Goals:
+ Fh max( Fh th , p +1 ,0 )
d j+, p , d j, p
Constraints:
+ h, p
+ + dh , p dh, p = 1
[6.7]
h (Gi) = 0
+ th , 5 Fh t h ,5
Fh + min( Fh th , p +1 ,0 ) th ,p
+ + dh , p d h, p = 1
[6.8]
227
[6.9]
+ d s, p d s+, p = 1 + d s, p d s+, p = 1
[6.12]
+ + C t4 , 5 , T t5, 5
+ ACq max( ACq tq , p +1 ,0 ) + + + dq , p dq , p = 1 [6.13] d j , p d j , p = 0 + tq , p SFr max( SFr tr+, p+1 ,0) + dr, p dr+, p = 1 [6.14] d j+, p , d j, p 0 tr+, p
+ + d1 , p d1, p = 1
Bounds: [6.15]
+ T max(T t2 , p +1 ,0 )
+ d2, p d2+, p = 1
4 2( h + i + o )+ q + r + 2
!
p =1
!w
j =1
j, p
dd
+ j, p
+ d j, p
Where, g index for material property variables h index for function variables i index for geometry dimension variables j running index for all deviation variables k index for the number of molds l index for the number of blocks of different Zlevel wait (ZL) and Sweep period (SW) in a mold piece m index for the number of mold pieces in each mold design n index for the number of blocks of different layer thicknesses in a mold piece p 1,4; used for goal formulation in LPP (linear physical programming) q index for the number of accuracy requirements r index for the number of surface finish requirements s index for draft angle variables The system variables in the MPGT problem (Table 6.10) include the system variables from the MPGTDT (geometry variables: part dimensions Gi and draft angle s), RT process planning problem (RP process variables: part orientation PO, layer thickness
228
LT, hatch overcure HOC, fill overcure FOC, zlevel wait ZL, sweep period SP) and IJM process planning problem (IJM process variable: thermal cure TC and cooling time CT).
If single mold assembly cannot produce the desired number of parts (NP), multiple mold sets should be built. It is possible to build different mold sets with different values of geometry variables. But, in this formulation, it is assumed that all the molds are fabricated with same values of geometry variables to ensure that all the prototypes have identical properties. There is a total of 2H+2I+2S+Q+R+2 goals in Figure 7.6 that include 2H function goals (Equations 6.7 and 6.8), 2I part dimension goals (Equations 6.9 and 6.10), 2S draft angle goals (Equations 6.11 and 6.12), Q accuracy goals (Equation 6.13), R surface finish goals (Equations 6.14) and one of each of time and cost goals (Equations 6.15 and 6.16). The goals of part dimension, draft angle, and function are target matching goals and in LPP formulation of cDSP, each of these goals is divided into two independent goals of class 1S (minimization) and class 2S (maximization). The goals of accuracy, surface, cost and time are minimization goals (class 1S). Function goals are affected by only geometry and material variables. Accuracy goal is affected by only the RP variables. Surface finish goal is affected by geometry variables (e.g. draft angle) and RP variables (e.g. part orientation). Cost and time are affected by all the system variables. The constraints in MPGT for RT problem include geometry and assembly constraints affected by geometry variables, and RP constraints. The other constraints arise due to the LPP formulation of cDSP problem. Objective function is formulated as a weighted sum of goal deviations (archimedean formulation). For each deviation, weight wj,p can be determined from target values of the related goal. For example, the target values of cost goal can be $98, $125, $150, $170, and $180 corresponding to the target levels of ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, and unacceptable. An algorithm that can be used for the calculation was presented in (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). After the MPGT problem formulation is given, a solution approach for the DFRTS is presented in the next section.
6.4 SOLVING THE MPGT PROBLEM
After the MPGT problem was formulated in the last section, a solution strategy and a related solution process are presented in Section 6.4.1 and 6.4.2 for the problem respectively.
6.4.1 Solution strategy
The formulating and solution approaches for the MGT problem (Table 5.4) are presented in Section 5.4.2. To get the quantitative relationship between goals and system variables, analytical equations or the response surface equations can be employed in the formulation (Section 5.4.1). Software systems such as DSIDES or OptdesX can be used to solve the completed problem formulation. However the approaches cannot be directly used for the MPGT problem.
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Different from the MGT problem, the MPGT problem (Table 6.10) has geometric and discrete variables besides continuous variables. This is because the MPGT problem has the requirements that are tightly related to the process planning (e.g. surface finish and build time), hence related process variables are added in the formulation. Some process variables may be discrete or related to geometry. In the research scope of the DFRTS, part orientation (PO) and layer thickness (LT) are two discrete variables. They are also two important process variables in the RP process planning. For a part as given in Figure 6.8.a, some possible part orientations are shown in Figure 6.8.b. From the
Orientation 1
Orientation 5 Orientation 6
Slicing scheme 1
Slicing scheme 2
Slicing scheme 3
Slicing scheme 4
230
figure, it is evident that the effects of PO on accuracy (AC) or surface finish (SF) of faces are not continuous. Small changes of PO can cause large changes of AC and SF. Two constraints, large horizontal planes and support structures, are also related to the part orientations (West, 1999). For one of the part orientations, different slicing schemes are shown in Figure 6.8.c. For SLA process the values of layer thickness (LT) can only be 0.002, 0.004 and 0.008 inch. Besides the discrete variables, the number of variables LTi in the MPGT is not fixed. This is because the adaptive slicing is used in the RP process planning. Compared to uniform slicing process, which uniformly slices the CAD model into a finite number of slices at a certain thickness, the adaptive slicing can reduce the stairstep effect and improve the surface quality, without greatly sacrificing the amount of fabrication time. However because different layer thickness is used, the number of LTi depends on the local surface geometry. For different part orientations, there may be different layer thickness. Based on the above considerations, a solution strategy is developed for the MPGT problem as shown in Figure 6.9. Suppose in a problem P, X is discrete variables and Y is continuous variables. The solution strategy divides the problem P into three subproblems P1, P2, and P3. In the first subproblem P1, a set of candidate values of the discrete variables (X) are determined based on the default values of Y. For each candidate value of X, satisficing values of the continuous variables (Y) are determined in the second subproblem P2. Finally a solution is chosen among all the solutions given by P1 and P2 in the third subproblem P3. The solution is then returned as the solution of problem P.
Problem P Find X, Y Minimize Z=f(X, Y)
In many cases the solution given by the solution strategy is not optimal for problem P. However, it is a satisficing solution which is evident from the formulations of P1, P2, and P3. When several subproblems are integrated into a problem P, the problem may have several variables, goals, and constraints (refer to Table 6.10). Therefore it will be rather difficult, or even infeasible, to find the optimal solution of problem P. Instead an 231
approach to find a satisficing solution may be more appropriate. The case studies of a robot arm and a camera roller (Chapter 7 and 8) will further illustrate it. Considering the discrete variables PO and LT in Table 6.10, the MPGT problem is divided into modified RP process planning problem (A) and modified MPGT problem (B) (Figure 6.10). Modified RP process planning is a subset of RP process planner and has only part orientation (PO) and slicing scheme (LTi) as system variables. The purpose of modified RT process planning problem is to obtain a set of candidate orientations and
System Variables
System Variables
PO, LTi
System Variables
One Solution
232
a set of promising slicing schemes for all the mold pieces. The goals considered in the problem are surface finish, accuracy and build time. The default values of other RP process variables (e.g. hatch overcure HOC and fill overcure FOC) are used in computing the values of the goals. The constraints of large horizontal planes and support structures are also considered in determining part orientations. The results of modified RP process planning include a set of slicing schemes for a set of part orientations of each mold piece (Sambu, 2001). The solutions of PO and LTi are then used to solve modified MPGT problem. The only difference between MPGT problem and modified MPGT problem is that mold orientation and slicing scheme are fixed in modified MPGT problem. Therefore the problem is simplified because of less system variables and constraints. By generating equations of goals and the continuous variables, one can get the solution of the continuous variables related to the given PO and LTi. Finally a selection is performed to determine the best of the obtained solutions. This solution is accepted as the solution for the MPGT problem. From the infrastructure of the DFRTS (Figure 6.2), one can see the MPGT problem is actually formulated for one mold piece generated by the RTMDS. Because the mold design variables (parting direction, parting line, parting surface) in the RTMDS are also variables that are related to part geometries (Chapter 3 and 4), they can be treated in the same way as PO and LTi. The solution processes of the DFRTS and related implementations are presented in the next section.
6.4.2 Solution Process and Implementations
Related to the solution strategy presented in Figure 6.9, the solution process of the DFRTS can be divided into three phases, modeling design functions and fabrication processes, solving modified MPGTs, and selecting among different solutions (Figure 6.11). They are described in more details as follows.
Phase I: Modeling Design Functions and Fabrication Processes. To make tradeoffs between different goals, the quantitative relationships between the goals and system variables should be generated first. In the MPGT problem (Table 6.10), equations are needed for function (Fh), accuracy (AC), surface finish (SF), mold life (ML), build time (BT), total time (T) and cost (C). These equations can be divided into two categories, models of design functions and models of fabrication processes.  Models of Design Functions.
Design function Fh in the MPGT problem can be any functional properties that the designer is interested in. For example, it can be maximum stress (refer to Section 5.5.3), maximum deflection (refer to Section 5.5.2), or load (refer to Section 5.5.1). The approaches to formulate equations for the MPGT problem are the same as those for the MGT problem (Section 5.4.1). In the case studies to be presented in Chapter 7 and 8, an approach similar to RCEM (Chen, 1995) was used to formulate the design functions of stress, deflection, and rotation. The approach is shown in Figure 6.11. It has five main steps, which are (1) identify factors and ranges of system variables; (2) design of
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A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System A set of mold designs B. Refined RP Process Planner A set of PO and LT RSEs of Fh, AC, SF
y x2 x1
...
Selection
...
D1. OptdesX
System variables
C. Mold Life D2. C Data Variables E. RT Cost Variables Predictor Module Estimator
Mold life Cost and Time
RSE of ML
experiments; (3) execute simulations (ANSYS); (4) analyze experiment results; and (5) build response surface models. It is obvious that models of design functions are related to design requirements. Therefore the above steps should be executed for different parts and design requirements.
 Models of Fabrication Processes.
Models of process properties are important in the process planning. The process properties in the scope of DFRTS are accuracy, surface finish, mold life, build time of SLA, time and cost of RT. One thing to be noticed is that these models are needed for different fabrication processes; however, for different parts using the same fabrication process, the models can be reused. A significant amount of work is done at Georgia Tech. in obtaining quantitative models for accuracy, surface finish and build time on SLA250 (SOMOS 7110) and SLA3500 (SL 7510) (McClurkin, 1997; Lynn, 1998; West, 1999; Sambu, 2001). They are introduced briefly to foster a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the DFRTS. Accuracy AC = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP): 234
Lynn (1998) performed a number of experiments on SLA 250 SOMOS 7110 and developed mathematical models to predict accuracy of SLA prototypes. The first set of experiments performed by Lynn was screening experiments. From the screening experiment results, Lynn identified hatch overcure, fill overcure, sweep period, zlevel wait, layer thickness and part orientation to be the RP variables that have significant effect on part accuracy. A Face Centered Composite design of experiment is used to determine the next set of experiments (main experiments) used to generate response surface models. Different types of accuracies are studied, which include flatness, parallelism, perpendicularity, concentricity, circularity, and positional tolerance. By using the similar experimental methodology, (Davis, 2001) generated quantitative models for accuracy of the parts built on SLA 3500 SL 7510. Surface finish SF = f (Gi, s, PO, LT): West (1999) performed surface finish experiments on SLA 250 SOMOS 7110 and developed quantitative models to predict surface finish. The RP variables that affect surface finish are part orientation and layer thickness. Experiments were run for three different layer thickness (2, 4 and 8 mils) for a test piece as shown in Figure 6.12. The test piece consists of ten squares each rotated in an increment of 5 across the length of the piece. This geometry allows a surface finish measurement to be taken from each of the rectangular planar surfaces. In performing the surface finish experiments, effect of support structure was eliminated by taking measurements from the region of the surface that is not affected by supports. Additional experiments were performed to predict surface penalty due to support structures. By using the similar experimental method, Sambu (2001) generated quantitative models for surface finish of the parts built on SLA 3500 SL 7510.
Build time BT = f (Gi, PO, LT, HOC, FOC, ZL, SP): McClurkin (1997) developed a Build Time Estimator (BTE), which reads the vector (.v) and range (.r) files created by Maestro, 3D Systems software for stereolithography, and calculates the build time of prototypes with errors of roughly 2%. Since these files are still not available in the SLA process planning, West (1999) developed quantitative models based upon empirical data collected from the BTE. In Wests experiments, the 235
build time was calculated from hatch time, fill time, border time and recoat time. Layer thickness, crosssection area and perimeter of the layer were considered as the variables that affect build time. Based on Wests work, Sambu (2001) performed sets of build time experiments on SLA 250 and SLA 3500, and generated better build time models that are applicable over larger range of RP variables. Total time T = f (BT, CT, TC, ML, NP) and Cost C = f (BT, CT, TC, ML, NP): Sambu (2001) developed quantitative models of cost and time based on the analysis of the whole Rapid Tooling process. The whole direct AIM tooling process is divided into ten steps as shown in Table 6.6. The estimated values of time and cost /hr for each step are also presented in the table. They were determined based on the practice at our lab and literature survey. Mold life ML = f (Gi, s, LT, TC, CT): A significant amount of work is done at Georgia Tech. in obtaining quantitative models for stereolithography mold life on direct AIM tooling (Cedorge, 1999; Le Baut, 1999; Palmer, 1999; Crawford, 2001; Pham, 2001; Rodet, 2001). Different types of failures and factors that affect mold life were identified (Section 6.2.2). Sambu (2001) developed a software system based on the quantitative models from these work to predict ejection force and stereolithography mold life.
Phase II: Solving Modified MPGTs. For a part design, the software modules in this phase include Rapid Tooling mold design system, refined RP process planning, mold life predictor, optimization software (OptdesX), a C data module, and Rapid Tooling cost predictor. For a part design, a set of mold designs is generated by the Rapid Tooling mold design system. For each mold design, a set of part orientations and slicing schemes is generated by the refined RP process planner. For each of them, a modified MPGT problem can be formulated by considering the equations of goals and system variables. It is then solve by OpdesX with the aid of the C data module, mold life predictor, and RT cost predictor. The software modules in phase II are described in more detail as follows. A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System.
The RTMDS generates a set of mold designs for the CAD model of a part. The CAD models of mold pieces are generated by the system (refer to Chapter 4).
B. Refined RP Process Planner.
Refined RPPP software generates a set of promising process plans for each mold piece for each mold design. The process plans obtained are only partial, as they do not have information about RP process variables (HOC and FOC). Along with the process plans, an information file is also generated by RPPP software. This file contains the information regarding the scan and recoat times for each of the mold pieces. This information is used in the C module to calculate the build time for the required quantities of all the mold halves (Sambu, 2001).
236
According to given process variables, the mold life prediction software module can predict the shot number of stereolithography molds before they fail (Section 6.2.2). The module was implemented in C and can be called by the C data module (D2).
D1. OptdesX.
OptdesX (www.et.byu.edu/~optdes/) is an engineering optimization software system which uses Simulated Annealing (SAN) algorithm. Since it was used in the case studies in Chapter 7 and 8, a detail description of the algorithm is given as follows in order to foster a better understanding of the results given in the case studies. SAN is a heuristic based optimization algorithm that does not use gradients in finding the optimum solution. SAN models a phenomenon in nature the annealing of solids to optimize a complex system. From a given starting point, the algorithm makes small random changes in the design variables in the problem, causing a change in the value of objective function. If the change is negative (i.e., if objective function is reduced), then the current solution is better and it is accepted as the starting point for the next iteration. If the change is positive (i.e., if the objective function is increased), the new solution is worse; however, it may still be accepted according to the Boltzmann probability factor presented in equation 6.1.
P = exp
FG E IJ H kTK
b
[6.17]
Where,
E is the change in objective function value, kb is Boltzmann constant, and T is the temperature (corresponds to actual annealing process).
This equation is used in annealing process. The Boltzmann probability P is compared to a random number between 0 and 1 drawn from a uniform distribution; if it is higher, the solution is accepted. Accepting worse solutions in the earlier phases of problem execution, SAN escapes some local minima. In the OptdesX implementation of SAN, temperatures T in equation 6.17 are not specified. Instead, starting and final probability are specified. Apart from these values, number of cycles and maximum perturbation values should also be specified. Number of cycles is the number of SAN iterations performed (number of different solution points investigated) before the SAN execution is stopped. Each cycle has different temperature and hence the Boltzmann probability is calculated for each cycle. Maximum perturbation is the maximum allowable variation in the value of a system variable (per iteration). SAN is an effective algorithm in solving discrete and mixed problems but it can also be used to solve continuous problems. As SAN is a heuristic based algorithm that uses random number generation, it is possible to obtain different solutions for different attempts of solving a problem with the same starting point.
237
As an analysis module for OptdesX, the C data module is used to calculate goals and intermediate responses for OptdesX. The values of the variables are passed from OptdesX to the C module and the values of goals, constraints and objective function are calculated in C module and passed to OptdesX (Figure 6.11). Some equations are embedded in the C program of the module. The C data module can also call the mold life predictor and the RT cost estimator for the values of mold life and cost/time respectively.
E. RT Cost Estimator.
According to given process variables, the rapid tooling cost estimator can predict the cost and time for the whole RT process (Section 6.2.3). The module was implemented in C and can be called by the C data module (D2).
Phase III: Selecting the Solution of the MPGT. For each mold design, part orientation and slicing scheme, OptdesX gives a solution with its deviation value Zi. After all the solutions are generated, the solution with least value of Zi is selected as the solution for the MPGT problem.
The MPGT problem and the above solution processes are further illustrated in the case studies in Chapter 7 and 8. In the next section, the author compares the solution process of the DFRTS with the current usage of RT, and explains the advantages of the DFRTS base on decision order and design freedom of variables.
6.5 COMPARISON OF THE CURRENT USAGE AND DFRTS
In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, subproblems of part design, RP process planning, and IJM process planning are formulated and solved sequentially (Figure 6.13). That is, decisions on design variables are made first based on the design requirements. Then mold variables are determined and mold pieces for the part are generated. For the mold pieces, decisions on RP process variables are made based on the requirements for RP process. Finally decisions on IJM process variables are made based on the remaining design freedoms. However, the subproblems of using Rapid Tooling are coupled. The arrows in Figure 6.13 indicate the coupling between geometric tailoring, RP process planning, and IJM process planning. In the geometric tailoring formulation, geometry variables Gi affect the mold life of stereolithography molds (Section 6.2.2). They could also affect surface finish if they affect surface orientation. j is the draft angles for different features. Draft angle affects surface finish of drafted surfaces (Section 6.4.2). In the RP process planning problem, ML is mold life. As explained in Section 6.2.2, mold life of a SL mold feature is affected by its height, width, draft angle (geometric variables), layer thickness used to build the feature (RP process variables) and the cooling time (IM process variable) used in the injection molding of the parts. Also the goals of meeting targets of time and cost are coupled because the specified time and cost are for the whole fabricating process, which is the sum of those for each individual process.
238
Mold build by RP
Injection Part
System Variables
Gi, j Fh
System Variables
PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA
System Variables
CT
Mold Variables
CT
Figure 6.13 The Current Usage of RT and Related Decision Order of Variables.
The couplings between different subproblems may cause the sequential solution process unable to find solutions in some later stages. Therefore iterations are necessary which may take a long time. In the DFRTS, the subproblems are synthesized into a MPGT problem, and the couplings between the subproblems are formulated in the synthesis problem formulation. The coupled goals/responses are bolded in the problem formulation as shown in Figure 6.14. Two additional goals, total cost (C) and total time (T), are also included in the formulation. These goals are not part of any of the subproblem formulations but are synthesized from mold cost/time (RPPP) and part cost/time (IJMPP). For the MPGT problem, an approach of obtaining satisficing solution is developed by decomposing the problem into two subproblems: modified RP process planning problem and modified MPGT problem (Section 6.4.1). The decomposition of MPGT problem is also shown in Figure 6.14. By solving the two new subproblems, one can get the solution for the MPGT problem.
So in the design for Rapid Tooling process, what is the benefit to synthesize the subproblems into a combined problem, and then decompose the synthesis problem into subproblems again in order to solve it?
239
MPGTDT Given
Fh = f (Gj, MPg)
Analysis
Gi, j Fh
g lin up g co lin up co
System Variables
PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA
System Variables
CT
Synthesis
System Variables
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
System Variables
PO, LTi
System Variables
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
PO, LTi
240
Comparing the subproblems before and after the synthesis (Figure 6.14), one can notice that the decisions on system variables are reordered. That is, although the decision on mold variables, PO, and LTi is still sequential, the decisions on all other variables (Gi, i, HOCi, FOCi, TA, CT) are concurrent in the DFRTS. Concurrently formulating and solving the variables enables us to explore more design spaces because the variables are not fixed in the former stages. Consequently it is more likely to find a satisfying solution; hence the iterations and leadtime in the current usage of RT can be reduced. Therefore using a different decision order based on identified conflicting variables and goals is the key for the above question. Beside less iteration and time, other research also indicates that modeling concurrency may result in better designs. Karandikar (1989) studied the design of a cylindrical pressure vessel. He formulated the design and manufacturing requirements related to the pressure vessel and solved the problems sequentially and concurrently. By comparing the results, Karandikar concluded that coupling design and manufacture and solving for the design and manufacturing variables concurrently, as opposed to sequentially, result in an increase in design freedom and possibly in the quality of the resulting design. SobieszczanskiSobieski (1989) also gave a good example to graphically illustrate the argument that the sequential approach may lead to a suboptimal design. The example is presented here to foster a better understanding of the advantages of the DFRTS over the current usage of RT. Suppose a twovariable design and manufacturing problem with X1 as design variable and X2 as manufacturing variable. A certain performance measure P, expressed as the single goal, has to be maximized. Suppose the designer has constraints C1 and C2. The design space based on the design requirements can be sketched as shown in Figure 6.15.a. It is obvious that the optimal solution is at O1 for the designer.
Figure 6.15 A Two Variable Design Space (Karandikar and Mistree, 1991).
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Assume the manufacture has an additional constraint C3 due to manufacturing considerations. Therefore the design space by considering all the requirements can be sketched as shown in Figure 6.15.b. Since constraint C3 makes the earlier solution O1 infeasible, the new solution for the problem is at O3. With the concurrent formulation, one would get this solution. However using the sequential formulation and solution approach, the value of design variable X1 is frozen in the design stage, thus only X2 can be changed in the formulation, and O2 is obtained as the solution. It is seen that O2 is on a lower P contour than O3 and, hence, represent a poorer design. In the DFRTS, the decisions on continuous design and process variables are made concurrently by the manufacturer. By modeling the concurrency, a better design (with less cost) is obtained in the case study of a camera roller (Section 8.7). It can also be explained by the analysis shown in Figure 6.15. Two case studies are presented in the next two chapters to illustrate the usage of the DFRTS. In the next section, a brief summary is given for discussing the hypotheses of the dissertation and the validation strategy to be used in the case studies.
6.6 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 6
In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, the decisions are made in the same order as the information flow. In each design stage, goals, constraints and preferences are formulated to make the decision. But these decision factors are not transferred to the next stages, so design freedom decreases quickly. Consequently the cost and time to make the decisions in the later stages increase dramatically. To address the problem, the decisions in different design stages may be reordered so that the decisions of some coupling variables can be formulated and solved concurrently. Based on this idea, a design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS) was presented for materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) in this chapter. First the infrastructure and scope of the DFRTS are introduced in Section 6.1. The components of the DFRTS that are related to the process planning of the AIM tooling are introduced in Section 6.2. The MPGT decision template for the designer and the integrated MPGT problem formulation are presented in Section 6.3. A solution strategy for the MPGT problem and a threestage solution process for the DFRTS are described in Section 6.4. Finally a comparison of the DFRTS and the current usage of RT is given from the perspective of decisionmaking. The research question and hypothesis that are related to this chapter are Q2.2, Q2.3 and subhypothesis 2.2, 2.3. They are repeated as follows.
Q2.2. How to formulate the design for Rapid Tooling problem which integrates decisions on design and manufacturing variables and other design and manufacturing requirements including goals, constraints, and preferences? Q2.3. How to solve the design for Rapid Tooling problem effectively and efficiently? SubHypothesis 2.2: The design for Rapid Tooling problem can be formulated by several compromise DSPs and tasks, which can then be integrated into a design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS).
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SubHypothesis 2.3: A threestage solution process can be utilized to get a satisficing solution effectively and efficiently based on design and manufacturing models and continuous/discrete variables.
Based on the validation strategy presented in Section 1.3.2, the DFRTS and the related hypotheses were validated in the following categories.
!"
The structural validity includes validating the ingredients, the components, and the integrity. They are described in more details as follows.  Validating the ingredients Validating the ingredients includes validating specific modules of a cDSP formulation (like response surfaces) and validating the functions in a software implementation. Different aspects of validating the response surface models are presented below. a) Verifying that the R2, R2 (adj), maximum and average deviations of the response surface models are reasonably small. b) Verifying the behavior of the response surface models with respect to the design variables and studying if the behavior is intuitively reasonable. c) Verifying if the response surface is a good estimation of the actual design space. Additional validation experiments should be performed to do this validation. The response surfaces of the fabrication processes (Section 6.4.2) are problemindependent. Sambu (2001) described their validations in more details. The response surfaces of design functions are problemdependent and are formulated and validated for each problem separately (refer to Chapter 7 and 8). Validating the functionality of a software implementation involves identifying the potential problemcausing functions and testing their functionality for different sets of inputs. The validation of RTMDS is discussed in Chapter 4. The validations of RP process planner, mold lifer predictor, and RT cost estimator are also presented in (Sambu, 2001).  Validating the components Validating the components includes validating the formulation and implementation of different cDSPs and tasks. Different aspects of validating the cDSP formulations are presented as follows. a) Verifying that the quantitative relationships between all goals /constraints and the system variables are available. b) Verifying that the response surfaces used in the cDSP have reasonable fits. Otherwise the cDSP problem should be solved again with the response surfaces generated in a smaller design space that better approximates the actual design space.
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In the DFRTS, the cDSPs are solved in OptdesX using Simulated Annealing algorithm. The aspects of the validation of the implementation of cDSPs are presented below. a) Verifying that the cDSP implementation satisfies the constraints on deviation variables. a. di+, di 0 b. di+ di = 0 b) Verifying that the Linear Physical Programming (LPP) formulation of cDSP has resulted in a solution with reasonable values of goal achievements. This is achieved by observing the region of the goals in which the solution falls. c) Verifying that the SAN algorithm is functioning correctly for the MPGT problem for the chosen algorithm parameters. d) Verifying the effect of starting point on the final solution of the problem. e) Verifying the accuracy of the SAN algorithm by comparing its results to grid search results. The above verifications were tested for the two case studies and are presented in Chapter 7 and 8. In the case studies, the result of the cDSP was also validated by comparing the values of estimated (response surfaces) and actual (experiment) values of goal achievements at the obtained solution.  Validating the integrity The integrity between different modules of the DFRTS is to test if the information flow between the components is complete and correct. The integrity between different subproblems of MPGT problem is presented in 6.4.2. It is also validated through the two case studies in Chapter 7 and 8.
!"
Two case studies are chosen for the validation of the DFRTS. They are a robot arm (Section 7.1) and a camera roller (Section 8.1). Both of them are industrial parts that are produced by polymer injection molding. The functional requirements of the parts are the maximum stress, deflection and rotation, which are all typical in the functional testing of prototypes. Other manufacturing requirements (e.g. surface finish, tolerances) are also required for the prototypes because of assembly requirements. The case study of the robot arm is comparably simple, which makes the physical validation of each design requirement feasible. The case study of the camera roller is rather complex. It is used to test that the DFRTS can be utilized for complex cases. Therefore the author believes that the case studies are appropriate to verify the performance of the system. For each case study, the validations of ingredients, components and integrity as stated earlier were tested and are presented in Chapter 7 and 8 respectively.
!"
The solutions given by the RTMDS for each case study were checked with the achieved values of design requirements. Physical prototypes were also produced for the 244
tailored part designs and the related process planning. For the case study of the robot arm, further physical validations are performed on testing the given requirements (surface finish, accuracy, material properties, weight, etc.) and performances of process planning (mold life, build time, etc.). All of these tests validate the usefulness of the DFRTS in producing functional prototypes for Rapid Tooling.
!"
The discussions on decision order and related design freedoms presented in Section 6.5 provide partial theoretical performance validation for Hypothesis 2.2 and 2.3. The validations of hypothesis 2.2 and 2.3 also partially validate hypothesis 2, which is repeated as follow:
Hypothesis 2: Geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling can be integrated with process planning based on decision templates and solved by the manufacturer, which can reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer.
In addition to the material geometric tailoring problem that was tested in hypothesis 2.1 (Chapter 5), the materialprocess geometric tailoring was tested in hypothesis 2.2 and 2.3 in this chapter. Therefore these two kinds of geometric tailoring problems for Rapid Tooling were all tested for hypothesis 2. With the DFRTS introduced in this chapter, a robot arm case study is presented in the next chapter (Figure 6.16). In the case study, both the RTMDS (Chapter 4) and the DFRTS (chapter 6) will be tested.
Part Design
Parametric CAD Model of Part A. Rapid Tooling Mold Design System Part Design Requirements
(Chp3 & 4)
(Section 6.3)
The Designer's MPGT Problem Formulation
Given Part Design Find Design Parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minimize Deviation
(Section 6.2.1)
B. RP Process Planner
Surface Finis h Accuracy Cost Tim e
(Section 6.2.2)
C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer
(Section 6.2.3)
E. Rapid Tooling Cost Predictor
Time Cost
Processor
Tailored Part Design and related Mold Design, RP and IJM Process Parameters
CDSP Template
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CHAPTER 7
The RTMDS (Chapter 4) and DFRTS (Chapter 6) are applied to determine the mold design and geometric tailoring for a robot arm design in this chapter. A problem of producing functional prototypes of a robot arm is introduced in Section 7.1. By using the RTMDS, two mold designs are generated for the robot arm (Section 7.2). A standard mold base for Morgan Press injection molding machine is used in the mold piece construction process. The formulation of the geometric tailoring problem for the robot arm is presented in Section 7.3. Among the three design functions, two of them are represented by response surface equations, and one is represented by an analytical equation. The generation of the equations is also presented in Section 7.3. The solution process of the MPGT problem, which consists of three stages, is described in Section 7.4. The modified MPGT problems that are related to eight slicing schemes are solved by OptdesX. The results of physical experiments for the validation of the problem solution are presented in Section 7.5. Finally an evaluation of sequential and concurrent solution processes for the robot arm case is provided in Section 7.6, and the validation of the hypotheses is discussed in Section 7.7.
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7.1 A ROBOT ARM DESIGN PROBLEM DESCRIPTION A challenging task in many robot designs is to design and control a robot arm equipped with a hand for skillful manipulation tasks. Accurate position, velocity and force are required in the running of the robot arm. Because they are related to so many factors, besides the calculations and simulations, prototypes are usually required to test the robot design. A case study of producing functional prototypes for a robot arm design is presented in this chapter. In performing the case study, the author worked together with Shiva Sambu, a M.S. student in our lab, who also studied the Rapid Prototyping scenario for the robot arm case (Sambu, 2001).
d t
(a) A Robot Arm and the Geometry Variables for Geometric Tailoring
Loads Fixed
(b) Loading Conditions on the Robot Arm Figure 7.1 A Robot Arm Design. Suppose a new robot arm design as shown in Figure 7.1.a is used in a robotic mechanism. Several of them are needed in order to obtain desired degrees of freedom. Usually, robot arms are made of steel (metal) to bear high loads with little deflection. For low load applications (e.g. toy), plastic arms are used. The loading conditions on the robot arm are shown in Figure 7.1.b. The larger cylindrical hole is completely fixed. A 5N tensile load and a 20N bending load are applied uniformly on the smaller cylindrical surface. For the loading conditions, the designer determined that the production robot arms are injection molded in atactic polystyrene material. Since the two cylindrical holes in the robot arm are connected with other components, they are required to have good surface finish (ideal 20 in; desirable 40 in; tolerable 80 in; undesirable 130 in; unacceptable 200 in). Also the top and bottom surfaces (flat surfaces of the robot arm) have parallelism and flatness tolerance requirements according to assembly requirements. Suppose the parallelism tolerance is (0.002, 0.004, 0.008, 0.013, 0.020) inch and the flatness tolerance is (0.001, 0.002, 0.004, 0.007, 0.010) inch, which correspond to (ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, unacceptable) (refer to (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001) for the goal formulation). 247
After finishing the design, the designer required fifty functional prototypes of the robot arms fabricated in the production material for functional testing. Suppose in the testing the designer is interested in the stress, displacement and weight of the prototype parts under the loading conditions. Because the length of the robot arm affects the orientation of the links in the robotic mechanism, its dimension cannot be modified. Also the diameter of the holes affects the size of the bushings and hence cannot be changed. After considering the dimensions of the robot arm, the designer determined that the geometry variables of D, d and t have some design freedom. As shown in Figure 7.1.a, D is the diameter of the link at the larger end, d is the diameter of the link at the smaller end, and t is the thickness of the robot arm. Within the ranges given by the designer, the manufacturer can modify them in the produced prototypes. Finally considering the time and budget constraints, the designer wants to get the prototypes within a week for the maximum cost of $1500. 7.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS The Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) was presented in Chapter 4. It is based on the Multipiece Mold Design Method (MPMDM) which was presented in Chapter 3. The RTMDS is developed to reduce the design time in several important mold design steps, including determining parting directions, parting lines, and parting surfaces, and constructing mold pieces. The size of the robot arm CAD file (.sat) is 103 KB. After loading it in the RTMDS, the mold designer can generate a mold design with two mold pieces as shown in Figure 7.3.d within 18 seconds. The information regarding the part, generated regions, reverse glue operation, and the execution time of each step is listed in Table 7.1. The reader can refer to the descriptions given in Section 4.4.2 for the meaning of each items. The running time given in the table is based on a personal computer with a 700 MHz IntelIII processor. One thing to be noticed is that the running time of step 7 includes the time for the user to interactively select the input file name of the mold base. Similarly the running time of step 8 includes the time for the user to interactively select the output file names of the mold pieces. Table 7.1 The Information for Robot Arm.
Face No. Concave face No. Concave edge No. 92 66 40 Initially generated After dividing After combining Region Info. 26 26 1 region and 1 CXF CPL No. Edge # of CPL1 Edge # of CPLi 3 24 18+16 Reverse glue Info. GFps No. GFproj No. GFinner No. 1 0 2 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 0.01 1.83 0.00 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Running Time (s) 0.33 0.38 0.01 Step 7 Step 8 Total Time 4.5* 10.1* 17.16* Note: * denotes that the time of interactively selecting files is included in the measurement. Part Info.
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The graphical outputs given by the RTMDS are shown in Figure 7.2, Figure 7.3, and Figure 7.4. Different regions and convex faces (CVX) are marked with different colors in the figures. A brief description of the figures is given as follows.
F1
F2
F3
F4
(c) Two Combined Regions Figure 7.2 Generated Regions for the Robot Arm. Based on the criterion of judging convex and concave edges (Section 3.4.3), there are 40 concave edges in the robot arm. They are mainly related to the approximation of the cylindrical holes. Therefore 66 concave faces are identified for the approximation. Based on their connectivity, 26 regions are generated initially. These regions are shown in Figure 7.2.a, with a closer view shown in Figure 7.2.b. In the figure, region R1 consists of F1 and F2. Because F2 and F3 are in the same plane, they are convex with each other. Therefore F3 and F4 will generate a new region R2 based on the region generation 249
algorithms (Section 3.4.3). They are combined into two regions during the region combination process as shown in Figure 7.2.c. CXF
GFinner1
GFinner2
GFps
(d) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 7.3 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 250
One region combination result is shown in Figure 7.3.a. The mold base used for the robot arm is given in Figure 7.3.b. It is one of the standard mold bases for the Morgan Press@ injection molding machine. The generated mold pieces for the region combination result are shown in Figure 7.3.d. The generated glue faces (GFps, GFinner1, GFinner2) are also shown in the figure. R1
GFinner1
GFinner2
GFps
(d) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 7.4 Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for the Robot Arm. The user can change the combination results by setting different control options. For the robot arm, if the option of not combining vertical faces is set, a different combination result will be given as shown in Figure 7.4.a. Correspondingly, different mold pieces are generated by the RTMDS (Figure 7.4.b) with the glue faces (GFps, GFinner1, GFinner2) for the mold pieces. The generation of CAD models of mold pieces is an important task in the mold design process. After it is finished, other tasks can be started. In IronCAD system 251
(www.ironcad.com), the author added ejectorpin holes, gate and runner in the mold pieces. A complete mold design for the robot arm is shown in Figure 7.5. The mold design is further verified by physical validations. A photo of the built mold pieces and prototype parts is given in Figure 7.6.
Gate
Runner
Figure 7.6 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 252
7.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS MODELING The requirements given by the designer for the prototypes of the robot arm include functional properties (stress, displacement, weight), surface finish, accuracy (parallelism tolerance, flatness tolerance), cost and time. It is a materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) problem because of the processrelated requirements. The MPGT decision template (MPGTDT) can be used to formulate the design requirements, and the DFRTS can be used to solve the MPGT problem for the robot arm. The geometric tailoring of the robot arm will be presented in Section 7.3 and 7.4, which corresponds to the modeling and solving stages in the solution process of the DFRTS (Figure 6.10). 7.3.1 MPGT Decision Template for the Robot Arm
As stated in Section 7.1, the functional prototypes of the robot arm should have similar performances of maximum stress, deflection and weight as those of the production parts which are 5.99 MPa, 0.51mm and 3.40g respectively. There are also other requirements such as surface finish, accuracy, time and cost, which are shown in Figure 7.7. The design variables that can be tailored by the manufacturer are D, d, t. Therefore based on the mathematical formulation of the MPGTDT (Table 6.8), the designer may initiate a MPGT robot arm problem formulation for the above design information (Table 7.2).
Surface Finish SF Cost $1500 Time 7 days
d t
Flatness tolerance FTOL
Figure 7.7 Processrelated Goals of Robot Arm Design. Table 7.2 MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation by the Designer.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: Design requirements given by the designer for producing functional prototypes of the robot arm as shown in Figure 7.1. GIVEN: !" Geometry variables that affect part functionality: D, d, t !" Tensile load = 5N, bending load = 20N !" Production parts injection molded in Atactic polystyrene with steel molds Youngs modulus YMp = 3200 Mpa Tensile strength TSp = 37.4 Mpa Density Denp = 1.04 g/cc !" Prototype parts ** Youngs modulus YMm**
253
Tensile strength TSm** Density Denm** !" 50 prototypes are needed !" Goals of prototypes under loads: Vonmises stress requirement (S), Weight requirement (W) Ydisplacement requirement (YD) Geometry variables requirements (D, d, t) !" Goals of produced prototypes: Parallelism tolerance between top and bottom flat surfaces (PTOL) Flatness tolerance for top and bottom flat surfaces (FTOL1, FTOL2) Surface finish for the surfaces of the cylindrical holes (SF1, SF2) Total cost (C) Total time (T) !" Targets for the goals: (Ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, unacceptable) (19 goals) S (1S) # 5.99, 6.29, 6.89, 7.79, 8.99 (MPa) [7.1] S (2S) # 5.99, 5.69, 5.09, 4.19, 3.00 (MPa) W (1S) # 3.40, 3.57, 3.91, 4.42, 5.10 (g) W (2S) # 3.40, 3.23, 2.89, 2.38, 1.70 (g) YD (1S)# 0.51, 0.54, 0.59, 0.66, 0.77 (mm) YD (2S)# 0.51, 0.48, 0.43, 0.36, 0.26 (mm) D (1S) # 20.32, 20.83, 21.84, 23.37, 25.40 (mm) D (2S) # 20.32, 19.81, 18.80, 17.27, 15.24 (mm) d (1S) # 10.16, 10.41, 10.92, 11.68, 12.70 (mm) d (2S) # 10.16, 9.91, 9.40, 8.64, 7.62 (mm) t (1S) # 3.048, 3.099, 3.200, 3.353, 3.557 (mm) t (2S) # 3.048, 2.996, 2.896, 2.743, 2.539 (mm) PTOL # 0.002, 0.004, 0.008, 0.013, 0.020 (in) FTOL1, FTOL2 # 0.001, 0.002, 0.004, 0.007, 0.010 (in) SF1, SF2 # 20, 40, 80, 130, 200 (in) C # 150, 300, 600, 1000, 1500 ($) T # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (days) FIND: !" The geometric variables: D, d, t !" The requirements: S, YD, W, PTOL, FTOL1, FTOL2, SF1, SF2, C, T !" Deviation variables din + , din i = 1,,19, n = 1,,4 SATISFY: !" Goals: C, T, PTOL, FTOL, SF are minimization goals (class 1S) S, W, YD, D, d and t are targetmatching goals (class 3S) and each of these goals is split into two independent goals of class 1S and class 2S. Class 1S goals formulation:
Aq ( x ) max Aq ( x ) tq,n+1 ,0 tq ,n
Class 2s goals formulation:
h+d
q ,n
+ dq ,n = 1
q = 1,,13, n=1,,4
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Ar ( x ) + min Ar ( x ) tr ,n+1,0 tr , n
h+d
r ,n
dr+,n = 1
r = 1,,6, n=1,,4
Where Ap(x) is the pth goal and tp,n is the target for the pth goal in nth region (LPP). !" Requirement equations: Maximum stress S = f1(D, d, t)** [7.2] Maximum Ydisplacement YD = f2(D, d, t)** [7.3] Volume V = f3(D, d, t)** [7.4] Weight W = Denm * V [7.5] PTOL, FTOL, SF, T, C** !" Constraints: 3.00 Mpa S 8.99 Mpa 1.72 g W 5.15g 0.34 mm YD 1.02 mm PTOL 0.020 FTOLj 0.010 j = 1, 2 SFj 200 j = 1, 2 C 1500 T7 + din din = 0 din + , din 0 !" Bounds: 15.24 mm D 25.40 mm 7.62 mm d 12.70 mm 2.539 mm t 3.557 mm MINIMIZE:
Note: Symbol ** denotes the entries that are to be complemented by the manufacturer.
The Problem formulation in Table 7.2 contains the specific information regarding the goals and targets but does not contain the quantitative models of the response surface of goals (Equations 7.2 ~ 7.5) in terms of system variables. In the problem formulation, the targets for the goals given by the designer are formulated in Linear Physical Programming formulation (Section 2.6.2). Each goals has five target values which are corresponds to idea, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, and unacceptable. For example, in Equation 7.1, S (1S) # 5.99, 6.29, 6.89, 7.79, 8.99 (MPa) where 1S means this is a minimization goals, and the ideal value of S is less than 5.99 Mpa. It is desirable if S is in range (5.99, 6.29] MPa; it is tolerable if S is in range (6.29, 6.89] MPa; it is undesirable if S is in range (6.89, 7.79] MPa; it is highly undesirable if S is in range (7.79, 8.99] MPa; and it is unacceptable if S is bigger than 8.99 MPa. The targets of other goals have the same meanings. As discussed in Section 2.6.2, it is more straightforward for the designer to assign target values for some goals than to assign weights for the goals. After the MPGT problem is formulated, the designer can send it with the CAD model of the part, and the FAE model for analyzing stress and deflection to the 255
manufacturer. After being produced, the prototypes of the robot arm will be sent back from the manufacturer for the functional testing.
7.3.2 Modeling Design Functions
After receiving the design information, the manufacturer can begin the geometric tailoring for the robot arm. First the design functions and the fabrication processes need to be modeled. Suppose the direct AIM tooling (SLA 3500 SL 7510 molds) for Atactic polystyrene is chosen for the prototypes. In this section the models of design functions are introduced. The models of the AIM tooling process for the robot arm are presented in the next section. The three design requirements for the robot arm are the maximum stress (S), the maximum Ydisplacement (YD), and volume (V). In this study, the equations of S and YD are represented by response surface models, and the equation of V is represented by a analytic equation. The steps of getting the equations are described as follows.
Generating Maximum Stress and YDisplacement Equations As shown in Figure 6.10, the approach used in this study is similar to the RCEM (Section 2.5). Five steps are used to generate the response surface equations of S and YD.
(1) Identify factors and ranges The design factors considered in the response surface equations of S and YD are D, d and t. Their ranges are given in Table 7.3.
Table 7.3 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Robot Arm.
Design Factor D (mm) d (mm) t (mm) Low Band (1) 15.24 7.62 2.539 Middle (0) 20.32 10.16 3.048 High Band (1) 25.40 12.70 3.557
(2) Design of Experiments A three factor three level central composite response surface design with = 1.6818 (for rotatability) is used as the design for the experiments. In this design, only one replication is used because the experiments are performed on a software system (ANSYS) instead of physical experiments. Table 7.4 lists the values of the design variables for each of the experiments.
Table 7.4  List of Experiments for Response Surface Generation.
Expt. No. D (mm) 1 15.24 2 25.4 3 15.24 4 25.4 5 15.24 6 25.4 7 15.24 8 25.4 d (mm) 7.62 7.62 12.7 12.7 7.62 7.62 12.7 12.7 T (mm) 2.54 2.54 2.54 2.54 3.556 3.556 3.556 3.556
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9 10 11 12 13 14 15
(3) Simulation There are a total of 15 experiments. For each experiment, the analysis of the robot arm is performed by a FEA software system (ANSYS). The parametric FEA models are first generated in a CAD software system, Pro/Engineer (www.ptc.com), and then executed in ANSYS. The loading conditions shown in Figure 7.1.b are applied on the robot arm. Representative stress and ydisplacement plots obtained from ANSYS are given in Figure 7.8. The distributions of stress and displacement in the robot arm for all the cases are similar to the plots shown in Figure 7.8.
Considered Regions
Figure 7.8 Example ANSYS Output of Analysis for the Robot Arm.
For the distributions, one can see that the VonMises stress is highest near the large cylindrical hole and at the edges of the robot arm, and the ydisplacement is highest at the smaller end of the robot arm. The stress concentration at the large cylindrical hole is very high due to modeling conditions (the cylindrical surface is completely constrained). In practice, these stress concentrations do not exist and only arise due to modeling limitations. Hence, the stress values around the large cylindrical surface are discarded while determining the maximum VonMises stress in the robot arm. The considered regions in the robot arm are shown in Figure 7.8.a. They are caused by the bending and tensile forces instead of the boundary conditions, and therefore in our interests. The displacement distribution is more uniform. The maximum displacement in the end of the smaller hole is used as the results. The maximum stresses and ydisplacements given by ANSYS for each experiment are shown in Table 7.5.
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(4) Build Response Surface Models A statistical software system, MINITAB, was used to perform regression analysis and ANOVA of the obtained data. The response surfaces generated by the system are presented in equations 7.6 and 7.7 along with their R2, R2 (adj), maximum deviation and average deviation values. Max_Stress (MPa) = 68.5522  3.1668 D  0.8671 d  9.7250 t + 0.0457 D D + 0.0150d d + 0.4571 t t + 0.0072 D d + 0.1952 D t + 0.0661 d t [7.6] (R2 = 99.0%, R2 (adj) = 97.2%, Max. dev = 16.2%, Avg. dev = 4.4%) Ydisp (mm) =7.22889 0.33009D 0.20477d 0.84273t +0.00434DD + 0.00254dd + 0.02793 t t + 0.00397D d + 0.01794 D t + 0.01196 d t [7.7] (R2 = 99.0%, R2 (adj) = 97.3%, Max. dev = 18.2%, Avg. dev = 5.0%) (5) Validation of response surfaces The response surfaces of vonmises stress and ydisplacement (equations 7.1 and 7.2) have very high R2 and R2 (adj) values. This indicates that the response surface fits very well through actual data. The average errors of the fitted surfaces of stress and ydisplacement are 4.4% and 5.0%. These are reasonably small values considering the design space considered in the problem. The maximum errors are high (16% and 18%). It is observed that the same data point results in the maximum errors for both stress and ydisplacement response surfaces. Excluding this data point, the maximum error for stress is decreased to 6.7%, and the maximum error for ydisplacement is decreased to 8.5%. These values are considerably smaller than the original values. To gain a better understanding between the responses and design variables, the response surfaces are plotted in Figure 7.9.a and Figure 7.9.b. The variation of the stress and displacement with D, d and t are almost the same. The values of stress and 258
MPa
MPa mm mm mm mm
MPa
mm mm
mm
mm mm mm
mm mm mm
mm
mm
displacement decrease with increase in any of the three design variables. This is intuitive, as the stress reduces with increase in stress bearing area. The increase in any of the variables (D, d and t) increases the stress bearing area. The behavior of displacement is also similar. This argument provides qualitative validation for the response surface models. In order to validate the quantitative models, additional experiments are designed and performed to determine the error between actual design space (experimental data) and approximated design space (response surface model). The values of the geometry variables for the validation experiments are selected such that they spread evenly throughout the design space. This approach of selecting the validation experiments is illustrated in Figure 7.10 for a two factor three level central composite design. The points A1 A9 are the experiments corresponding to the two factors  three levels central composite response surface design. The points B1 B4 are the validation experiments for them. These points are evenly spaced with respect to each other and with respect to the original set of experiments that are used to generate the response surface. For the robot arm example which uses a three factor three level central composite design, this approach results in 8 experiments. A fractional factorial experimental design with 4 experiments is used in this case to obtain validation experiments. For the four validation experiments, the values of D, d and t along with the FEA results obtained from ANSYS are presented in Table 7.6. The maximum and average errors of stress response surface are 7.0% and 4.3% respectively. These values for 259
A8 A4 B1 A7 B3 A3 A6 A9 B4 A2 B2 A5 A1
displacement response surface are 8.1% and 5.1%. These error values are comparable to the values obtained from the original set of experiments (used for response surface generation). This indicates that the response surface is in fact an approximation of the actual design space and is not merely a fitted line through the data points considered in the DOE.
Table 7.6  Results of Validation Experiments for the Robot Arm.
Design Variables Exp. No. D (mm) d (mm) t (mm) 1 22.86 11.43 3.302 2 22.86 8.89 2.794 3 17.78 11.43 2.794 4 17.78 8.89 3.302 Stress Actual Estimated % Error 4.38 4.07 7.0 5.57 5.49 1.5 8.05 8.41 4.5 7.27 7.58 4.3 YDisp Actual Estimated % Error 0.51 0.48 6.5 0.69 0.69 0.0 0.97 1.03 5.9 0.95 1.03 8.1
As a summary, the stress and displacement response surfaces are validated by: a) The response surfaces have a reasonably good fit through the actual data points. This is tested by checking the R2, R2 (adj), maximum deviation and average deviation values for these response surfaces. b) It is qualitatively verified (from the response surface plots) that the behavior of the response surfaces is in accordance with the expected behavior. c) The low values of maximum deviation and average deviation for the validation experiments indicate that the response surface models are in fact a reasonably good approximation of the original design space.
Generating Volume and Weight Equations An analytical equation was developed to determine the volume of the robot arm. Based on the geometry of the robot arm (Figure 7.1), an equation is given in Equation 7.8.
Volume (mm3)= {/4D2 + [(L/2) (D+d) Sin (cos1((Dd)/2L))] [(1/4) (D2 d2) cos1((Dd)/2L)] [(/4) (D02 d02)]} t [7.8]
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Where, L = 63.5 mm, is the centertocenter distance between the holes in the robot arm, D0 = 10.32 mm, is the diameter of the larger hole, d0 = 5.16 mm, is the diameter of the smaller hole. Based on the volume, the weight of prototypes made of SL7510 can be calculated by equations 7.9. Weight (kg) = 1.22 * 103 * Volume [7.9]
The models of volume and weight represent the actual design space. They are derived from the geometry relations, therefore valid.
7.3.3 Modeling Fabrication Processes
For the fabrication process of prototypes (direct AIM tooling), suppose SLA 3500 SL 7510 molds are used in the injection molding process. As discussed in Section 6.4.2, the models of surface finish, accuracy, mold life, build time and cost for the fabrication process were formulated based on other research work. These models are the same for different parts. Therefore they were used in the geometric tailoring for the robot arm directly. The models of process that are related to the robot arm case are listed as follows. Surface finish SF = f (PO, LT, 1, 2) Surface finish of parting surface SFP = f (PO, LT) Parallelism tolerance PTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) Flat tolerance FTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) Mold life ML = f (LT, CT, TA, D, d, t, 1, 2) Np 1 Mold number Nm = +1 ML SLA build time BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, Nm) Mold cost Cm = f (BT, TA) Part cost Cp = f (CT) Total cost C = Cm + Cp Mold time Tm = f (BT, TA) Part time Tp = f (CT) Total time T = Tm + Tp
LM N
OP Q
For the direct AIM tooling, the RP process variables are mold orientation (PO), slicing scheme (LTp), hatch overcure (HOCp), fill overcure (FOCp), and thermal aging (TA). In the variables, the subscript p corresponds to the block number of different layers. TA is a boolean variable, which related to if the mold pieces are thermal cured before they are used in the IJM process. The IJM process variable is cooling time (CT). The bounds on the cooling time depend on part geometry and are different for different parts. Experimentally it is verified that a cooling time of 5 7 minutes is required to injectionmold the robot arm with SLA molds on Morgan press injectionmolding machine. Attempts to mold parts with lower cooling times resulted in deformed parts. Beside the process variables, the manufacturer may add two draft angle variables 1, 2 (Figure 7.11) for mold life consideration. 261
The goals of the robot arm are transferred to goals of mold pieces directly based on the accuracy and surface finish of the part surfaces are very close to those of the mold surfaces (Cedorge, 1999). For a mold design given by RTMDS (Figure 7.3.d), some processrelated goals are shown in Figure 7.11. The manufacturer may add an additional surface finish requirement (SFP 100 in) for the parting surfaces of the mold pieces.
Surface Finish SF Draft Angle Parallelism tolerance PTOL
Figure 7.11 Some Process Planning Goals. 7.3.4 MPGT Problem Formulation
Based on the information given by the designer, and the models of design functions and fabrication processes, the manufacturer can formulate a complete MPGT problem as shown in Table 7.7.
Table 7.7 MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: Find a tailored part design and related process parameters for producing functional prototypes of the robot arm as shown in Figure 7.1. In the problem the mold design of the robot arm is already determined (Figure 7.12). GIVEN: !" Geometry variables that affect part functionality: D, d, t !" Tensile load = 5N, bending load = 20N !" Production parts injection molded in Atactic polystyrene with steel molds Youngs modulus YMp = 3200 Mpa Tensile strength TSp = 37.4 Mpa
262
Density Denp = 1.04 g/cc !" Prototype parts injection molded in Atactic polystyrene with SLA 3500 SL 7510 molds Youngs modulus YMm = 3400 MPa Tensile strength TSm = 32.8 MPa Density Denm = 1.04 g/cc !" Required number of prototype parts Np = 50 !" Goals of prototypes under loads: Vonmises stress requirement (S), Weight requirement (W) Ydisplacement requirement (YD) Geometry variables requirements (D, d, t) !" Goals of produced prototypes: Parallelism tolerance between top and bottom flat surfaces (PTOL) Flatness tolerance of mold pieces (FTOL1, FTOL2, FTOL3) Surface finish of mold pieces (SF1, SF2) Surface finish of parting surfaces (SFP1, SFP2) Total cost (C) Total time (T) Draft Angle (1, 2) !" Targets for the goals: (Ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, unacceptable) (12 goals) S (1S) # 5.99, 6.29, 6.89, 7.79, 8.99 (MPa) S (2S) # 5.99, 5.69, 5.09, 4.19, 3.00 (MPa) W (1S) # 3.40, 3.57, 3.91, 4.42, 5.10 (g) W (2S) # 3.40, 3.23, 2.89, 2.38, 1.70 (g) YD (1S)# 0.51, 0.54, 0.59, 0.66, 0.77 (mm) YD (2S)# 0.51, 0.48, 0.43, 0.36, 0.26 (mm) D (1S) # 20.32, 20.83, 21.84, 23.37, 25.40 (mm) D (2S) # 20.32, 19.81, 18.80, 17.27, 15.24 (mm) d (1S) # 10.16, 10.41, 10.92, 11.68, 12.70 (mm) d (2S) # 10.16, 9.91, 9.40, 8.64, 7.62 (mm) t (1S) # 3.048, 3.099, 3.200, 3.353, 3.557 (mm) t (2S) # 3.048, 2.996, 2.896, 2.743, 2.539 (mm) 1 # 0.0, 0.5, 1.5, 3.0, 5.0 (degree) 2 # 0.0, 0.5, 1.5, 3.0, 5.0 (degree) PTOL # 0.002, 0.004, 0.008, 0.013, 0.020 (in) FTOL1, FTOL2, FTOL3 # 0.001, 0.002, 0.004, 0.007, 0.010 (in) SF1, SF2 # 20, 40, 80, 130, 200 (in) SFP1, SFP2 # 10, 20, 40, 65, 100 (in) C # 150, 300, 600, 1000, 1500 ($) T # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (days) !" Allowable layer thickness (LT): 2, 4 and 8 mils FIND: !" The system variables: D, d, t Draft angle variables: 1, 2 RP process variables: PO, LTP, HOCp, FOCp, TA IJM process variables: CT !" The requirements: S, YD, W
263
!" Deviation variables din + , din i = 1,,24, n = 1,,4 SATISFY: !" Goals: C, T, PTOL, FTOL, SF, SFP, 1, 2 are minimization goals (class 1S) S, W, YD, D, d and t are targetmatching goals (class 3S) and each of these goals is split into two independent goals of class 1S and class 2S. Class 1S goals formulation:
Aq ( x ) max Aq ( x ) tq,n+1 ,0 tq ,n
Class 2s goals formulation:
h+d
q ,n
+ dq ,n = 1
q = 1,,18
Ar ( x ) + min Ar ( x ) tr ,n+1,0 tr , n
h+d
r ,n
dr+,n = 1
r = 1,,6
Where Ap(x) is the pth goal and tp,n is the target for the pth goal in nth region (LPP). !" Requirement equations: S (Mpa) = 68.5522  3.1668 D  0.8671 d  9.7250 t + 0.0457 D D + 0.0150d d + 0.4571 t t + 0.0072 D d + 0.1952 D t + 0.0661 d t YD (mm) = 7.228890.33009D0.20477d0.84273t +0.00434DD + 0.00254dd + 0.02793 t t + 0.00397D d + 0.01794 D t + 0.01196 d t V (cc) = {0.7854D2 + [1.25 (D+d) sin (cos1((Dd)/5))] [0.25 (D2 d2) cos1((Dd)/5)] 0.1571} t 16.39 W (g) = 1.04 * V SFi = f (PO, LT, 1, 2), i =1, 2 SFPi = f (PO, LT), i =1, 2 PTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) FTOLi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) , i =1, 2,3 ML = f (LT, CT, TA, D, d, t, 1, 2)
Nm =
LM N 1 + 1OP N ML Q
p
BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, Nm) Cm = f (BT, TA) Cp = f (CT) C = Cm + Cp Tm = f (BT, TA) Tp = f (CT) T = Tm + Tp !" Constraints: 3.00 Mpa S 8.99 Mpa 1.72 g W 5.15g 0.34 mm YD 1.02 mm C $1500 T 7 days PTOL 0.020 inch FTOLj 0.010 inch, j = 1, 2, 3 SFj 200 in j = 1, ,4 SFPj 100 in j = 1, 2
264
din din = 0 din + , din 0 !" Bounds: 15.24 mm D 25.40 mm 7.62 mm d 12.70 mm 2.539 mm t 3.557 mm 0 degree 1 5 degree 0 degree 2 5 degree PO (x, y, z) Discrete variable TA (0 or 1) Discrete variable 2 LT 8 (mils) Discrete variable LT=2, 0.002 (mils) HOC 0.006 (mils), 0.012 (mils) FOC 0.016 (mils) LT=4, 0.003 (mils) HOC 0.007 (mils), 0.004 (mils) FOC 0.008 (mils) LT=8, 0.001 (mils) HOC 0.005 (mils), 0.002 (mils) FOC 0.006 (mils) 300 second CT 420 second MINIMIZE: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation):
Z = ! ! wi,n+1 di+ ,n + di,n
24
n =1 i =1
After the MPGT problem for the robot arm is formulated, the solution process for system variables are presented in the next section.
7.4 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS SOLVING
In the DFRTS, the solution process of the MPGT problem has three stages, solving discrete variables, solving continuous variables, and selecting a solution (Figure 6.8). For the robot arm, these steps are introduced in Section 7.4.1~7.4.3 respectively.
7.4.1 Solving Discrete Variables
The discrete variables in the DFRTS are mold design variables, part orientations and layer thickness. They are determined with the aid of RTMDS and refined RP process planner.
Mold Design Variables As presented in Section 7.2, the RTMDS can aid the manufacturer to generate feasible mold designs for the robot arm. Two mold designs generated by the system are further considered in this case. They are shown in Figure 7.12.
265
Robot Arm
(a) MD1
(b) MD2
Figure 7.12 Two Considered Mold Designs for the Robot Arm. Part Orientation in SLA Building For each mold design, the mold pieces are inputted to the refined RP process planner to generate a set of part orientations (PO) and layer thickness (LT). As describe in Section 6.4.2, only the discrete variables (PO and LT) are considered in the modified RP process planner. Hatch overcure (HOC) and fill overcure (FOC) are set as default values. Its problem formulation is similar to RPPP problem (Table 6.2). Sambu (2001) gave a detail description of the refined RP process planner. Solving the modified RTPP problem results in a set of promising mold orientations and slicing schemes for each of the mold pieces.
Two part orientations are further considered for each mold design. This results in 4 possible results as shown in Figure 7.13. For mold design 1, one orientation is obtained for mold cavity and two are obtained for mold core. For mold design 2, two orientations are obtained for mold cavity and one is obtained for mold core.
266
Mold Design
(a) MD1PO1
(b) MD1PO2
Mold Design
(c) MD2PO1
(d) MD2PO2
Figure 7.13 Four Considered Part Orientations for the Mold Designs.
267
Each of these orientations yielded two promising slicing schemes. This results in a total of 8 slicing schemes. All the slicing schemes obtained are shown in Figure 7.14. In the figure, the dark shade corresponds to 2mil layer thickness, light shade corresponds to 8mil layer thickness and the medium level shade corresponds to 4mil layer thickness.
Slicing Scheme 1
Slicing Scheme 2
Slicing Scheme 3
Slicing Scheme 4
Slicing Scheme 5
Slicing Scheme 6
Slicing Scheme 7
Slicing Scheme 8
Figure 7.14 Eight Considered Slicing Schemes for the Part Orientations.
Slicing schemes 1 and 2 correspond to mold orientation shown in Figure 7.13.a. The cylindrical surfaces and the parting surfaces have surface finish specifications. The parting surface is horizontal for this orientation. Hence, in these slicing schemes, lower layer thickness (2 and 4mils) are used for the block with the cylindrical surface and the remaining blocks (top and bottom) are built with the maximum allowable layer thickness of 8mils. The same reasoning applies for slicing schemes 5 and 6. They have the same slicing schemes but correspond to mold orientation in Figure 7.13.c. Slicing schemes 3 and 4 correspond to mold orientation in Figure 7.13.b. The parting surface of the mold core is vertical in this orientation and only a layer thickness of 2mils satisfies the surface finish constraint. Hence, most of the regions of the molds have 2mil layer thickness. 268
The slicing schemes 7 and 8 are similar to 3 and 4 but correspond to mold orientation in Figure 7.13.d. For each slicing scheme, a modified MPGT problem can be formulated (Section 6.4.1) and solve with the aid of OpdesX.
7.4.2 Solving Other Variables
The values of other variables of the MPGT problem (including a discrete variables TA) are determined by solving a modified MPGT problem. The formulation of the modified MPGT problem is identical to the MPGT problem (Table 7.7) except for one difference. The set of promising mold orientations and the slicing schemes are available in the modified MPGT problem. As these values are already determined, PO and LT are dropped from the system variables. The modified MPGT formulation for robot arm problem is presented in Table 7.8.
Table 7.8 Modified MPGT Robot Arm Problem Formulation.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: Find a tailored part design and related process parameters for producing functional prototypes of the robot arm as shown in Figure 7.1. In the problem the mold design of the robot arm is already determined as well as the part orientation (PO) and the layer thickness (LTi) used in SLA process. GIVEN: !" Parametric CAD models of mold pieces !" Geometry variables that affect part functionality: D, d, t !" Required number of prototype parts Np = 50 !" Mold orientation (PO) !" Slicing Schemes (LT) !" Goals of prototypes under loads: Vonmises stress requirement (S), Weight requirement (W) Ydisplacement requirement (YD) Geometry variables requirements (D, d, t) !" Goals of produced prototypes: Parallelism tolerance between top and bottom flat surfaces (PTOL) Flatness tolerance of mold pieces (FTOL1, FTOL2, FTOL3) Surface finish of mold pieces (SF1, SF2) Total cost (C) Total time (T) Draft Angle (1, 2) !" Targets for the goals: (Ideal, desirable, tolerable, undesirable, unacceptable) (12 goals) S (1S) # 5.99, 6.29, 6.89, 7.79, 8.99 (MPa) S (2S) # 5.99, 5.69, 5.09, 4.19, 3.00 (MPa) W (1S) # 3.40, 3.57, 3.91, 4.42, 5.10 (g) W (2S) # 3.40, 3.23, 2.89, 2.38, 1.70 (g) YD (1S)# 0.51, 0.54, 0.59, 0.66, 0.77 (mm) YD (2S)# 0.51, 0.48, 0.43, 0.36, 0.26 (mm) D (1S) # 20.32, 20.83, 21.84, 23.37, 25.40 (mm) D (2S) # 20.32, 19.81, 18.80, 17.27, 15.24 (mm)
269
d (1S) # 10.16, 10.41, 10.92, 11.68, 12.70 (mm) d (2S) # 10.16, 9.91, 9.40, 8.64, 7.62 (mm) t (1S) # 3.048, 3.099, 3.200, 3.353, 3.557 (mm) t (2S) # 3.048, 2.996, 2.896, 2.743, 2.539 (mm) 1 # 0.0, 0.5, 1.5, 3.0, 5.0 (degree) 2 # 0.0, 0.5, 1.5, 3.0, 5.0 (degree) PTOL # 0.002, 0.004, 0.008, 0.013, 0.020 (in) FTOL1, FTOL2, FTOL3 # 0.001, 0.002, 0.004, 0.007, 0.010 (in) SF1, SF2 # 20, 40, 80, 130, 200 (in) SFP1, SFP2 # 10, 20, 40, 65, 100 (in) C # 150, 300, 600, 1000, 1500 ($) T # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (days) FIND: !" The system variables: D, d, t Draft angle variables: 1, 2 RP process variables: HOCp, FOCp, TA IJM process variables: CT !" The requirements: S, YD, W !" Deviation variables din + , din i = 1,,24, n = 1,,4 SATISFY: !" Goals: C, T, PTOL, FTOL, SF, SFP, 1, 2 are minimization goals (class 1S) S, W, YD, D, d and t are targetmatching goals (class 3S) and each of these goals is split into two independent goals of class 1S and class 2S. Class 1S goals formulation:
Aq ( x ) max Aq ( x ) tq,n+1 ,0 tq ,n
Class 2s goals formulation:
h+d
q ,n
+ dq ,n = 1
q = 1,,18
Ar ( x ) + min Ar ( x ) tr ,n+1,0 tr , n
h+d
r ,n
dr+,n = 1
r = 1,,6
Where Ap(x) is the pth goal and tp,n is the target for the pth goal in nth region (LPP). !" Requirement equations: S (Mpa) = 68.5522  3.1668 D  0.8671 d  9.7250 t + 0.0457 D D + 0.0150d d + 0.4571 t t + 0.0072 D d + 0.1952 D t + 0.0661 d t YD (mm) = 7.228890.33009D0.20477d0.84273t +0.00434DD + 0.00254dd + 0.02793 t t + 0.00397D d + 0.01794 D t + 0.01196 d t V (cc) = {0.7854D2 + [1.25 (D+d) sin (cos1((Dd)/5))] [0.25 (D2 d2) cos1((Dd)/5)] 0.1571} t 16.39 W (g) = 1.04 * V SFi = f (PO, LT, 1, 2), i =1, 2 SFPi = f (PO, LT), i =1, 2 PTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) FTOLi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) , i =1, 2,3 ML = f (LT, CT, TA, D, d, t, 1, 2)
270
Nm =
LM N 1 + 1OP N ML Q
p
BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, Nm) Cm = f (BT, TA) Cp = f (CT) C = Cm + Cp Tm = f (BT, TA) Tp = f (CT) T = Tm + Tp !" Constraints: 3.00 Mpa S 8.99 Mpa 1.72 g W 5.15g 0.34 mm YD 1.02 mm C $1500 T 7 days PTOL 0.020 inch FTOLj 0.010 inch, j = 1, 2, 3 SFj 200 in j = 1, ,4 SFPj 100 in j = 1, 2 + din din = 0 din + , din 0 !" Bounds: 15.24 mm D 25.40 mm 7.62 mm d 12.70 mm 2.539 mm t 3.557 mm 0 1 5 0 2 5 TA (0 or 1) Discrete variable LT=2, 0.002 (mils) HOC 0.006 (mils), 0.012 (mils) FOC 0.016 (mils) LT=4, 0.003 (mils) HOC 0.007 (mils), 0.004 (mils) FOC 0.008 (mils) LT=8, 0.001 (mils) HOC 0.005 (mils), 0.002 (mils) FOC 0.006 (mils) 300 second CT 420 second MINIMIZE: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation):
Z = ! ! wi,n+1 di+ ,n + di,n
24
n =1 i =1
The problem is solved by an engineering optimization software system to determine a solution for the related slicing scheme. In this case study, the modified MPGT problem is solved by OptdesX (with SAN algorithm) for the robot arm. A C module is developed to calculate the values of stress, Ydisplacement, volume, weight, surface finish, and accuracy in the formulation (Table 7.8). The values of SLA mold life and cost/time are calculated by a mold life predictor and a RT cost estimator respectively (Section 6.4.2). As explained in Section 6.4.2, OptdesX uses Simulated Annealing (SAN) algorithm in this study. SAN algorithm runs for 5000 cycles with a maximum perturbation value of 0.3. Then, the obtained solution is further optimized by running SAN several times with 271
same maximum perturbation value (1000 cycles each time) till the solution is converged. The similar procedure is then repeated for maximum perturbation values of 0.1, 0.03 and 0.01 (in that order) to obtain the final solution. Multiple values of maximum perturbation can ensure problem convergence. For each modified MPGT problem, three different starting points are also investigated to test the convergence of the solution. The starting points used in the study are presented in Table 7.9.
Table 7.9  Starting Points Investigated for Each Slicing Scheme.
Variable D d t TC draft1 draft2 CT HOC1 HOC2 HOC3 FOC1 FOC2 FOC3 Starting Point 1 2 15.24 20.32 7.62 10.16 2.539 3.048 0 0 0 2.5 0 2.5 300 300 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.002 0.012 0.012 0.002 0.002 3 25.4 12.7 3.557 1 5 5 300 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 0.012 0.002
Starting points 1, 2 and 3 correspond to low, medium and high values of the variables respectively. It can be observed that same cooling time and HOC and FOC values are used for all the starting points. The available models indicate that using the lowest possible value of cooling time would reduce the value of objective function and hence this value is used for all the starting points. Also, HOC and FOC do not affect the accuracy of parts /molds built on SLA 3500 SL 7510 and hence these values affect only the build time. Build time is minimized by using the minimum possible values for these variables and hence the lower bounds (for the corresponding layer thickness) are chosen for all HOC and FOC variables. The complete solutions (system variables) obtained from OptdesX for all the slicing schemes are presented in Table 7.10. The related goal for all the slicing schemes are provided in Table 7.11 (PTOL= 0.0016 inch, FTOL1 = FTOL2 = FTOL3 =0.0018 inch).
Table 7.10 Solutions of System Variables for Different Slicing Schemes.
Slice Start D # Point (mm) 1 20.62 1 2 20.68 3 20.46 2 1 20.47 2 20.18 d (mm) 9.9 9.92 9.91 10 9.91 t TA (mm) (0/1) 2.987 0 2.990 0 2.980 0 2.997 0 3.035 0 draft1 draft2 o o () () 0.61 0 0.61 0.01 0.61 0.03 0.5 0 0.5 0 CT (s) 300 300 300 300 300 HOC1 HOC2 HOC3 (mil) (mils) (mils) 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.001 FOC1 (mils) 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 FOC2 (mils) 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 FOC3 (mils) 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002
272
3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3
20.31 20.69 20.68 20.69 21.12 20.64 20.88 20.30 20.47 20.35 20.26 20.32 20.29 20.56 20.31 20.46 21.46 21.21 20.90
9.97 9.82 9.9 9.89 9.48 9.8 9.41 9.9 9.87 9.89 10.2 9.99 10.2 9.93 9.89 9.9 9.43 9.4 9.51
3.042 2.936 2.990 2.988 2.901 2.901 2.896 2.989 2.963 2.957 2.986 2.997 3.021 2.973 3.000 2.980 2.904 2.915 2.920
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0.5 0.59 0.61 0.6 0.73 0.74 0.72 0.61 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.61 0.6 0.72 0.72 0.73
0 0.01 0.02 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.04 0.05 0.5 0.5 0.51
300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001
0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002
0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001
0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002
0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.012
0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.002
273
The analysis and validation of the solutions are presented in Section 7.4.4. From the solutions for the eight slicing schemes, one solution should be selected as the solution of the MPGT problem.
7.4.3 Selecting A Solution
From Table 7.11, it can be seen that slicing schemes 1 and 5 have lowest values of objective function. Slicing schemes 2 and 6 use 4mil layer thickness for the cylindrical surfaces and hence have worse surface finish than slicing schemes 1 and 5. This results in slightly higher objective function values for these slicing schemes. All other slicing schemes (3, 4, 7 and 8) have bad surface finish and build time (cost) goal achievements and hence have very high values of objective function. The slicing schemes 1 and 5 correspond to orientations in Figure 7.13.a and Figure 7.13.c, and mold design in Figure 7.12.a and Figure 7.12.b respectively. Both the mold orientations result in same value of objective function (Table 7.11) indicating that the net effect of the achievement of all the goals considered in the problem formulation is the same. However, there are additional concerns that are not quantifiable (for which no quantitative models are available) and hence are not incorporated in the problem formulations. For the robot arm example, one such concern is the positional tolerance of the cylindrical holes. The location of the cylindrical holes with respect to the part boundary should be accurate but no quantitative models are available to estimate this error. For the mold orientation in Figure 7.13.a, the positional error (of the cylindrical surface with respect to the part boundary) occurs due to shrinkage and SLA building inaccuracies. For mold orientation in Figure 7.13.c, apart from these errors, alignment error also exists. When the two mold pieces come together while injection molding, it is possible to have some alignment errors between the mold halves. This misalignment results in higher (worse) values of the positional tolerance. Therefore, it is determined that solution corresponding to slicing scheme 1 is superior to other solutions, and it is regarded as the solution of the MPGT problem. With the tailored robot arm design, the values of mold design variables, RP process variables, and IJM process variables are also generated. They are summarized as shown in Table 7.12.
Table 7.12 Solutions of the MPGT Problem for the Robot Arm.
D d t (mm) (mm) (mm) 20.62 9.9 2.987 TA Draft1 draft2 o o () (0/1) () 0 0.61 0 CT (s) 300 HOC1 HOC2 HOC3 FOC1 (mil) (mils) (mil) (mil) 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 FOC2 (mil) 0.012 FOC3 (mil) 0.002
7.4.4
PostSolution Analysis
The objective function values of the solutions obtained for all the starting points are very close to each other (Table 7.11). This indicating that all the starting points converge to same value. In Table 7.10, TA is a Boolean variable to indicating if thermal aging is performed for the molds. Thermal aging is an eight hours curing process for SLA molds, which may slightly increase the strength of SLA molds (Rodet, 2001). However it also increase the mold cost and time. For the robot arm, its affect on the mold life cannot 274
compensate for the increase of cost. Therefore TA has a value of 0 for all the slicing schemes, which indicates that the mold pieces should not be thermally aged. CT is the cooling time used in the injection molding process. With longer cooling time, the injection molded part will become strong enough for the ejection operation. However, as the part further shrinks onto the molds, the SLA mold life decreases. Therefore the value of cooling time depends on the above tradeoff and varies for different parts. For the robot arm, a lower CT bigger than 300 seconds will increase the mold life based on the model used in the study. It also reduces part cost and time. Therefore the value of CT will always decrease to the lower bound of the given range. For SLA 3500, HOC and FOC only affect build time (they also affect tolerance for SLA 250). Therefore, in the obtained solution they decrease to their lower bounds, which results in minimum possible build time for each mold piece for the slicing schemes. The interrelationships between all goals and variables are shown in Figure 7.15, which can foster a better understanding of the results listed in Table 7.10 and Table 7.11.
BOC Parallelism Tolerance Flatness Tolerance LT HOC Surface Finish FOC PO TA Stress D YDisp Weight d t 1 2 CT Number of Parts Part Time
Goal System variables Others are intermediate variables
ZL SP Mold Time Mold Cost Build Time Mold Life Total Cost Total Time
Before we can accept these solutions, we need to confirm that the operation of SAN algorithm in solving MPGT problem for robot arm is accurate. The variation of the value of objective function with iteration (cycle) number for slicing scheme 1 for starting point 3 is shown in Figure 7.16. The fluctuation in the value of objective function is high in the beginning and small in the later iterations. Also the objective function value has gradually reduced. This indicates the proper functioning of SAN algorithm in solving modified MPGT problem. 275
Figure 7.16 Objective Function vs. Iteration No. for Modified MPGT Problem.
The effect of modifying the target ranges on the obtained solutions is also studied. In the modified MPGT problem, all the goals can be divided into four categories: geometry, functional, RP process and cost. The goals in RP process category are accuracy and surface finish goals. Accuracy goals are not affected by hatch and fill overcures (for SLA 3500 SL 7510) and hence will not be affected by modifying targets in MPGT problem. Also, the only variable in MPGT problem that affects surface finish is draft angle. For small changes, draft angle does not have a significant effect on surface finish. Hence, the effect of modifying the target ranges on RP process goals is not significant and therefore not considered. The experiments by modifying target ranges of the goals in the other three categories are presented in Table 7.13. In each of these experiments, the target range for all the goals in the corresponding category is reduced by 40%. By running OptdesX for the new values of the goals, the results for the experiments are presented in Table 7.14. The improvement and deterioration of the goals due to this modifying in target ranges are represented by positive and negative percentages respectively.
Table 7.13  Target Modification Experiments.
Original Values Minimum ideal Maximum D (mm) 15.24 20.32 25.4 Geometry d (mm) 12.7 10.16 12.7 Experiment t (mm) 2.539 3.048 3.557 stress (Mpa) 3.00 5.99 8.99 Functional 0.26 0.51 0.77 Experiment ydisp (mm) weight (g) 1.70 3.4 5.10 Cost Exp. cost ($) 150 150 1500 Goals Modified Values Minimum ideal Maximum 17.272 20.32 23.368 11.684 10.16 11.684 2.7426 3.048 3.3534 4.196 5.99 7.79 0.36 0.51 0.666 2.38 3.4 4.42 150 150 960
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From the values in Table 7.14, it can be seen that all the geometry goals improve (by more than 30%) when their target ranges are reduced. The stress goal is worsened significantly and displacement goal is improved a little by reducing the target ranges of functional goals. The weight goal hasnt changed. Reducing the target range of cost goal has not changed its value. It is noticed that reducing the target range of functional goals has worsened the achievement of stress goal. To identify the reason for this behavior, additional experiments by reducing the target range of one goal at a time by 80% are performed for all the functional goals. The new experiments are presented in Table 7.15. The obtained results are presented in Table 7.16. They confirm that the achievements of all the goals are improved by reducing their target ranges. This indicates that the deterioration of stress goal when all the functional goal target ranges are reduced is due to internal tradeoffs (tradeoff within the functional goals).
Table 7.15  Individual Functional Target Modification Experiments.
Original Values Minimum ideal Maximum 3.00 5.99 8.99 Individual stress (Mpa) ydisp (mm) 0.26 0.51 0.77 Functional Experiment weight (g) 1.70 3.4 5.1 Goals Modified Values Minimum ideal Maximum 5.392 5.99 6.59 0.46 0.51 0.562 3.06 3.4 3.74
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For the obtained solution (with nominal target values), all the RP process variables (HOC and FOC) are already at their lower bounds resulting in minimum possible build time for each mold piece for the current slicing scheme (#1). Also, the number of required molds is the minimum possible value (1). Therefore the obtained build time is the minimum possible build time for the slicing scheme. As the solution (Table 7.12) indicates that no thermal aging is needed, the build time is already at its minimum possible value. The cost is also at its minimum possible value and cannot be reduced further for this slicing scheme. Hence, no change is detected in its value in spite of reducing its target range. After the solving process of the MPGT problem is validated, the results of physical experiments are presented in the next section. They further validate the solution of the problem.
7.5 PHYSICAL VALIDATION
Several physical experiments were performed including build time, accuracy (flatness tolerance and parallelism tolerance), surface finish, material properties, geometry, weight, and mold life. They verify the values of the goals given in the solution (Table 7.12), and are described as follows.
7.5.1 Build Time Validation
The mold pieces are built on SLA 3500 SL 7510. The layout of the mold pieces on the SLA platform (corresponding to the obtained solution from the modified RPPP problem) is shown in Figure 7.17. For this layout, the estimated build time from build station is 4:39 hours and that from the RS models is 4:53 hours. The actual build time is 4:50 hours. The values indicate the close correspondence between the actual and estimated (RS models) values. A summary of build time validation is given in Table 7.17.
Table 7.17  SLA Build Time for the Mold Pieces of Robot Arms.
Estimated build time (RS models) Actual build time Error 4:53 hr 4:50 hr 1.0%
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Figure 7.17 Mold Piece Layout on SLA 3500 Platform (Sambu, 2001). 7.5.2 Accuracy Validation
The accuracy of the robot arms is measured on a Brown & Sharpes Microval PFxTM 454 moving bridge Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM). The repeatability of the machine is 0.16 mils in all the three directions. A spherical probe with a 5 mm tip diameter is used to take the measurements. The CMM machine is calibrated before making the measurements. The robot arm is clamped in a vise and 10 data points are taken from each of the two flat surfaces to determine the flatness and parallelism tolerances. One of the surfaces has ejector pin marks but they are carefully avoided while taking the measurements. The measurements resulted in a flatness tolerance of 0.7 mil for the top surface (without ejector pin narkss) and 1.9 mil for the bottom surface. The parallelism error between the two surfaces is 2.2 mils. The estimated flatness and parallelism tolerances for these surfaces (obtained from RPPP software) are 1.7 mils and 1.6 mils respectively. Though the flatness error of the first surface is small, the other values are close to the expected values of 1.7 (flatness) and 1.6 mils (parallelism). A summary of accuracy validation is given in Table 7.18.
Table 7.18 Accuracy of the Robot Arms. FTOL1 (mils)
Estimated (RPPP) Actual (CMM) Error 1.7 0.7 143%
FTOL2 (mils)
1.7 1.9 10.5%
PTOL (mils)
1.6 2.2 27.3%
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7.5.3
The surface finish of the robot arm is measured on a TaylorHobson Form Talysurf (a surface profilometer) with a 60 mm stylus and a 0.002in tip. The repeatability of the Talysurf is 0.86 in. The robot arm has surface finish specification on the two inner cylindrical surfaces. As the probe does not fit in these holes, the robot arms were broken at the cylindrical holes, as shown in Figure 7.18, and the surface finish of the inner surfaces (both larger and smaller cylindrical surfaces) is measured. Two measurements were made on each surface, one with a stroke length of 1 mm and another with a stoke length of 1.5 mm. For both measurements, a value of 0.25 mm is used as the filter (limiting value between waviness and roughness). The two measurements serve as replications to determine sudden variations in the surface. After ensuring that there are no sudden variations in the surface (by comparing the results of both replications), the measurement with stroke length of 1.5 mm is used as the surface finish value, as it has longer trace and hence is a better representation of the complete surface.
The surface finish measurements of the large and small cylindrical surfaces for 1 mm and 1.5 mm stroke length are presented in Table 7.19 along with the estimated surface finish values. The measurements are made for two purposes: 1) to study the effect of shot number on the surface finish, and 2) to compare the estimated and actual surface finish values. From the obtained data, no trend is seen in relating surface finish values to the shot number. Hence, it is concluded that the shot number does not affect surface finish. This indicates that either the part or the mold stairsteps deform elastically during the part ejection to retain the surface profile.
Table 7.19  Surface Finish Experiment Results on Prototype Parts.
Large Cyl. Surface (in) 1 mm 1.5 mm 70 75 75 63 82 73 75 70 9.0 10.5 64 64 15.2 8.7 Small Cyl. Surface (in) 1 mm 1.5 mm 83 80 71 68 77 74 7.5 8.7 65 65 15.7 12.0
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The surface finish values for different stroke lengths serve as replications but the value corresponding to 1.5 mm stroke length is a better representative of the whole surface and hence is used for comparison purposes. The errors (between estimated and actual values of surface finish) for the large and small cylindrical surfaces are 9% and 12% respectively. These values are small considered the experimental errors.
7.5.4 Material Property Validation
Experiments are performed on a screw driven instron testing machine to determine the Youngs modulus and tensile strength of the injection molded polystyrene material. The same process parameters as the obtained solution are used in the fabrication process. However the robot arms are not good candidates for testing the material properties. These parts have a varied crosssection and hence determining the stress and strain would be difficult. Also, the length is too small to insert an extensometer on the part to measure the displacement. Due to these reasons, it is decided to use standard tensile testing specimens instead of robot arms. The same process parameters are used in producing the tensile bars in order to ensure that the material properties of the robot arm and the tensile bar are the same. Four tensile testing specimens (for four replications) are used to determine material properties (Figure 5.8). The obtained values are presented in Table 5.8 and also repeated in Table 7.20. In the table, estimated row corresponds to the values of the material properties used in the MPGT problem and mean row corresponds to the mean values of the material properties obtained from physical experiments. The variation of the material properties (maximum % deviation) for different replications is 4 9%. This is a small error and hence the values can be considered to be consistent. Comparing the actual and estimated values, tensile strength and Youngs modulus have an error of 1.7% and 2.5% respectively. These values are very small indicating a very good match between the estimated and actual values. Strain values are not used in MPGT problem and hence no comparisons are provided.
Table 7.20  Material Property Validation Results for Polystyrene.
Replication 1 2 3 4 Mean Max % Deviation Estimated % Deviation Tensile Strength Young's Modulus (MPa) (MPa) % Strain @ Yield 30.7 3392 1.01 32.2 3730 0.97 33.6 3698 1.10 32.5 3123 1.15 32.3 3486 1.06 4.81 7.03 8.51 32.8 3400 1.71 2.46 
7.5.5
The dimensions of the fabricated robot arm (D, d, and t) are measured with vernier calipers. The weight of the robot arm is measured on a weighting machine with an accuracy of 0.0001 gm. The dimensions and the weight of the injectionmolded robot 281
arm along with the expected values (from CAD model) are presented in Table 7.21. The presented values are obtained for one of the prototype parts but all the parts are observed to be similar.
Table 7.21  Injectionmolded part dimensions and weight.
CAD model Actual Error D (mm) 20.64 20.71 0.3% d (mm) 9.9 10.04 1.4% t (mm) 2.99 3.65 18.1% Weight (g) 3.34 4.09 18.3%
The error of the D and d values is very small (< 1.5%). The outer surfaces of the part are drafted (by 1.50) and hence it is difficult to measure the dimensions D and d accurately. Hence, these values of error are reasonable (considering the mold building, injectionmolding shrinkage and measurement errors). The error in part thickness t is very high (18%), and cannot be considered as experimental error. It has been observed that this error is due to flashing, which is extra plastic enter between or under mold parts (Rees, 1995). The flashing occurred due to the mismatch between the parting surfaces and not due to the opening of the mold. It is observed that the mold pieces are curved in shape due to warpage. This resulted in a gap between the two mold pieces that inevitably causes flashing. Also, it is observed that the clamping force did not reduce this gap as the parting surfaces are below the mold base height, hence the clamping force is not exerted on the molds. Flashing is observed on all the molded parts and its thickness is measured to be around 0.6 mm. This value explains most of the error in the value of thickness. The misalignment between the parting surfaces (cause of flash) of the mold pieces is shown in Figure 7.19.
Mold Core Gap due to warpage
Mold Cavity
Figure 7.19  Gap Between the Parting Surfaces due to Mold Warpage.
A probable reason for the considerable warpage in the mold could be due to the low values of hatch overcure used in building the mold. From the solution obtained for the MPGT problem (Table 7.12), it is noted that minimum possible hatch and fill overcure values are used in building both the mold pieces. Using small values of overcure decrease the building time. However, it also leads to smaller degree of cure of the molds built on the SLA machine. Later, when the parts are thermally cured, all the uncured resin is cured, which leads to bulk shrinkage and warpage. Higher quantities of uncured 282
material lead to higher warpage. Hence, a probable solution to reduce warpage is to use higher hatch and fill overcures. In order to add this consideration in the DFRTS, quantitative models are needed to predict warpage as a function of RP process variables. Then this problem can be prevented. The error in the weight of the robot arm is 18%. This error is also very high. But it is primarily due to the flashing and the related increase in part thickness. Using the values of dimensions and weights, the actual and estimated density values are computed. The estimated density (used in MPGT problem formulation) is 1.04 gm/cc. The density computed from the experimental values of dimensions and weight is 1.025 gm/cc. The error in the value of density is 1.5%. This value is very small indicating that the error in weight is primarily due to variation in thickness and not due to density.
7.5.6 Mold life validation
To verify the mold life of the generated molds, several robot arms are injectionmolded from the molds. The injectionmolding parameters used are presented in Table 7.22. The value of the cooling time obtained from the MPGT solution is used in physical experimentation. The other parameters are adjusted to obtain good parts.
Table 7.22  Injection Molding Parameters Used for the Robot Arm.
Parameter Clamping Force Injection Pressure Pilot Valve Pressure Plastic Temp. in barrel Plastic Temp. in nozzle Injection Time Cooling Time Release Agent Value 11 3 70 430 450 20 300 Used Units Tons Mpsi psi 0 F 0 F Second Second No units
A total of 50 parts are molded from one set of molds. These include the partially filled shots obtained during the initial phases of parameter finetuning and the intermittent unexpected failed shots. Out of the 50 parts, 26 are the complete shots. Samples of complete and incomplete shots are shown in Figure 7.21. All the 50 parts molded have plastic solidified around the big boss feature but only 26 of these have material solidified around the small boss feature. This indicates that the large boss feature is tested for 50 shots and the small feature is tested for 26 shots. It is observed that a small portion of the big boss feature is chipped off after 46 shots. The chipped mold and the last four parts obtained from this mold are shown in Figure 7.20. No features failed due to either pullout or flow failure for 50 shots, which is predicted by the mold life predictor. This validates the solution that one mold is sufficient to mold 50 parts with no pullout and flow failure.
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Figure 7.21  Short (left) and Complete (right) Shots obtained from IJM.
Figure 7.20  Chipped Mold and Parts Obtained from the Mold.
7.5.7
The values of all the goals except stress and displacement were experimentally measured and validated in this section. The values of the different goals /variables obtained from physical experimentation are summarized in Table 7.23 along with their estimated values. From the values in the table, we can see that the variables D, d, Youngs modulus, tensile strength, build time and density have error < 1.5%. This error is very small and can be considered as experimental or part building error. The surface finish values have an error of around 10%. Though not very small, this error is also reasonable. It should be noted that the surface finish models are developed for the SLA molds and are applied for the injectionmolded parts. Part fabrication and ejection could
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cause small variations in surface finish values. Weight and part thickness have an error of 18%. This can be attributed to the flashing because of mold warpage. The error in the accuracy /tolerance values could be due to the small surface area used for the measurement.
Table 7.23  Summary of Physical Validation Results for MPGT of Robot Arm.
Goal Actual value Estimated value D (mm) 20.71 20.64 d (mm) 10.04 9.9 t (mm) 3.65 2.99 Young's Modulus (MPa) 3486 3400 Tensile Strength (MPa) 32.3 32.8 Flatness Tol1 (mils) 0.7 1.7 Flatness Tol2 (mils) 1.9 1.7 Parallelism Tol (mils) 2.2 1.6 Large hole SF (in) 70 64 Small hole SF (in) 74 65 Build Time (min) 290 293 Weight (g) 4.09 3.34 Density (g/cc) 1.025 1.04 Error 0.3% 1.4% 18.1% 2.5% 1.5% 142.9% 10.5% 27.3% 8.7% 12.0% 1.0% 18.3% 1.5%
Values of stress and displacement were not measured due to lack of appropriate measurement equipment. There was no easy way of measuring the stress and displacement of the robot arm under the loading conditions considered in the problem. Hence these values are not experimentally validated. However it should be noticed that these values are partially validated by validating the Youngs modulus of tensile bars (Section 7.5.4). The remaining part of validation (obtaining stress and/or displacement from Youngs modulus) concerns with the finite element analysis (FEA) of the robot arm. Some of the validating aspects of the FEA model include: verifying if the loading conditions represent the real problem, verifying if the loading conditions are appropriately applied, verifying if the material properties are entered correctly in correct units, and verifying if the mesh size is small and the element shape has small aspect ratio. For robot arm problem, these aspects are taken care while preparing the FEA model in Pro/Engineer. Apart from these, no other physical validation is performed to explicitly determine the stress and displacement at the considered loading conditions. Based on the experiment results, the solution given by the DFRTS (Section 7.4.3) satisfies the problem requirements given in Section 7.1. Fifty prototypes are produced with satisfied surface finish and accuracy. The fabrication cost is $570 which is less than the budget ($1500). After all the validation work for the robot arm case is presented, an evaluation of the RTMDS and DFRTS based on the robot arm study is given in the next section.
7.6 EVALUATION OF ROBOT ARM CASE POST DFRTS
With the aid of the DFRTS, the materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) was successfully performed for the robot arm (Section 7.4). To further understand the robot arm case, a comparing experiment is performed and presented here. 285
In the experiment, the decisions on design variables and process variables are made sequentially. That is, the MGT problem is first formulated and solved. For the solution of the MGT problem, the manufacturer then performs the process planning of the Rapid Tooling. The solutions (values of geometry and RP variables) for the experiment are presented in Table 7.24 and the corresponding goal achievements are presented in Table 7.25. The current solution and goal achievements are also listed in the table.
Table 7.24  Solutions of Sequential and Concurrent Solution Process.
D d t TA Draft1 draft2 CT HOC1 HOC2 HOC3 FOC1 o o () (s) (mil) (mils) (mil) (mil) (mm) (mm) (mm) (0/1) ( ) Sequential 20.34 10.17 3.049 0 0.62 0.1 300 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 Concurrent 20.62 9.9 2.987 0 0.61 0 300 0.001 0.002 0.001 0.002 Variables FOC2 (mil) 0.012 0.012 FOC3 (mil) 0.002 0.002
Table 7.25  Goals Achievements for Sequential and Concurrent Solution Processes.
Stress (Mpa) Sequential 6.022 Concurrent 6.05 Target 5.99 Goals ydisp Weight (mm) (g) 0.485 3.404 0.49 3.34 0.51 3.4 SF1 (in) 65 65.3 20 SF2 (in) 64 64.4 20 SFP1 (in) 6 6 10 SFP2 (in) 6 6 10 Cost ($) 570 570 570 Mold # 1 1 1
Comparing the solutions of the sequential and concurrent solution processes, it is noticed that the sequential process has a better solution of design variables (D, d, t) and related goal achievements (Stress, Ydisplacement, weight) as their values are closer to the target values. This is obvious because the design variables are solved first in the sequential solution process. As no process goals are considered in the determination process of the design variables, higher weights are assigned to the design functional goals. This results in solutions that are closer to the target values. However, the draft angle and surface finish got from the sequential solution process are slightly worse. Therefore the improvement on design functions is actually compensated by the deteriorations of process goals. At first it seems that the improvements of design functions and variables are larger than the deteriorations of process goals. After further analysis, a possible reason is provided as follows. As stated before, the linear physical programming (Section 2.5) is used in assigning weights for different goals. The feasible range of a goal is divided into subranges of ideal, desirable, tolerable, and undesirable. Based on the algorithm for weight calculation (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001), the weight of a goal in desirable subrange is approximately 10 times bigger than that of a goal in ideal subrange. This is reasonable in making tradeoffs between different goals. In Figure 7.22, the solution of the robot arm (Table 7.12) is positioned in related subranges based on the specified goals in the MPGT problem formulation (Table 7.7). As draft angle and surface finish are in desirable subrange, their weights are much higher than those of design goals which are in ideal subrange. Therefore the small changes of draft angle and surface finish will modify the objective function of the whole problem further than those of design variables and goals. In contrast to the authors expectation, the solutions of sequential and concurrent solution processes are almost the same (Table 7.24 and Table 7.25). This is mainly 286
Target
Lower weight
stress weight Ydisp D d t 2 1 SF1 PTOL SFP1 SFP2 SFP3 FTOL1 FTOL2 FTOL3 cost SF2
Higher weight
Desirable
Ideal
Figure 7.22 The Ranges of Goals for the Robot Arm Problem.
because the manufacturing requirements for the robot arm (50 prototypes with $1500 and 7 days) are rather easy to achieve. Therefore the process considerations are not significant in the solving process of the MPGT problem. As discussed in Table 7.14, the reduction of the cost range by 40% did not change its value at all. As only one mold core and cavity are needed for 50 prototypes, and all RP and IJM variables have their values in the lower bounds, the cost of rapid tooling process cannot be reduced further. Therefore fixing design variables in the sequential solution process has little effects on the later solving process for RP and IJM variables. This also explains why both solution processes generate similar results. However, the process considerations may be much significant for a more complicated part. Consequently the sequential and concurrent solution processes will result in rather different solutions. A case of camera roller is used to illustrate it, which is presented in Chapter 8. In the next section, a brief summary is given for discussing the relevance of these results with regard to the hypotheses of the dissertation.
7.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 7
In this chapter, the RTMDS and DFRTS were applied to determine the mold design and geometric tailoring for a robot arm design. A problem of producing functional prototypes of a robot arm was first introduced in Section 7.1. By using the RTMDS, two mold designs were generated for the robot arm (Section 7.2). A standard mold base for Morgan Press injection molding machine was used in the mold piece construction. The formulation of the geometric tailoring problem for the robot arm was presented in Section 7.3. Among the three design functions, two of them were represented by response surface equations, and one was represented by an analytical equation. The generation of the equations was also presented in Section 7.3. The solution process of the MPGT problem, which consists of three stages, was described in Section 7.4. The modified MPGT problems that are related to eight slicing schemes were solved by OptdesX. The 287
results of physical experiments for the validation of the problem solution were presented in Section 7.5. Finally an evaluation of sequential and concurrent solution processes for the robot arm case was provided in Section 7.6. The robot arm example highlighted different aspects of mold design and materialprocess geometric tailoring problem and related solution procedures. In the discussion of application of RTMDS and DFRTS to the robot arm example, the relationships with the hypotheses were identified. The results from testing the hypotheses are summarized below (Figure 7.23):
Hypothesis 1: Two mold designs were generated for the robot arm by using the Rapid Tooling Mold Design system, which is developed based on the Multipiece Mold Design Method. The whole running process only took less than one minute. The summary of testing the subhypotheses (H1.1 ~ H1.3) presented below will provide more details. Hypothesis 1.1: 40 concave edges and 66 concave faces are identified. Based on the identified concave faces, 26 concave regions are generated for the robot arm. The region generation process only took seconds for the robot arm. Hypothesis 1.2: The generated concave regions of the robot arm are combined into 1 concave region and 1 convex face for one mold design, and 1 concave region and 25 convex faces for another mold design. The region combination process only took seconds for the robot arm.
Hypothesis 1
Mold designs of robot The requirements on mold arm are generated by design of the robot arm are the RTMDS in representative of the mold acceptable time, and design problems. The they can be used to system can be used to produce prototpyes in generate mold design for the Rapid Tooling the robot arm. process.
Hypothesis 2
The requirements on geometric tailoring of the robot arm are representative of the geometric tailoring problems. The system can be used to perform geometric tailoring for the robot arm. Solutions of geometric tailoring of robot arm are generated by the DFRTS in acceptable time, and tailored part design and process parameters can be used to produce functional robot arms in Rapid Tooling process.
Figure 7.23 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for H1 and H2.
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Hypothesis 1.3: Mold pieces are constructed for the generated mold design for a standard mold base which can be installed in a Morgan Press injection molding machine. The mold piece construction process only took seconds for the robot arm. Hypothesis 2: Tailored part design with mold design variables, RP process variables and IJM process variables were generated for the robot arm by using the Design for Rapid Tooling system, which integrates geometric tailoring and process planning by the manufacturer. The satisfied prototypes are produced without any iteration for the robot arm. The summary of testing the subhypotheses (H2.1 ~ H2.3) presented below will provide more details. Hypothesis 2.1: For the robot arm the designer formulated a partial MPGT problem based on the MPGT decision template. The manufacturer formulated a complete MPGT problem which considered the material difference of products and prototypes. Hypothesis 2.2: The designers MPGT problem formulation, RP process planning formulation, and IJM process planning formulation were integrated into a complete MPGT problem formulation for the robot arm. Hypothesis 2.3: The MPGT problem was solved in a threestage solution process. The solution was reasonable and validated by physical experiments.
In the next chapter RTMDS and DFRTS will be applied to a more complicated case, a camera roller (Figure 7.24). The case study will demonstrate RTMDSs usefulness towards determining mold design for a part with an undercut. A multipiece mold design is generated for the part (Section 7.2). The difficulties in fabricating the camera roller are much more significant (Section 7.3). Therefore in addition to the geometric tailoring due to the material properties, the camera roller will also illustrate the necessity of geometric tailoring because of the fabrication process requirements (Section 7.4 and 7.5).
A. Mold Configuration Generator Parting direction Parting lines Mold halves Side Actions C. Injection Molding Process Analyzer Draft Angle Rib Height/Width ratio Wall Thickness Boss Height Mold Life
The Designer's Compromise DSP Given Part Design Find Design parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minmize Deviation
The RP Process Compromise DSP Given Mold Design Find Process parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minmize Deviation
Relations between Part and Mold Size Parameters Surface Finish Accuracy
The IJM Process Compromise DSP Given Mold Design Find Mold parameters Satisfy Constraints Goals Minmize Deviation Input and Output Processor CDSP Template
D. Hierarchical Compromise DSP Processor Tailored Part Design / Mold Design / RP Process Design
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CHAPTER 8
The RTMDS (Chapter 4) and DFRTS (Chapter 6) are applied to determine the mold design and geometric tailoring for a camera roller design in this chapter. This example is more complicated than the robot arm example discussed in the previous chapter. Therefore it tests the applicability of the RTMDS and DFRTS for complex part designs. A problem of producing functional prototypes of a camera roller is first introduced in Section 8.1. By using the RTMDS, a mold design with three mold pieces is generated for the camera roller (Section 8.2). A standard mold base for Morgan Press injection molding machine is used in the mold piece construction. A preliminary study and experiment are performed which results in a modified camera roller design (Section 8.3). This modified design is considered in the DFRTS. The formulation of the geometric tailoring problem for the modified camera roller is presented in Section 8.4. In the formulation the design functions are represented by response surface models. The solution process of the MPGT problem, which consists of three stages, is described in Section 8.5. The modified MPGT problems that are related to 24 slicing schemes are solved by OptdesX. The results of physical experiments for the validation of the problem solution are presented in Section 8.6. Finally an evaluation of sequential and concurrent solution processes for the camera roller case is provided in Section 8.7.
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8.1 A CAMERA ROLLER DESIGN PROBLEM DESCRIPTION A more complicated part, a camera roller, is studied and presented in this chapter. It is used to demonstrate the applicable of the RTMDS and DFRTS to more complicated parts. This chapter is organized in a similar way as that of Chapter 7, in which a case study of a robot arm was presented. Also similar to the case study of the robot arm, the author worked with Shiva Sambu, a M.S. student in our lab, in performing the case study.
Ribs
Grooves
Undercut
Figure 8.1 A Production Camera Roller with a Camera. A camera roller as shown in Figure 8.1 is a component in a disposable camera. It is used as a spool on which a roll of film is wound. The movement of the film in the camera is achieved by the rotation of the roller (either manually or automatically). The primary purpose of the roller is to deliver the film at the desired rate. Although the rotation speed while taking a picture is low (manually by fingers), the rotation speed to reel the film onto the roller is pretty high while the camera is produced (automatically by machines). As thousands of disposable cameras are produced each day, it is desired to use a higher winding speed to reduce the production time for each camera. As rather high velocities and accelerations are involved, the stress of the camera roller in the assembly process is usually rather high. Therefore in the design of the camera roller, the designer should verify that the stress generated by the film movement in the high winding speed is within the material strength. The camera roller should also have small weight to achieve low inertia, low cost and to facilitate easy handling. Suppose during the film reeling process, loading conditions on the roller part for the camera assembly process are shown in Figure 8.2. A tangential force of 20 N and a 291
compressive force of 5 N are applied on the cylindrical surface (red color). The cylindrical surface of the undercut is fixed (blue color). Tangential force is due to the acceleration and tension in winding the film. The compressive force is due to the compression of wound film on the roller. Loads
Fixed
Figure 8.2  Loading Conditions on the Camera Roller. Under these loading conditions, the designer finishes a new camera roller design with a lower weight (2.276g) and an angle of rotation about the axis of the cylinder (0.013 radian). Suppose in production, the camera rollers are to be fabricated in atactic polystyrene through injectionmolding process with steel molds. To test the new design, the designer requires fifty functional prototypes of the camera roller in testing the assembly process. In the testing, the designer is interested in the weight of the roller, and the angle of rotation of prototypes about the axis of the cylinder. Therefore it is desired that the prototypes should be productrepresentative on the values of weight and the rotation angle under the loading conditions.
Flatness 10 mils
Figure 8.3  Surface Finish and Tolerance Requirements. Considering the assembly requirements, the designer also has surface finish and tolerance requirements for the prototypes, which are shown in Figure 8.3. The cylindrical surface of the body and the cylindrical surface of the undercut (shown in Figure 8.1) should have a surface finish of less than 450 in. The surface finish for the cylindrical surface of the body is used to ensure the reeling of the film. The surface finish for the 292
undercut is for the rotation of the roller. Besides the surface finish, the outer circular faces of the cylindrical features should have a flatness tolerance of less than 10 mils, parallelism tolerance of less than 20 mils, and positional tolerance of less than 30 mils. These tolerances are required for proper assembly and alignment of the roller in the camera. Considering the time and budget constraints, the designer wants to get the prototypes within a week for the maximum cost of $2500. To enable the manufacturer to produce the prototypes within such limited time and cost, the designer decides to given much design freedom to the manufacture for geometric tailoring. As the detail features (grooves and ribs) of the part design will not be tested in the functional testing, the designer does not care about them in the prototypes. That is, as long as the weight and the angle of rotation are productionrepresentative, the manufacturer has the freedom to change them to facilitate the fabrication of the prototypes. For the problem as stated in this section, the mold design for the camera roller by using the RTMDS is presented in Section 8.2; the geometric tailoring for the given design requirements by using the DFRTS is presented in Section 8.3 to 8.5. Finally physical validation of the results is presented in Section 8.6. 8.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS The Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) was used in the mold design for the camera roller in the study. Based on the part shown in Figure 8.1, a CAD model of the camera roller was created. An additional step was added in the preparation process, that is, face A was used to split all the faces of the part (Figure 8.4). This is because a face is the basic element of the RTMDS. In the region generation and combination process they usually will not be split (Section 3.5). Therefore if face F1 as shown in Figure 8.4 is a single face, it will belong to a region and a corresponding mold piece. If it is desired to form F1 and F2 with two mold pieces, they are required to be two different faces in the inputted CAD model. The preparation of the camera roller was performed in SolidWorks@, a 3D CAD system provided by SolidWorks Corporation (www.solidworks.com). The size of the generated CAD file (.sat) is 657 KB. F2
F1
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With the aid of the RTMDS, the mold designer can generate a mold design more quickly for the camera roller. The information regarding the part, generated regions, reverse glue operation, and the execution time of each step is listed in Table 8.1. The reader can refer to the descriptions given in Section 4.4.2 for the meaning of each items. The running time given in the table is based on a personal computer with a 700 MHz IntelIII processor. One thing to be noticed is that the running time of step 7 includes the time for the user to interactively select the input file name of the mold base. Similarly the running time of step 8 includes the time for the user to interactively select the output file names of the mold pieces. Table 8.1 The Information for Camera Roller.
Face No. Concave face No. Concave edge No. 544 336 446 Initially generated After dividing After combining Region Info. 32 32 3 CPL No. Edge # of CPL1 Edge # of CPLi Reverse glue Info. 1 20 0 For R1 GFps No. GFproj No. GFinner No. 1 0 0 CPL No. Edge # of CPL1 Edge # of CPLi Reverse glue Info. 2 67 4 For R2 GFps No. GFproj No. GFinner No. 1 0 1 Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 0.14 2.91 0.00 Running Time Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 (seconds) 2.66 33.02 0.04 Step 7 Step 81 Step 82 Total Time 11.6* 12.5* 63.27* 9.4* Note: * denotes that the time of interactively selecting files is included in the measurement. Part Info.
The graphical results given by the RTMDS are also provided in Figure 8.5 to foster a better understanding of the region generation and combination processes of the system. In the figures, different colors are used to indicate different regions or convex faces (CVX). First in the region generation process, 32 regions are generated based on the connectivity of concave faces (336 concave faces are identified). These regions are shown in Figure 8.5.a with two different views. In the first cycle of region combination process, 32 regions are combined into 11 regions (Figure 8.5.b). The region combining criteria are mainly based on the connectivity of regions and feasible parting directions (Section 3.5.1). In the second cycle of region combination process, the 11 regions are combined into 6 regions (Figure 8.5.c). Finally 3 regions are generated (Figure 8.5.d) after three cycles. They cannot be further combined due to the undercut shown in Figure 8.1. Therefore three mold pieces are needed in producing the camera roller.
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(b) Region Combination Result  Cycle 1 (11 regions, running time  16.65 seconds)
(c) Region Combination Result  Cycle 2 (6 regions, running time  10.69 seconds)
R2
R3
R1 (d) Region Combination Result Cycle 3 (3 regions, running time 5.68 seconds) Figure 8.5 Graphical Results of Region Combination Process.
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Before the regions are used for the mold piece construction, two faces (F1, F2) as shown in Figure 8.6 need to switch from region R3 to R2. The reason of F1 is combined to R3 was discussed in Section 4.3.2. F2 is a vertical face and is neighboring to both R2 and R3. Therefore it is combinable to both regions according to our combining criteria. In RTMDS, interactive tools are provided to select faces and switch the region numbers of the selected faces.
R3 F1
R2
F2
Figure 8.6 Changing Region Number of Selected Faces in the RTMDS. The mold base used for the camera roller is shown in Figure 8.7.a. The generated mold pieces for R1 is shown in Figure 8.7.c, and the mold piece for R2 and R3 is shown in Figure 8.7.d. The generated glue face (GFps) is also shown in the mold pieces.
296
GFps
Figure 8.7 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Camera Roller Phase 1. After loading M2 as the new mold base for regions R2 and R3, the mold piece construction algorithm (Section 3.6.3) is executed again. The parting surface used in the construction is shown in Figure 8.8.b. The two generated mold pieces are shown in Figure 8.8.c. The glue faces (one GFps and one GFinner) used for the mold piece construction are also shown in the figure.
297
GFps
GFinner (c) Two Generated Mold Pieces Figure 8.8 Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Camera Roller Phase 2. The generation of CAD moldes of mold pieces is an important task in the mold design process. After it is finished, other tasks can be started. In IronCAD system (www.ironcad.com), the author added ejectorpin holes, gate and runner in the mold pieces. A complete mold design for the camera roller is shown in Figure 8.9. The mold design is further verified by physical validations. A photo of the built mold pieces and prototype parts is given in Figure 8.10. 298
Runner
Gate
Ejector Pin Holes Figure 8.9 A Completer Mold Design for the Camera Roller.
Figure 8.10 Physical Validation of the Mold Design for the Camera Roller. 8.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS PROBLEM ANALYSIS Suppose the direct AIM tooling (SLA 3500 SL7510 molds) for Atactic polystyrene is chosen for the prototypes. Because of the complicated shape of the part, the manufacturer cannot determine if satisfactory prototypes can be produced in such a short time and limited budget. Therefore a preliminary analysis and experiment are performed 299
to identify the challenges in injection molding the camera roller parts without any geometric tailoring. From Figure 8.9, one can see that the mold pieces have several thin and tall rib features. Injectionmolding parts with such features in SLA molds could be difficult. As a preliminary study, the mold life predictor (Section 6.4.2) is used to determine the life of all the protrusion features in the mold pieces. The calculations are based on the models for the mold pieces fabricated on SLA 3500 with SL 7510 resin with no thermal aging. A cooling time of 300 seconds, injection pressure of 3 MPa, layer thickness of 2 mils and a draft angle of 10 are used in the calculation. The mold life of different features in mold core, mold cavity and third mold piece are shown in Figure 8.11. All the mold features have very low life ( 30 parts).
30 24
21
26
4
10
21 23 10
29
23
26
9
22
9 10
11
Mold Core
16
Mold Cavity
Third Piece
Figure 8.11  Mold Life of Different Features in Mold Pieces. As the mold life of a mold piece is determined by the lowest life of all its features, the required mold piece number for producing 50 prototypes is estimated in Table 8.2. Table 8.2 Estimated Mold Life and Required Number of Each Mold Piece.
Mold Piece Mold Core Mold Cavity Third Piece Mold life of Mold Piece 9 4 16 Required Number of Mold Piece 6 13 4
300
A physical experiment was also performed for the camera roller. The experimental result verified that the mold pieces, especially the mold cavity, have very low mold life. In the experiment, two thin ribs in the mold cavity are deformed only after one shot, which resulted in incomplete fill of all later shots (Figure 8.12). These two ribs correspond to the features of mold cavity with mold life 4 and 6 in Figure 8.5. This coincidence also verified that the mold life calculation presented in Figure 8.5 is reasonable. Related Ribs in Mold Piece
Incomplete Fills Figure 8.12 Problem Identified in the Preliminary Experiment. Based on his/her experience, the manufacturer determines that it is infeasible to produce the required prototypes in one week with only $2500. In the current usage of Rapid Tooling, the design will be sent back to the designer with a note that it cannot be produced within the budget. However, the designer may not know what should be changed in order to make it fabricatable, as he/she may have no idea about why the part cannot be made. Therefore it may take a long time with several iterations before the required prototypes are produced. Sometimes it may also lead to the designer choosing another fabrication process, or just increasing the budget to save the trouble. However, as stated in Section 8.1, suppose the designer has already formulated the design intension (weight and angle of rotation) and other requirements (surface finish and tolerance) of the camera roller into a formulation which is then transferred to the manufacturer. The manufacturer can try to tailor the part design based on the design and manufacturing requirements. Within the given design freedom, the tailored design may be fabricatable. Therefore the iteration between the designer and manufacturer can be avoided. In the case of camera roller, as the designer gave the design freedom of changing detail features (grooves and ribs) of the part design (Section 8.1), the manufacturer determines to tailor their topology before performing parametric tailoring. These topology tailoring and the related reasoning are provided as follows. The camera roller is designed with large number of ribs to obtain good strength with low weight. Most of the rib features have no specific purpose apart from providing 301
strength to the part. To enable injection molding of the parts through SL molds, some of the slots in the part are filled with material to avoid the corresponding mold feature failure. In Figure 8.13, the Rib feature is required to hold the film in position and hence is an important feature. A Support Rib is added to provide strength to the rib. Addition of support rib results in a small Slot A. This slot corresponds to the rib feature with mold life of 4 parts in Figure 8.11. Fabricating this slot feature with SL molds would be difficult and hence the whole feature is removed by filling Slot A with material.
Slot B
Figure 8.13  Different Features in Camera Roller. In Figure 8.13, Reel slot is required to hold one end of the film in the roller and hence is an important feature. To avoid the failure of the corresponding mold feature, slots B and C are filled with material. Filling slots B and C provides freedom to increase the width of the reel slot feature that would result in increased mold life. Also, filling slots B and C avoids the risk of the corresponding mold feature failure. The slots located on the opposite side of slots B and C are also filled for the same reason. Another feature in the part that should be modified to facilitate injection molding is Thin Wall shown in Figure 8.13. This thin wall has 0.5 mm wall thickness, 23 mm length and 4 mm height. Filling such thin and long wall features with plastic requires high injection pressures. But using high pressures would cause flow failure of the mold features. Hence, based on experience, a guideline on thin wall is that all the features in the part should have a wall thickness of larger than 0.75 mm. Accordingly the thickness
of the thin wall in camera roller is increased to 0.75 mm. The part obtained after these modifications is shown in Figure 8.14. The topology and parametric modifications presented so far are performed before formulating the MPGT problem. These modifications are required to ensure the manufacturability of the part. In MPGT problem, the functional property requirement and mold life concern are further considered to ensure that satisfactory prototypes are produced. The formulation and solving of the MPGT problem are presented in Section 8.4 and 8.5 respectively. 8.4 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS MODELING To formulate the MPGT problem, the design functions and the fabrication processes should be modeled first. 8.4.1 Modeling Design Functions
The design requirements for the camera roller are the weight (W) and the Rotation along zaxis (ZR). In this study, the equations of W and ZR are represented by response surface models because the camera roller has rather complicated geometry. The steps of getting the equations are described as follows. Generating ZRotation Response Surfaces As shown in Figure 6.10, the approach used in this study is similar to the RCEM (Section 2.5). Five steps are used to generate the response surface equations of ZR. (1) Identify factors and ranges Based on the available design freedom for the modified camera roller (Figure 8.14), the geometry variables that are considered in the geometric tailoring are shown in Figure 8.15. In the figure, D is diameter of the cylindrical hole, Wi is width of the Reel Slot, t is thickness of the center plane, NC is number of columns of slots in the camera roller array, and NR is number of rows. These variables are the key factors that affect the functional properties and mold life of the features. D, Wi and t are continuous variables. NC and NR are discrete variables. The ranges of the geometry variables are presented in
T t NR
D Wi NC
Figure 8.15  Geometry Variables in the Modified Camera Roller.
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Table 8.3. Table 8.3 Design Factors and Their Ranges of Camera Roller.
Design Factor D (mm) Wi (mm) t (mm) NC NR Low Band (1) 2.75 2.0 1.0 2 2 Middle (0) 3.75 3.0 2.0 High Band (1) 4.75 4.0 3.0 3 3
(2) Design of Experiments A three factor three level central composite response surface design with = 1.0 (for rotatability) is used as the design for the experiments to generate ZRotation response surface models. In this design, only one replication is considered because the experiments are performed on a software system (ANSYS), which would result in the same solution for all the replications. Two discrete variables are NC and NR. They can have 4 combinations as (2, 2), (2, 3), (3, 2), and (3, 3). Three continuous variables are D, Wi, and t. Table 8.4 lists the values of the continuous design variables for each of the experiments. Table 8.4  List of Experiments for Response Surface Generation.
Expt. No. D (mm) 1 4.75 2 4.75 3 4.75 4 4.75 5 2.75 6 2.75 7 2.75 8 2.75 9 4.75 10 2.75 11 3.75 12 3.75 13 3.75 14 3.75 15 3.75 Wi (mm) 4 4 2 2 4 4 2 2 3 3 4 2 3 3 3 t (mm) 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 1 2
(3) Simulation Considering both discrete variables (NC and NR) and continuous variables (D, Wi, and t), a central composite design is used for three level variables and a full factorial design is used for the two level variables. Therefore there are totally 4x15 = 60 experiments. For each experiment, the analysis of the robot arm is performed by a FEA software system (ANSYS). First the parametric CAD models are generated in a CAD software system, SolidWorks (www.solidworks.com). Then FEA modeling is performed 304
in another CAD system, Pro/Engineer (www.ptc.com). Finally finite element analysis is performed in ANSYS. The loading conditions shown in Figure 8.2 are applied on the camera roller. A cylindrical coordinate system is used in adding the loads. The variation of ZRotation in the camera roller for experiment 1 for NC = NR = 3 is shown in Figure 8.16. The ZRotation has a value of zero near the cylindrical hole (where it is fixed) and it has a maximum value of 6.517x103 radians at the other end. The variation of ZRotation within the camera roller is similar for all the experiments. In the plot, blue color (right end of the part) indicates small rotations while red color (left end) indicates big rotations.
Figure 8.16  ANSYS Output of ZRotation for Camera Roller (Exp.1: NC=NR = 3). Before performing the experiments listed in Table 8.4, a set of experiments are performed to determine a good mesh size considering the tradeoff between the accuracy of the solution and running time. The experiments performed on the modified camera roller part and the results obtained are presented in Table 8.5. Table 8.5  Experiments to Study the Effect of Mesh Size.
Expt No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Max size Min size (mm) (mm) 3 0.5 2 0.5 1.6 0.5 1 0.5 1 0.3 1 0.5 1.5 0.75 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 ZRotation Smart mesh (radian) # Elements 0.007437 8868 No 0.007679 13967 No 0.007794 10045 No 0.007870 10445 No 0.007870 27728 No 0.007957 30679 Cylinders (max mesh size = 0.5) Cylinders and surfaces near it 0.008013 28688 (max mesh size = 0.5) 0.008034 54810 No Cylinders and surfaces near it 0.008178 70061 (max mesh size = 0.5)
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In Table 8.5, the experiments are arranged in ascending order of the accuracy of ZRotation value. In FEA, using large number of elements results in more accurate value of stress or strain /displacement. Using lower number of elements usually results in smaller values of stress or strain/displacement. This is also evident from Table 8.5. In this table, max size and min size are the maximum and minimum allowable element sizes. Smart mesh column indicates if any smart meshing is used for the part. Smart meshing involves identifying small or crucial features and locally reducing the element size in that region. Number of elements in the part after meshing is presented in # elements column. ZRotation is the value of the rotation of the part along its axis obtained after FE analysis. Experiments 1 ~ 4 and 8 have same values of minimum element size but different maximum size. The number of elements and zrotation increase with reducing the max size. Experiment 3 is an exception since the number of elements reduces by reducing the max size. Though, the value of zrotation increases. This could be due to more uniform element size throughout the part. Experiments 4 and 5 have same values of max size but different min size. The number of elements in the part increases by reducing the value of min size for experiment 5 but the zrotation value did not change indicating that reducing the value of min size is not helpful in obtaining a better solution. Comparing experiments 4 and 6, the values of min size and max size are same but in experiment 6, smart mesh is used. The small cylindrical features in the part are meshed with a max element size of 0.5 mm. This increased the number of elements and also the accuracy of zrotation. The comparison between experiments 3 and 7 is similar. In experiment 7, smart mesh is used for the cylindrical features and the surfaces around them. Experiments 6 and 9 are similar except that surfaces around the cylindrical feature have smaller mesh size for experiment 9. Comparing the values of zrotation for the first and last experiment, we can see that experiment 1 has a 9% lower value. This means that using a max size of 3 mm with no smart meshing results in a 9% error in zrotation value when compared to using a max size of 1 mm with smart meshing. However as the computation time for an experiment is proportional to the number of elements used in the experiment, it is noticed that experiment 9 requires approximately 25 minutes running time (on a PC with a 700MHz IntelIII processor). This time is unacceptable when running 60 experiments to fit response surface models. Comparing the accuracy of the solution and number of elements in the part, experiment 7 (using max element size of 1.5 mm, min element size of 0.5 mm and max element size of 0.5 mm around the cylindrical features) is chosen as the standard for the experiments in this study. This experiment has a zrotation error of 2% (compared to experiment 9) and takes approximately 10 minutes to run. The zrotation given by ANSYS for each experiment is shown in Table 8.6. Table 8.6 Results of the ZRotation Experiments for Camera Roller.
Expt. No. D (mm) 1 2 3 4.75 4.75 4.75 Wi (mm) 4 4 2 t (mm) 3 1 3 ZRotation (Radian) NC=2, NC=2, NC=3, NC=3, NR=2 NR=3 NR=2 NR=3 0.007229 0.006919 0.006819 0.006517 0.012065 0.010893 0.010386 0.009123 0.00588 0.005612 0.005539 0.005187
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4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
4.75 2.75 2.75 2.75 2.75 4.75 2.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75
2 4 4 2 2 3 3 4 2 3 3 3
1 3 1 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 1 2
0.009963 0.007864 0.012597 0.006401 0.010419 0.008588 0.009109 0.009894 0.008018 0.006667 0.010888 0.008752
0.008994 0.007501 0.011494 0.006137 0.009629 0.007962 0.008594 0.009249 0.007537 0.006325 0.009929 0.008202
0.008474 0.007381 0.010961 0.006073 0.00897 0.007741 0.008441 0.008854 0.007172 0.006264 0.009409 0.007809
0.007387 0.007178 0.009877 0.005792 0.008013 0.007029 0.007631 0.008132 0.006588 0.005923 0.008348 0.007242
(4) Build Response Surface Models A statistical software system, MINITAB, was used to perform regression analysis and ANOVA of the obtained data. The response surfaces generated by the system are presented in equations 8.1 ~ 8.4 along with their R2, R2 (adj), maximum deviation and average deviation values. In the models, the units of geometry variables (D, Wi and t) are mm and of zrotation (ZR) are radians. NC =2, NR=2: ZR2,2 = (12.1910  0.7585D + 0.1764Wi  1.5277 t + 0.0819DD + 0.1828WiWi + 0.0149tt  0.0223DWi  0.0197Dt  0.1727Wit) 103 [8.1] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 99.9%, Max. dev = 1.4%, Avg. dev = 0.3%) NC =2, NR=3: ZR2,3 = (11.6270  0.8488D  0.0506Wi  1.1300t + 0.0729DD + 0.1808WiWi 0.0693tt  0.0028DWi + 0.0153Dt  0.1287Wit) 103 [8.2] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 99.9%, Max. dev = 1.0%, Avg. dev = 0.3%) NC =3, NR=2: ZR3,2 = (11.2048  1.5515D + 0.5053Wi  0.7899t + 0.1768DD + 0.1035WiWi 0.0629tt  0.0126DWi  0.0031Dt  0.1548Wit) 103 [8.3] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 99.8%, Max. dev = 1.3%, Avg. dev = 0.5%) NC =3, NR=3: ZR3,3 = (9.43317  1.0040D + 0.2710Wi  0.5420t + 0.09824DD + 0.12634WiWi 0.08486tt  0.02167DWi + 0.01327Dt  0.10400Wit) 103 [8.4] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 100.0%, Max. dev = 0.4%, Avg. dev = 0.2%)
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(5) Validation of response surfaces The response surfaces of zrotation (equations 8.1 ~ 8.4) have very high R2 and R2 (adj) values ( 99.8 %). This indicates that the response surface fits very well through actual data. The values of maximum and average deviation for ZRotation response surfaces are 1.4% and 0.5% respectively. These values are very small which reflects the accuracy of the response surface models. To gain a better understanding between the responses and design variables, the response surface Z2,2 is plotted in Figure 8.17. The response surfaces for other values of NC and NR are very similar.
Figure 8.17 Graphical Relations of zrotation and Variables. In Figure 8.17, ZRotation is higher for higher values of width and for lower values of thickness and diameter. The variation of ZRotation with diameter is very small though. Increasing width removes more material in camera roller resulting in lower inertia and hence higher values of ZRotation. On the other hand, increasing thickness adds material in camera roller in the center plane resulting in increased inertia and hence lower values of ZRotation. Increasing diameter changes the location of the fixed cylindrical surface in the camera roller. Apparently, this did not have noticeable effect on ZRotation. The behavior of the response surfaces is intuitive and reasonable. To validate the quantitative models more completely, additional experiments are performed to determine the error between actual and approximated design space. Four validation experiments are performed (one for each response surface). The experiments are performed in the same way as the original set of experiments. The values of geometry variables used in these experiments along with the obtained results are presented in Table 8.7. The maximum and average errors of ZRotation response surface are 2.1% and 1.1% respectively. The error values for ZRotation are very small and are comparable to the values obtained from the original set of experiments. This indicates that the response surfaces are in fact an approximation of the actual design space and are not merely the surfaces fitted through the data points used in the DOE. Table 8.7  Results of Validation Experiments of Zrotation.
Expt. No. 1 2 D Wi t 2.5 1.5 NC NR 3 3 3 2 ZRotation (* 10 ) (rad.) Actual Estimated % Error 6.86 6.85 0.08 8.22 8.14 0.96
3
308
3 4
1.5 2.5
2 2
3 2
9.97 7.55
9.76 7.46
2.11 1.23
Generating Weight Response Surfaces Unlike the robot arm example where the weight is computed using analytical equation, in this case weight is computed using response surfaces. This is due to the complicated part geometry of the camera roller. The same 60 experiments used for ZRotation are also used in generating the weight response surfaces. The volume of the CAD models is obtained from SolidWorks, in which a tool of mass properties function is provided to calculate the volume of a part. Since the first three steps are similar to those of generating zrotation response surface, they are not repeated here. The volume given by SolidWorks for each experiment is shown in Table 8.8. Table 8.8 Results of the Volume Experiments for Camera Roller.
Expt. No. D (mm) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 4.75 4.75 4.75 4.75 2.75 2.75 2.75 2.75 4.75 2.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.75 Wi (mm) 4 4 2 2 4 4 2 2 3 3 4 2 3 3 3 t (mm) 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 2 2 2 2 3 1 2 NC=2, NR=2 2407.16 2151.64 2580.34 2336.22 2452.92 2197.4 2626.11 2381.98 2367.48 2413.24 2306.35 2485.23 2519.34 2269.51 2394.43 Volume (mm ) NC=2, NC=3, NR=3 NR=2 2454.03 2434.44 2214.25 2187.44 2627.21 2607.63 2398.84 2372.03 2499.79 2480.2 2260.01 2233.2 2672.97 2653.39 2444.6 2417.79 2422.22 2399.02 2467.98 2444.79 2361.09 2337.89 2539.97 2516.77 2566.2 2546.62 2329.99 2303.18 2449.17 2425.97
3
NC=3, NR=3 2477.95 2245.6 2651.13 2430.18 2523.71 2291.36 2696.89 2475.94 2449.86 2495.62 2388.72 2567.6 2590.13 2361.34 2476.8
Similarly MINITAB was used to perform regression analysis and ANOVA of the obtained data. The response surfaces generated by the system are presented in equations 8.5 ~ 8.9 along with their R2, R2 (adj), maximum deviation and average deviation values. In the models, the units of geometry variables (D, Wi and t) are mm, of volume (V) is mm3, and of weight (W) is g. NC =2, NR=2: V2,2 = 2.47088 + 0.00763D  0.10332 Wi + 0.11638t  0.00407DD + 0.00136WiWi + 0.00285Wi t [8.5] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 100.0%, Max. dev = 0.00%, Avg. dev = 0.00%)
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NC =2, NR=3: V2,3 = 2.54752 + 0.00457D  0.10577Wi + 0.11135t  0.00366DD + 0.00177WiWi  0.00066 t t + 0.00285Wit [8.6] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 100.0%, Max. dev = 0.04%, Avg. dev = 0.01%) NC =3, NR=2: V3,2 = 2.51710 + 0.00455D  0.10575Wi + 0.11496t  0.00366DD + 0.00177WiWi  0.00066 t t + 0.00285Wit [8.7] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 100.0%, Max. dev = 0.04%, Avg. dev = 0.01%) NC =3, NR=3: V3,3 = 2.58255 + 0.00454D  0.10572Wi + 0.10763t  0.00366DD + 0.00176WiWi  0.00066 t t + 0.00285Wit [8.8] (R2 = 100.0%, R2 (adj) = 100.0%, Max. dev = 0.04%, Avg. dev = 0.01%)
W = 1.04 * V [8.9] The response surfaces of volume (equations 8.4 ~ 8.8) have very high R2 and R2 (adj) values (100 %). This indicates that the response surface fits very well through actual data. The values of maximum and average deviation for volume response surfaces are 0.04% and 0.01% respectively. These values are very small which reflects the accuracy of the response surface models. To gain a better understanding between the responses and design variables, the response surface V2,2 is plotted in Figure 8.18. The response surfaces for other values of NC and NR are very similar.
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Variation of volume with geometry variables, as shown in Figure 8.18, is opposite to that of ZRotation. This is intuitive, as ZRotation is inversely proportional to inertia while volume is directly proportional to inertia. Volume is higher for lower values of diameter and width and for higher values of thickness. Using lower values of diameter and width removes smaller amounts of material and hence the part has higher volume. Using higher value of thickness adds more material in the center plane and hence increases the volume of the part. This indicates that the behavior of the response surfaces is intuitive and reasonable. To validate the quantitative models more completely, additional experiments are performed to determine the error between actual and approximated design space. Four validation experiments are performed (one for each response surface). The experiments are performed in the same way as the original set of experiments. The values of geometry variables used in these experiments along with the obtained results are presented in Table 8.9. The maximum and average errors of volume response surface are 0.018% and 0.008% respectively. The error values for volume are quite insignificant and it can be very well assumed that the estimated values of volume from response surface are equal to the actual values. Table 8.9  Results of Validation Experiments of Volume.
Expt. No. 1 2 3 4 D 4.25 4.25 3.25 3.25 Wi 3.5 2.5 3.5 2.5 t 2.5 1.5 1.5 2.5 NC NR 3 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 Volume (mm ) Actual Estimated % Error 2.4774 2.4772 0.008 2.3991 2.3987 0.018 2.3559 2.3557 0.006 2.5117 2.5117 0.000
3
As a summary, the Zrotation and weight response surfaces are validated by: a) The response surfaces have a reasonably good fit through the actual data points. This is tested by checking the R2, R2 (adj), maximum deviation and average deviation values for these response surfaces. b) It is qualitatively verified (from the response surface plots) that the behavior of the response surfaces is in accordance with the expected behavior. c) The low values of maximum deviation and average deviation for the validation experiments indicate that the response surface models are in fact a reasonably good approximation of the original design space. 8.4.2 Modeling Fabrication Processes
For the fabrication process of prototypes (direct AIM tooling), suppose SLA 3500 SL 7510 molds are used in the injection molding process. As discussed in Section 6.4.2, the models of surface finish, accuracy, mold life, build time and cost for the fabrication process were formulated based on other research work. These models are the same for different parts. Therefore they were used in the geometric tailoring for the camera roller directly. The models of process that are related to the robot arm case are listed as follows. 311
Surface finish SF = f (PO, LT, 1, 2) Surface finish of parting surface SFP = f (PO, LT) Parallelism tolerance PTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) Flat tolerance FTOL = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC) Mold life ML = f (LT, CT, TA, D, d, t, 1, 2) Np 1 +1 Mold number Nm = ML SLA build time BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, Nm) Mold cost Cm = f (BT, TA) Part cost Cp = f (CT) Total cost C = Cm + Cp Mold time Tm = f (BT, TA) Part time Tp = f (CT) Total time T = Tm + Tp
LM N
OP Q
For the direct AIM tooling, the RP process variables are mold orientation (PO), slicing scheme (LTp), hatch overcure (HOCp), fill overcure (FOCp), and thermal aging (TA). In the variables, the subscript p corresponds to the block number of different layers. TA is a boolean variable, which related to if the mold pieces are thermal cured before they are used in the IJM process. The IJM process variable is cooling time (CT). The bounds on the cooling time depend on part geometry and are different for different parts. Experimentally it is verified that a cooling time of 5 7 minutes is required to injectionmold the robot arm with SLA molds on Morgan press injectionmolding machine. Attempts to mold parts with lower cooling times resulted in deformed parts. Beside the process variables, the manufacturer may add three draft angle variables 1, 2, and 3 (Figure 8.19) for mold life consideration. In this study a uniform draft angle is used for a mold piece. That is, draft angles 1, 2 and 3 are considered for all protrusion features of the mold core, mold cavity, and the third mold piece respectively. All together, there are a total of 15 protrusion features in the mold pieces. It is possible to fabricate each of them with different draft angles. However considering 15 different draft angle variables significantly increases the computational time and hence only three different variables (one for each mold piece) are considered in this study. Obtaining low values of draft angles is considered as a goal in the MPGT problem. Using higher draft angles increases the volume (and hence weight) of the part and also distorts the whole part geometry and hence is undesirable. Other goals of the camera roller given by the designer can be transferred to goals of mold pieces directly based on the accuracy and surface finish of the part surfaces are very close to those of the mold surfaces (Cedorge, 1999). For a mold design given by RTMDS (Figure 8.9), some processrelated goals are shown in Figure 8.19. The manufacturer may add an additional surface finish requirement (SFP 200 in) for the parting surfaces of the mold pieces. The manufacturer may also add some other requirements in the mold pieces for producing the required prototypes parts. These requirements include positional tolerance (PoTOL1, PoTOL2), flatness tolerance of parting surfaces (FTOLP1, FTOLP2, FTOLP3, FTOLP4, FTOLP5), and perpendicularity tolerance (PeTOLP1, PeTOLP2) (refer to Figure 8.19).
312
Draft angle 1
(FTOLP2)
(SFP3)
Surface Finish 450 in
Draft angle 2
(FTOLP2)
Flatness 10 mils Parallelism 20 mils Positional 30 mils
Flatness 20 mils
(FTOLP4)
(PoTOL1)
(FTOLP5)
(PoTOL2)
Draft angle 3
(SFP5)
Secondary Parting Surface
Figure 8.19 Process Planning Goals for the Mold Pieces. It is noticed that in the third mold piece, two of the surface finish goals are coupled with draft angle variables (3). These surface finish goals correspond to the cylindrical undercut in the camera roller and the secondary parting surface. The drafts in the other mold pieces affect the rib features in the mold but not the cylindrical surface in the mold (that has surface finish requirement). Hence the other surface finish requirements are not coupled. 8.4.3 MPGT Problem Formulation
Based on the information given by the designer, and the models of design functions and fabrication processes, the manufacturer can formulate a complete MPGT problem as shown in Table 8.10. In the formulation the injection pressure (IP) used in fabricating the parts is also added because high injection pressure may lead to flow failure of the molds. Based on the preliminary experiment, it is determined that an injection pressure of 2.0 Mpsi is sufficient for molding camera roller parts.
313
314
PoTOL1, PoTOL2 # 0.003, 0.005, 0.010, 0.017, 0.030 (in) FTOLP1, FTOLP2, FTOLP3, FTOLP4, FTOLP5# 0.002, 0.004, 0.008, 0.013, 0.020 (in) PeTOLP1, PeTOLP2 # 0.001, 0.002, 0.004, 0.007, 0.010 (in) SF1, SF2, SF3, SF4 # 75, 125, 200, 300, 450 (in) SFP1, SFP2, SFP3, SFP4, SFP5 # 20, 40, 80, 130, 200 (in) C # 500, 900, 1300, 1900, 2500 ($) T # 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (days) !" Allowable layer thickness (LT): 2, 4 and 8 mils FIND: !" The system variables: D, Wi, t, NC, NR Draft angle variables: 1, 2, 3 RP process variables: PO, LTP, HOCp, FOCp, TA. Where p corresponds to block number. IJM process variables: CT !" The requirements: ZR, W !" Deviation variables din + , din i = 1,,35, n = 1,,4 SATISFY: !" Goals: C, T, PTOL, FTOL, PoTOL, FTOLP, PeTOL, SF, SFP, D, Wi, t, 1, 2, 3 are minimization goals (class 1S) ZR and W are targetmatching goals (class 3S) and each of these goals is split into two independent goals of class 1S and class 2S. Class 1S goals formulation:
Aq ( x ) max Aq ( x ) tq,n+1 ,0 tq ,n
Class 2s goals formulation:
h+d
q ,n
+ dq ,n = 1
q = 1,,33
Ar ( x ) + min Ar ( x ) tr ,n+1,0 tr , n
h+d
r ,n
dr+,n = 1
r = 1, 2
Where Ap(x) is the pth goal and tp,n is the target for the pth goal in nth region (LPP). !" Requirement equations: ZR (radian) = f (D, Wi, t, NC, NR) W (g) = f (D, Wi, t, NC, NR) SFi = f (PO, LT), i =1, 2 SFi = f (PO, LT, 3), i =3, 4 SFPi = f (PO, LT), i =1, , 5 PTOLi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC), i =1, 2 FTOLi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC), i =1, , 4 PoTOLi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC), i =1, 2 FTOLPi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC), i =1, , 5 PeTOLPi = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC), i =1, 2 ML1 = f (LT, CT, IP, TA, Wi, t, NC, NR, 1) [8.10] ML2 = f (LT, CT, IP, TA, Wi, t, NC, NR, 2) [8.11] ML3 = f (LT, CT, IP, TA, D, 3) [8.12]
N mi =
LM N 1 + 1OP N ML Q
p i
i= 1, 2, 3
315
BT = f (PO, LT, HOC, FOC, Nmi) Cm = f (BT, TA) Cp = f (CT) C = Cm + Cp Tm = f (BT, TA) Tp = f (CT) T = Tm + Tp !" Constraints: 0.00654 radian ZR 0.01962 radian 1.707 g W 2.845g C $2500 T 7 days PTOLj 0.020 inch, j = 1, 2 FTOLj 0.010 inch, j = 1, , 4 PoTOLj 0.030 inch, j = 1, 2 FTOLPj 0.010 inch, j = 1, , 5 PeTOLPj 0.010 inch, j = 1, 2 SFj 450 in j = 1, ,4 SFPj 200 in j = 1, , 5 din din = 0 din + , din 0 !" Bounds: 2.75 mm D 4.75 mm 2.0 mm Wi 4.0 mm 1.0 mm t 3.0 mm 2 NC 3 Discrete variable 2 NR 3 Discrete variable 0 degree 1 5 degree 0 degree 2 5 degree 0 degree 3 5 degree PO (x, y, z) Discrete variable TA (0 or 1) Discrete variable 2 LT 8 (mils) Discrete variable LT=2, 0.002 (mils) HOC 0.006 (mils), 0.012 (mils) FOC 0.016 (mils) LT=4, 0.003 (mils) HOC 0.007 (mils), 0.004 (mils) FOC 0.008 (mils) LT=8, 0.001 (mils) HOC 0.005 (mils), 0.002 (mils) FOC 0.006 (mils) 300 second CT 420 second MINIMIZE: !" The deviation function (Archimedean formulation):
Z = ! ! wi,n+1 di+ ,n + di,n n =1 i =1 4 35
+
In the problem formulation (Table 8.10), the targets for the goals are formulated in Linear Physical Programming formulation (Section 2.6.2). The meaning of target values is also explained in the robot arm study (7.3.1). The mold life (ML1, ML2, ML3, Equation 8.10 ~ 8.12) is calculated for all the protrusion features. There are a total of 4 rib features
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in mold core (ML1), 10 rib features in mold cavity (ML2) and 1 boss feature in third mold piece (ML3). The dimensions of these mold features are presented in Table 8.11. These are the dimensions of the features in modified camera roller part shown in Figure 8.15. The system variables NC and NR affect the quantity and dimensions of these features. Therefore based on the values of NC and NR, the dimension of each feature should be calculated and used in the evaluation of the mold life of the mold pieces. As stated before, life of a mold piece is equal to the smallest value of mold life of the features in the corresponding mold piece. Mold life affects the number of different mold pieces required to fabricate desired number of functional prototypes. Number of molds in turn affects build time and fabrication cost.
Table 8.11  Dimensions of the Different Mold Features.
Feature No Type Mold Piece 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Rib Core Rib Core Rib Core Rib Core Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Rib Cavity Boss Third Piece Height (mm) 4.90 4.45 4.45 4.45 4.90 4.45 4.45 4.45 4.90 4.90 4.90 4.45 4.45 4.45 3.50 Width /Dia (mm) 12.20 5.80 5.80 7.40 6.50 2.90 5.80 5.80 7.40 7.40 7.40 5.80 5.80 5.80 2.75 Thick (mm) 2.00 2.25 2.25 2.25 2.00 1.25 1.25 1.25 2.00 2.00 2.00 1.25 1.25 1.25 *** Part Thick (mm) 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 3.0
After the MPGT problem for the camera roller is formulated, the solution process for system variables are presented in the next section.
8.5 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS SOLVING
In the DFRTS, the solution process of the MPGT problem has three stages, solving discrete variables, solving continuous variables, and selecting a solution (Figure 6.8). For the camera roller, these steps are introduced in Section 8.5.1~8.5.3 respectively.
8.5.1 Solving Discrete Variables
The discrete variables in the DFRTS are mold design variables, part orientations and layer thickness. They are determined with the aid of RTMDS and refined RP process planner.
Mold Design Variables As presented in Section 8.2, the RTMDS can aid the manufacturer to generate feasible mold designs for the camera roller. The camera roller is a complicated part with undercuts and intricate geometry. Consequently there is little freedom in choosing the
317
mold design variables. It should be noted that more mold designs are possible with larger number of mold pieces. However since it is desirable to use the least possible number of mold pieces (Section 3.2), only one mold design, which is shown in Figure 8.9, is further considered.
Part Orientation in SLA Building For the mold design, the mold pieces are inputted to the refined RP process planner to generate a set of part orientations (PO) and layer thickness (LT). As describe in Section 6.4.2, only the discrete variables (PO and LT) are considered in the modified RP process planner. Hatch overcure (HOC) and fill overcure (FOC) are set as default values. Its problem formulation is similar to RPPP problem (Table 6.2). Sambu (2001) gave a detail description of the refined RP process planner. Solving the modified RTPP problem results in a set of promising mold orientations and slicing schemes for each of the mold pieces.
Two orientations (one favorable for build time and the other favorable for surface finish) are obtained for mold core and mold cavity. One orientation is obtained for third mold piece. These orientations result in 4 possible combinations as shown in Figure 8.20. The mold pieces are combined together in IronCAD to create a single ACIS file. Slicing module is run for all the four combinations or orientations. Six promising slicing schemes are generated for each of the combinations. The slicing schemes obtained for combination 1 are shown in Figure 8.21. In this figure, dark shade corresponds to 2mil layer thickness, light shade corresponds to 8mil layer thickness and the medium level shade corresponds to 4mil layer thickness.
318
(a) PO1
(b) PO2
(c) PO3
(d) PO4
Figure 8.20 Four Part Orientations for the Mold Design (Sambu, 2001).
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Slicing Scheme 1
Slicing Scheme 2
Slicing Scheme 3
Slicing Scheme 4
Slicing Scheme 5
Slicing Scheme 6
Slicing schemes 1 ~ 4 correspond to the solutions that result in the smallest values of the objective function. They have small layer thickness and hence achieve best possible accuracy and surface finish. Slicing schemes 5 and 6 have best possible build time achievement. However the surface finish requirements are barely met. It is observed that the primary tradeoff in the slicing scheme is between surface finish and build time goals. A comparison of surface finish and build time goal achievements for these slicing schemes is presented in Table 8.12. The slicing schemes for the other combinations are similar.
Table 8.12  Surface Finish and Build Time Achievements for Slicing Schemes.
Slicing Scheme 1 2 3 4 5 6 SF_mold1 SF_mold2 SF_mold3 156 156 156 156 390 382 156 156 156 156 390 390 64 64 131 64 400 130 SF_part_ SF_part_ Build Time mold1 mold2 64 64 13:59 68 68 13:39 74 72 13:13 77 75 12:52 187 177 6:28 187 177 6:29
320
There are totally 4x6 = 24 slicing schemes. For each slicing scheme, a modified MPGT problem can be formulated (Section 6.4.1) and solve with the aid of OpdesX.
8.5.2 Solving Continuous Variables
The values of other variables of the MPGT problem (including three discrete variables: NC, NR, TA) are determined by solving a modified MPGT problem. The formulation of the modified MPGT problem is identical to the MPGT problem (Table 8.10) except for one difference. The set of promising mold orientations and the slicing schemes are available in the modified MPGT problem. As these values are already determined, PO and LT are dropped from the system variables. Similar to the robot arm study (Section 7.4), the modified MPGT formulations for camera roller problem are developed from the MPGT problem (Table 8.10). The formulated modified MPGT problems are then solved by an engineering optimization software system to determine a solution for the related slicing scheme. In the camera roller study, OptdesX (with SAN algorithm) was used to solve the modified MPGT problem for all the 24 slicing schemes obtained from the modified RP PP problem. The solving process is similar to that of the robot arm study (Section 7.4.2). Therefore only the differences are explained and presented here. Three starting points, low, medium and high, are investigated to determine the effect of starting point on the obtained solution. The starting points used in the study are presented in Table 8.13. The available models indicate that using the smallest possible cooling time, HOC and FOC values results in the best solution for molds built on SLA 3500 with SL 7510 resin and hence different values for these variables are not investigated in starting points.
Table 8.13  Starting Points Investigated for Each Slicing Scheme.
Variable D Wi t NR NC 1 2 3 TC CT HOC16 FOC16 Low 2.75 2 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 300 0.002 0.012 Medium 3.75 3 2 2 3 2.5 2.5 2.5 0 300 0.002 0.012 High 4.75 4 3 3 3 5 5 5 1 300 0.002 0.012
The obtained solutions for slicing scheme 1 are presented in Table 8.14. The values of the system variables for the solutions obtained for all the starting points are very close indicating a good convergence. Also, the values of objective function are very close too. This indicates that the solution of modified MPGT/RT problem is independent of starting point. 321
Table 8.14  Solutions Obtained for Slicing Scheme 1 for Different Starting Points.
Variable D Wi t NR NC 1 2 3 TC CT HOC16 FOC16 Z Low 2.76 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.0152 Medium 2.78 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.0152 High 2.76 2.78 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.0154
The variation of the objective function with iteration (cycle) number for medium starting point is shown in Figure 8.22. The plot is for 5000 cycles and the total run time is 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This plot shows an expected behavior of the SAN algorithm (large fluctuations in the beginning and small fluctuations at the end) indicating its proper functioning for this problem.
Figure 8.22  Objective Function vs. Iteration Number for MPGT Problem.
The objective function values for the solution obtained for the 24 slicing schemes are presented in Table 8.15. The complete listing of the obtained solutions is presented in Appendix B. The analysis and validation of the solutions are presented in section 8.5.4. Among the 24 solutions, a solution is chosen as the solution of the MPGT problem, which is presented in the next section.
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Table 8.15  Objective Function Values Obtained for Different Slicing Schemes.
Z PO1 PO2 PO3 PO4 SS1 0.0152 0.0348 0.0371 0.0363 SS2 0.0157 0.0339 0.0336 0.0324 SS3 0.0193 0.0327 0.0361 0.0352 SS4 0.0168 0.0384 0.0357 0.0344 SS5 4.4450 1.1760 3.9700 4.1710 SS6 3.4922 1.0641 4.0338 3.8244
8.5.3
Selecting A Solution
From the 24 values in Table 8.15, it can be seen that slicing scheme 1 for PO1 (Figure 8.20.a) has the smallest value of objective function. Therefore, it is determined that the solution corresponding to PO1SS1 is regarded as the solution of the MPGT problem. With the tailored camera roller design, the values of mold design variables, RP process variables, and IJM process variables are also determined. They are summarized as shown in Table 8.16. The values of goals, significant intermediate responses and objective function (along with the ideal target values) for this solution are presented in Table 8.17.
Table 8.16 Solutions of the MPGT Problem for Camera Roller.
D Wi t (mm) (mm) (mm) 2.78 2.80 1.00 NR 2 NC 2 1 o () 1.3 2 o () 1.2 3 o () 1.0 TA 0 CT HOC16 FOC16 (sec) (mil) (mil) 300 0.002 0.012
Table 8.17  Values of Goals and Intermediate Responses for the Solution.
ZR (rad.) Achieved 0.0104 Target 0.0131 SFP4 (in) Achieved 64 Target 20 D (mm) Achieved 2.78 Target 2.75 W (g) 2.40 2.28 SFP5 (in) 6 20 Wi (mm) 2.80 2.00 SF1 (in) 156 75 FTOL (inch) 0.0018 0.0010 t (mm) 1.00 1.00 SF2 (in) 156 75 PTOL (inch) 0.0016 0.0020 Z 0.0152 0 SF3 (in) 65 75 PoTOL (inch) 0.0064 0.0030 SFP1 SFP2 (in) (in) 6 64 20 20 FTOLP PeTOLP (inch) (inch) 0.0018 0.0020 0.0020 0.0010 SFP3 (in) 6 20 Cost ($) 1291 500
8.5.4
PostSolution Analysis
From Table 8.16, one can see that the solution has NR = NC = 2 indicating that this combination results in a better solution than the original values used in the production part (NR = NC = 3). Considering the mold life concern for thin and tall features in SL molds, this is reasonable. Using lower number of columns and rows increases the width 323
of the rib features in the mold and hence increases their life. The solution has the draft angle values > 10 indicating that drafts are necessary in the mold pieces for the camera roller. As in the robot arm example (Section 7.4.3), no thermal aging is preferred. Cooling time, HOC and FOC converge to their lower bounds as expected. From the values of goal achievements for the solution presented in Table 8.17, one can see that zrotation (ZR) is lower than its target value and weight (W) is higher than its target. The difference between the achieved and target values is 21% for zrotation and 5.3% for weight. We also run ANSYS for the initially modified part (Figure 8.14). The values of ZR and W for the part are 0.0080 (radian) and 2.57 (g) respectively. The difference between them and the target values is 40% for zrotation and 13% for weight. Therefore by performing geometric tailoring, the difference of these values is reduced. The cylindrical surfaces on mold core (SF1) and mold cavity (SF2) have a surface finish of 156 in and the cylindrical surface on third mold piece (SF3) has a surface finish of 65 in. The cylindrical surfaces in core and cavity are horizontal and hence have worse surface finish than the cylindrical surface in third mold piece, which is vertical. The primary parting surface for all the mold pieces are horizontal and hence have a good surface finish of 6 in. The secondary parting surfaces for mold core and mold cavity are vertical and have a surface finish of 64 in. The flatness tolerance on parting surface and parallelism tolerance between the cylindrical faces are lower than the desired value (achieved better than what is desired) while the other tolerances are more than their ideal values. The ideal value for cost is $500 and maximum allowable value is $2500. The cost for the obtained solution is $1291. Diameter (D), width (Wi) and thickness (t) are all system variables and goals in the MPGT problem. For the obtained solution, the difference between ideal and achieved value for D, Wi and t are 1.1%, 40% and 0% respectively. This indicates that the diameter and thickness need not be varied much to satisfy the functional property and mold life requirements, though width needs to be modified significantly. The goals are well satisfied by modifying width (Wi), number of rows (NR) and number of columns (NR) in the part. Table 8.17 also contains the values of objective function (Z) and the number of different mold pieces required to fabricate the desired number of parts. According to the obtained solution, one of mold core and cavity and three of third mold pieces are required to fabricate the desired number of functional prototypes. Compared to the required number of each mold pieces (6 for mold core, 13 for mold cavity, 4 for the third piece as shown in Table 8.2), this is significantly smaller. It is also possible to mold 50 parts with only one of third mold piece. However higher draft angle (3) is required. Using three mold pieces results in a better tradeoff between draft angle and cost goals. Therefore the obtained solution shows a reasonable tradeoff between different goals and also has reasonable values for the individual goal achievements. Further validation of the solution is performed by experiments of reducing the target ranges of different goals. For the camera roller, as surface finish and tolerance goals are affected by only mold orientation and slicing scheme, the effect of target range on these goals is not studied. The experiments by modifying target ranges of each other goal are presented in Table 8.18. In each of these experiments, the target range for the goal in the 324
corresponding category is reduced by 40%. By running OptdesX for the new values of the goals, the results for the experiments are presented in Table 8.19. The improvement and deterioration of the goals due to this modifying in target ranges are shown in Table 8.20. Positive values indicate improvement and negative values indicate deterioration of the corresponding goal.
Table 8.18  Target Modification Experiments.
Goals ZR (rad.) W (g) D (mm) Wi (mm) t (mm) cost ($) Original Values Minimum ideal Maximum 0.00654 0.01308 0.01962 1.707 2.276 2.845 2.75 2.75 4.75 2.0 2.0 4.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 500 500 2500 Modified Values Minimum ideal Maximum 0.009156 0.01308 0.017004 1.9346 2.276 2.6174 2.75 2.75 3.95 2.0 2.0 3.2 1.0 1.0 2.2 500 500 1700
0.01041 0.01041 0.01042 0.01012 0.01042 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.43 2.40 2.76 2.78 2.75 2.76 2.77 2.80 2.80 2.80 2.48 2.80 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1291 1291 1291 1291 1291
Table 8.20 Percent Change of the Goals for Target Modification Experiments.
Goals ZR (%) W (%) D (%) Wi (%) t (%) Cost (%) Target whose range is reduced ZR exp. W exp. D exp. Wi exp. t exp. 0.0 0.0 0.1 2.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 0.0 0.7 0.3 1.2 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 16.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Cost exp. 0.9 0.3 12.9 0.6 0.1 27.7
Zrotation, weight and thickness have no improvement by reducing their target range. Thickness is already at the ideal value for nominal targets and hence cannot improve further. Apparently zrotation and weight have tradeoff with other goals that do not let them improve. This is evident by observing the corresponding rows. The values of ZR and W never improved in all the experiments. Even the deterioration of these variables is not significant. The improvement in diameter goal with reducing its target is very small (0.7%). Width and cost have an improvement of 16% and 28% respectively. These are high values indicating positive effect on these goals by reducing their target 325
range. Width is improved by worsening zrotation and weight goals. Cost is improved by worsening diameter and draft angle (shown in Table 8.21) goals. In fact, cost is reduced by reducing the required number of third mold pieces from 3 to 1. This is achieved by increasing the draft angle of the corresponding boss feature and reducing the part thickness (by increasing diameter). The variation in the values of the other system variables (NR, NC, 1, 2, 3, CT, TA, HOC and FOC) is not significant. Their values for different experiments are presented in Table 8.21. One thing to be noticed for different experiments is the value of 3, which is the draft angle that corresponds to the boss feature in the third mold piece. It increases from 1.0o to 1.7o when the target range for cost goal is reduced. As explained earlier, increasing draft angle results in fewer mold pieces and hence lower cost.
Table 8.21  Values of System Variables for Target Modification Experiments.
Target whose range is reduced Goals D (mm) Wi (mm) t (mm) NR NC o 1 ( ) o 2 ( ) o 3 ( ) TA CT (sec.) HOC16 (inch) FOC16 (inch) Current Solution 2.78 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 ZR exp. 2.76 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 W exp. 2.77 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 D exp. 2.76 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 Wi exp. 2.78 2.48 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.4 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 t exp. 2.75 2.80 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.0 0 300 0.002 0.012 Cost exp. 3.14 2.81 1.00 2 2 1.3 1.2 1.7 0 300 0.002 0.012
The solutions of the target range reduction experiments indicate that the goals do not worsen (if not improve) by reducing their target range. This is an expected behavior and hence provides more faith in the correctness of the algorithm and analysis functions (used in OptdesX) as well as the actual values of the obtained solution. In the next section, physical experiments are presented which further validate the solution of the problem.
8.6 PHYSICAL VALIDATION
The RTMDS was used to generate the mold pieces for the tailored part design (Figure 8.23.a). The running process is the same as the mold design process for the original camera roller design (Section 8.2). Therefore it is not repeated here. The generated mold design is shown in Figure 8.23.b. Compared them with the mold pieces in Figure 8.9, it is expected that the mold pieces for the tailor part will have a much better mold life than the mold pieces for the original part. The designed mold pieces were fabricated on SLA 3500 with SL 7510 resin using the mold orientations, slicing schemes and the process parameters obtained by solving the MPGT problem. The molds are post
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processed in the usual manner (cleaning with TPM, water and alcohol, drying with air, postcuring in UV oven for an hour and thermal curing for 2 hours).
Mold Cavity
Mold Core
Placing the mold pieces in the mold base of the Morgan Press machine was challenging because the three mold pieces are assembled and dissembled manually. The mold core and mold cavity were fixed in the corresponding mold halves and the third mold piece was placed in the bottom half without fixing it. This piece was fixed after clamping the mold halves. The injection molding parameters used to mold the parts are presented in Table 8.22. The ejection of the parts from the mold is in the reverse order. The fixture of the third piece is loosed before the molds are opened. The ejection of the 327
parts from the mold core is also performed manually. After removing the mold core with the part from the mold base, the third piece is ejected first and the part is ejected from the mold core with the aid of four ejector pins. A photo of the physical mold pieces and the parts fabricated from them are shown in Figure 8.24.
Table 8.22  Injection Molding Parameters Used for the Camera Roller.
Parameter Clamping Force Injection Pressure Pilot Valve Pressure Plastic Temp. in barrel Plastic Temp. in nozzle Injection Time Cooling Time Release Agent Value 11 2 50 430 450 10 300 Used Units Tons Mpsi psi 0 F 0 F Second Second No units
Figure 8.24 Physical Mold Pieces and Injection Molded Camera Roller.
In the experiment, it is observed that the mold pieces for the tailored part design are much stronger than the mold pieces shown in Figure 8.9. All the features in the mold pieces are still intact after three shots (it was ruined by a mistake made by the author). This also verifies the correctness of the solutions obtained from the MPGT problem.
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With the aid of the DFRTS, the materialprocess geometric tailoring (MPGT) was successfully performed for the robot arm (Section 8.5). To further understand the camera roller case, some comparing experiments are performed and presented here. When putting the original design and the tailored design together (Figure 8.25), one can obviously see that the geometric tailoring tremendously reduced the fabrication difficulties in the Rapid Tooling process for the camera roller. A simple calculation is provided here to illustrate the necessity of geometric tailoring for the case.
As estimated by the mold life predictor, the mold life of mold core, mold cavity and the third piece is 9, 4, and 16 for the original design (Section 8.3). Therefore the required number of mold core, mold cavity and the third piece is 6, 13, and 4 respectively. In the solution of the MPGT problem, the cost of rapid tooling process is $1291 ($1091 for SLA fabrication process and $200 for injection molding process). It should be noticed that this cost is for one set of mold pieces (1 of mold core, 1 of more cavity and 3 of the third piece) for the tailored part. Based on our experience, the cost of the SLA fabrication process for 6 of mold core, 13 of mold cavity and 4 of the third piece for the original part would be 5 ~ 7 times of $1091, which is $5455~7637. After a mold piece is ruined, a new mold piece needs to replace the old one, which leads to a cost for assembling and disassembling the mold piece. More frequent replacements leads to higher cost and longer time. Therefore it is estimated that the cost of Rapid Tooling process for the original design would be around $6500. Compared to the cost of $1291 for the tailored design, it is significantly decreased. Suppose the designers budget is $2500, the manufacturer will have a profit of $1209 instead of a loss of $4000. Another comparing experiments are performed for the modified camera roller part (Figure 8.14). Similar to the experiment given in Section 7.6, the sequential and 329
concurrent solution processes are tested in the experiments. First in the sequential experiment, the MGT problem is formulated and solved. For the solution of the MGT problem, the manufacturer then performs the process planning of the Rapid Tooling. In the concurrent experiment, the MPGT problem is formulated and solved. Since the cost factor is important here, the cost experiment (reducing the target range of cost by 40%) is adopted (Table 8.18). The solutions (values of geometry) for the experiments are presented in Table 8.23 and the corresponding goal achievements are presented in Table 8.24. The target value of each goal is also listed in the table.
Table 8.23  Solutions of Sequential and Concurrent Solution Process.
D Wi t (mm) (mm) (mm) Sequential 2.75 2.8 1.00 Concurrent 3.14 2.81 1.00 Variables NR 2 2 NC 2 2 1 ( ) 2 ( ) 3 ( )
o o o
1.3 1.3
1.2 1.2
1.4 1.7
Table 8.24  Goals Achievements for Sequential and Concurrent Solution Processes.
Goals Sequential Concurrent Target ZR (rad.) 0.01043 0.01029 0.01310 W (g) Cost ($) # Mold1 # Mold2 # Mold3 Obj. Function 2.399 1221.66 1 1 2 0.0365 2.394 1152.5 1 1 1 0.0408 0.0 2.28 500
Comparing the results of the sequential and concurrent solution processes, it is as expected that the sequential process has a better solution of design variables (D) and design goal achievements (ZRotation). However, its cost and the total objective function are higher than those of the solutions obtained from the concurrent process. After further analysis, we can see the increase of cost is mainly because the required number of the third mold piece is increased from 1 to 2. The main dimensions of the boss in the third mold piece are D and 3 as shown in Figure 8.26. The mold life of the mold piece is determined by their values. In the concurrent solution process, D and 3 are formulated and solved together. Therefore the values of D and 3 can all be increased to reduce the
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required mold number. However, in the sequential solution process, D has already been fixed in the former process. The manufacturer can only change the value of 3. If the design freedom of 3 is not sufficient to make the required mold number as 1, an additional mold piece will be required. Correspondingly the value of 3 can be reduced for the required mold number (2). As the objective function value of the concurrent solution process is smaller that of the sequential solution process, it verifies that the concurrent formulation and solving processes utilized in the DFRTS is better than the current sequential solving process. The experiments also verify that the mapping from design space to the manufacturing space may have discontinuities. That is, for the continuous variables D and 3, some design spaces correspond to required mold piece number 1. However other design spaces may require two mold pieces. Consequently the fabrication cost will be rather different for them. Considering the discontinuity of the designformanufacture (DFM), it is generally desired to transfer more design freedom to the manufacturer. In the next section, a brief summary is given for discussing the relevance of these results with regard to the hypotheses of the dissertation.
8.8 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 8
In this chapter, the RTMDS and DFRTS were applied to determine the mold design and geometric tailoring for a camera roller design. A problem of producing functional prototypes of a camera roller was first introduced in Section 8.1. By using the RTMDS, a mold design with three mold pieces was generated for the camera roller (Section 8.2). A standard mold base for Morgan Press injection molding machine was used in the mold piece construction. A preliminary study and experiment were performed which results in a modified camera roller design (Section 8.3). This modified design was considered in the DFRTS. The formulation of the geometric tailoring problem for the modified camera roller was presented in Section 8.4. In the formulation the design functions were represented by response surface models. The solution process of the MPGT problem, which consists of three stages, was described in Section 8.5. The modified MPGT problems that are related to 24 slicing schemes were solved by OptdesX. The results of physical experiments for the validation of the problem solution were presented in Section 8.6. Finally an evaluation of sequential and concurrent solution processes for the camera roller case was provided in Section 8.7. Similar steps are utilized in the camera roller example as those in the robot arm example. This indicates the generality of the approaches developed in the RTMDS and DFRTS. Hence, this example extends the faith in the developed approaches from the particular examples presented in this thesis to other problems that fall under this category (theoretical performance validation). In the discussion of application of RTMDS and DFRTS to the camera roller example, the relationships with the hypotheses were identified. The results from testing the hypotheses are summarized below (Figure 8.27):
Hypothesis 1: A mold design with three mold pieces was generated for the camera roller by using the Rapid Tooling Mold Design system, which is developed based on the Multipiece Mold Design Method. The whole running process only took several minutes. The summary of testing the subhypotheses (H1.1 ~ H1.3) presented below will provide more details.
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Hypothesis 1
Mold designs of The requirements on mold camera roller are design of the camera roller generated by the are representative of the RTMDS in acceptable mold design problems. time, and they can be The system can be used to used to produce generate mold design for prototpyes in the Rapid the camera roller. Tooling process.
Hypothesis 2
Solutions of geometric The requirements on tailoring of camera roller geometric tailoring of the are generated by the camera roller are DFRTS in acceptable time, representative of the geometric tailoring problems. and tailored part design The system can be used to and process parameters perform geometric tailoring can be used to produce functional camera roller in for the camera roller. Rapid Tooling process.
Figure 8.27 Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for H1 and H2. Hypothesis 1.1: 446 concave edges and 336 concave faces are identified. Based on the identified concave faces, 32 concave regions are generated for the camera roller. The region generation process only took seconds for the camera roller. Hypothesis 1.2: The generated concave regions of the camera roller are combined into 3 concave regions. The region combination process only took less than one minute for the camera roller. Hypothesis 1.3: Mold pieces are constructed for a standard mold base which can be installed in a Morgan Press injection molding machine. The mold piece construction process only took less than one minute for the camera roller. Hypothesis 2: Tailored part design with mold design variables, RP process variables and IJM process variables were generated for the camera roller by using the Design for Rapid Tooling system, which integrates geometric tailoring and process planning by the manufacturer. The satisfactory prototypes are produced without any iteration for the camera roller. The summary of testing the subhypotheses (H2.1 ~ H2.3) presented below will provide more details. Hypothesis 2.1: For the camera roller the designer formulated a partial MPGT problem based on the MPGT decision template. The manufacturer formulated a complete MPGT problem which considered the material difference of products and prototypes. Hypothesis 2.2: The designers MPGT problem formulation, RP process planning formulation, and IJM process planning formulation were integrated into a completer MPGT problem formulation for the camera roller. Hypothesis 2.3: The MPGT problem was solved in a threestage solution process. The solution was reasonable and validated by physical experiments.
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In the next and final chapter, contributions form this work will be presented along with a critical review of the research and future work (Figure 8.28).
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CHAPTER 9
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9.1 ANSWERING THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS In this section focus is returned to the research questions justified through the discussions of Chapter 1 and formulated specifically in Section 1.2.1. In essence, this section is a review of hypothesis testing presented throughout the dissertation, as the hypotheses offered in direct support of the research questions. The relationship between the research questions, and the hypotheses formulated are shown in Figure 9.1. Each hypothesis has been supported through the investigations of the previous chapters. 9.1.1 Research Question Overview
As stated in the introduction to Chapter 1, the main objective of this research is to reduce the time for functional prototypes in the product realization process. The key research question being investigated is: How to reduce the leadtime in the usage of Rapid Tooling to produce functional prototypes for a part design? The key question directly ties to the principal technology development goal for this research project (RTTB): to enable customer of the rapid tooling testbed receive nearly productionrepresentative components in a variety of polymer, ceramic, and metal materials within 34 days of submitting a product model. In this research, the focus is on
Primary Research Question How to reduce the leadtime in the usage of Rapid Tooling to produce functional prototypes for a part design?
Q1. How to aid the mold designer to reduce the mold design time ?
Q2. How to reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer ?
H1. MultiPiece Mold Design Method provides a method to automate several key steps of the mold design.
H2. Geometric tailoring can be integrated with process planning and solved by the manufacturer.
the mold design and designformanufacture for Rapid Tooling. The idea is to reduce the time of several timeconsuming mold design steps and the number of iterations between the designer and manufacturer in Rapid Tooling. Towards achieving this objective, a Rapid Tooling Mold Design System (RTMDS) and Design for Rapid Tooling System (DFRTS) are developed. The key question has two related questions associated with it: Q1. How to aid the mold designer to reduce the mold design time for a wide variety of part geometries in the design for a Rapid Tooling process? Q2. How to reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer in the usage of Rapid Tooling for a wide variation of design requirements? To address these questions, research hypotheses are proposed in support of achieving the principal objective for the dissertation. H1 MultiPiece Mold Design Method provides a method to automate several key steps of the mold design process, which can greatly reduce the mold design time for a wide variety of part geometries. Geometric tailoring for Rapid Tooling can be integrated with process planning based on decision templates and solved by the manufacturer, which can reduce the time of iteration between the designer and manufacturer.
H2
Their elaboration and verification have provided the context in which the research work has proceeded. This work has been based in computational geometry and decisionbased design. The subquestions associated with these two questions are: Q1.1 Q1.2 Q1.3 What are appropriate basic elements to automate several mold design steps for a wide variety of part geometries? How to generate mold configurations by a systematic design process based on the basic elements? How to generate mold pieces from a given mold base effectively and efficiently according to a mold configuration design?
Q2.1 Q2.2
How to reduce the iterations between the designer and manufacturer in producing functional prototypes that have different material properties from products? How to formulate the design for Rapid Tooling problem which integrates decisions on design and manufacturing variables and other design and manufacturing requirements including goals, constraints, and preferences? How to solve the design for Rapid Tooling problem effectively and efficiently?
Q2.3
To facilitate answering these questions, each has hypothesis associated with them: H1.1 Concave region and convex face are two kinds of basic elements that provide an efficient and effective approach for exploring and developing molds design method for Rapid Tooling.
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H1.2 The Region based combining process and related algorithms provide a systematic method to generate mold configurations of multipiece molds design. H1.3 The Reverse Glue Mold Construction Method and related algorithms provide an efficient and effective method for constructing multipiece mold designs for Rapid Tooling.
H2.1 The designer can initiate a material geometric tailoring (MGT) formulation based on a MGT decision template; therefore the manufacturer, who completes and solves the MGT problem, can produce productionrepresentative prototypes more quickly. H2.2 The design for Rapid Tooling problem can be formulated by several compromise DSPs and tasks, which can then be integrated into a design for Rapid Tooling system (DFRTS). H2.3 A threestage solution process can be utilized to get a satisficing solution effectively and efficiently based on design and manufacturing models and continual/discrete variables. With an overview of the research questions and hypotheses presented, answers to these research questions are summarized in the next section. As mentioned the research questions are answered through testing the hypotheses. 9.1.2 Answering Research Questions
In general a research question is answered when the corresponding hypothesis is validated. Hence, in order to answer the fundamental question, we validate each of the supporting hypotheses. This is done according to the process given in Section 1.3.2, where each of the validities in the Validity Square (Figure 9.2) is used to test each supporting hypotheses separately. Then, by adding necessary additional information, the validity of the fundamental hypothesis i.e., the validity of the RTMDS and DFRTS is asserted through induction.
Figure 9.2 Validation Square. Answering the research questions is performed following the hierarchy of the questions presented in Figure 9.1. First the two questions are answered using the answers
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Answer to Question 1: This research question has three supporting questions, answer to these questions are summarized as follows: Answer to Basic Element Question (1.1) By identifying concave region, combined region and convex face, this work extends the basic elements used in other works, which are pockets (Chen, et al., 1993; Weinstein and Manoochehri, 1996) and features (Fu, et al., 1999; Gu, et al., 1999). The basic elements of regions are more general for different geometries. Therefore more parts can be handled by the developed mold design method. The theoretical structural validity was discussed in Section 3.3 through mathematical definition and proofs related with it. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using the illustrative examples (Section 4.4 and 4.5) and case studies (Chapter 8 and 9). In all cases the concave regions and convex faces provided basic elements for mold configuration design. Answer to Region Combination Question (1.2) In this research, the mold configuration design is transferred to a regiongrowing process, which captures the connectivity of faces and the demoldability of regions. This transferring enables the automation of the generation of parting directions and parting lines for mold configuration design. The mold design knowledge can also be added to the region combination process easily. The theoretical structural validity was discussed in Section 3.4 through mathematical definition and relations related with it. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using the illustrative examples (Section 4.4 and 4.5) and case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). In all cases combined regions were generated which provided mold configuration design for mold piece construction. Answer to Mold Piece Construction Question (1.3) Gluing operation is a standard highlevel Euler operation for halfedge data structure. A novel approach based on reversing the gluing operation was developed in this research and used in the mold piece construction. The mold piece construction problem is then transferred to a glue face generation problem. It is illustrated in this dissertation that the glue face generation is actually a geometric reconstruction problem. The theoretical structural validity was discussed in Section 3.5 through mathematical definition and relations related with it. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using the illustrative examples (Section 4.4 and 4.5) and case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). In all cases mold pieces were generated for mold configuration designs within satisfied time. Answer to Mold Design Question Answering the research subquestions related to Hypothesis 1 provides a foundation for answering the highlevel question. In this research computation geometry and solid modeling have been utilized for multipiece mold design for Rapid Tooling. By using the RTMDS to automate several steps of the mold design, mold pieces are generated in a short time. Other mold design components (e.g. gate, runner, ejector pin holes) can be
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In Section 3.3 the relationships with the different steps of the mold design method were discussed which validated the structural (theoretical and empirical) validity of the method. The application of the RTMDS was demonstrated in illustrative examples (Section 4.4 and 4.5) and case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). The mold design results verify the usefulness of the mold design method and the related system in designing molds for a set of products. The mold designs are further verified by producing physical prototypes with the molds. Although used for a limited number of examples, the obtained results indicate that the mold design method presented in this dissertation is applicable for other problems. Answer to Question 2 The second research question also has three related questions associated with it, answers to these three questions are first provided because they will help answer Question 2, which is related to geometric tailoring problem. Answer to Material Difference Question (2.1) In different Rapid Tooling process, the material difference between production and prototypes are normal. The geometric tailoring, which is based on Buckingham theorem, was utilized to transfer the material difference problem to a process of making decisions on unimportant system variables (Section 5.2). Then a decision template in the compromise DSP formulation is proposed for integrating the design and manufacturing requirements (Section 5.3). The Buckingham theorem and the compromise DSP provide the theoretical structural validity of material geometric tailoring and its decision template. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using three illustrative examples (Section 5.5) and two case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). In all the cases both design and manufacturing requirements were satisfied without iterations between the designer and manufacturer. Answer to Problem Formulation Question (2.2) In this dissertation decisions on design and process variables are used to model the designformanufacture problem for different viewpoints. The decisions in the three steps of the Rapid Tooling process (materialprocess geometric tailoring, RP process planning and IJM process planning) can be formulated as compromiseDSPs, and mold design can be considered as a task. Therefore a design for rapid tooling system was presented in which the decisions on different steps are integrated into a single compromiseDSP (Section 6.3). The theoretical structural validity was discussed in Section 6.1 through different modules and their relations. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using a robot arm and a camera roller (Chapter 7 and 8). In the case studies formulations that were considered in the DFRTS were presented, which provided a unified decision framework for solving the geometric tailoring problem. Answer to Problem Solving Question (2.2) By identifying coupling between goals and variables, this work presented a threestage solution process for solving the materialprocess geometric tailoring problem. A 339
satisficing solution is generated instead of an optimal solution because of the complexity of the problem. The theoretical structural validity was discussed in Section 6.4 through different modules and their relations. Empirical structural validity and performance validity was presented using two case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). In all cases following the solution process of the DFRTS generated satisfied solutions of the geometric tailoring problem, which were further validated by physical experiments. Answer to Geometric Tailoring Question Answering the research subquestions, associated with Hypothesis 2, provide a foundation that can be used to answer the overall geometric tailoring question. The iterations between the designer and manufacturer are actually a process of integrating design and manufacturing requirements. Geometric tailoring is also a method to integrate design and manufacturing requirements. However much less time is needed because computers instead of negotiations between the designer and manufacturer solve the tradeoffs between the requirements. Therefore a satisficing solution can be found more quickly. The application of the DFRTS was demonstrated in two case studies (Chapter 7 and 8). Solutions were generated by the system based on the design and manufacturing requirements. Physical prototypes were produced for the solutions. These results verify the usefulness of the geometric tailoring and the Design for Rapid Tooling System in producing functional prototypes for a set of products. Answering Key Question Answer to the key question proposed for this work is embodied by the Rapid Tooling Mold Design System and Design for Rapid Tooling System, which reduce the time of mold design and iterations between the designer and manufacturer respectively. The two systems are important components of the Rapid Tooling Testbed, which uses Rapid Prototyping technology in the product tooling design and manufacture. Several case studies (including the robot arm and camera roller in Chapter 7 and 8) were tested in the RTTB. The results affirmed that the goal of producing productionrepresentative components in a variety of polymer, ceramic, and metal materials within 34 days of submitting a product model is feasible. The experiments also verify the importance of the research questions addressed in this dissertation, that is, how to reduce the time of mold design and how to avoid iterations between designer and manufacturer. Producing functional prototypes for a part design within days is always desired to compress the product development time and cost. Todays competitive and highly volatile market makes this desire much stronger. This research is an effort toward achieving this goal. With this in mind, a summary of the research contributions is offered in the next section. 9.2 ACHIEVEMENTS: REVIEW OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS The contributions offered in this dissertation are introduced in Section 1.3.3 and realized throughout the dissertation. The list provided in Chapter 1 was partial and identified only the high level contributions. In this section contributions from this work will be revisited to highlight the significance of this work.
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The primary contribution from this work is a systematic method and a set of algorithms for multipiece mold design and a systematic way (formulations and a solution process) to integrate design and manufacturing requirements. They are embodied in the Rapid Tooling Mold Design System and the Design for Rapid Tooling System respectively. The methods are tested by several industrial cases via the developed systems. The contributions can be categorized in three areas. Contributions related to Computeraided Mold Design (H1 and H1.1~1.3): A problem definition for multipiece mold design is proposed as the foundation of a computeraided mold design method. Compared to other representative problem definitions, the problem definition presented in this research added the face connectivity as an important factor in the mold design (Section 3.2). A solution process for the formulated problem definition is proposed (Section 3.3). As an additional requirement, face connectivity, is considered, the mold design process is more complicated. Another important contribution of this research is identifying a systematic process to generate mold design for the problem definition. The notions of concave region and convex face in mold configuration design and a means of generating them for a given part. As an extension of pocket, which is a common notion in the computeraided mold design, concave region can handle more general cases (Section 3.4). An algorithm, which is based on several lemmas, is also presented to generate concave regions for a part effectively. A combining approach to generate regions from the basic elements based on linear programming and mold design knowledge (Section 3.5). In judging feasible parting direction of several faces, a simple yet efficient approach based on linear programming is proposed. It enables more combinations of regions and faces are explored because of its fast solution process. An algorithm is developed which allows more mold design knowledge considered. A mold construction method based on the reverse glue operation and a geometric reconstruction problem for any mold base. A novel mold construction approach based on reverse gluing operation is proposed in this research, which is much more efficient than the current industrial approaches (Section 3.6). Also it is illustrated in this research that the mold construction problem is actually a geometric reconstruction problem. Therefore computeraided mold design methods may find theoretical basis in the area of computational geometry. A set of examples and industrial cases are valuable for the future research in computeraided mold design area. In this research the author constructs several example parts to test different aspects of a mold design method (Section 4.4). Several representative industrial cases are also utilized in the dissertation (Section 4.5, 7.2 and 8.2). They provide a basis to compare different mold design approaches.
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Contributions related to DesignforManufacture (H2 and H2.1 ~2.3): A demonstration of transferring part of DFM responsibility (geometric tailoring) from the designer to the manufacturer is feasible, at least for Rapid Tooling. Traditionally the designer takes all the responsibility of DFM. This was taken for granted by lots of researchers for a long time. However from the perspective of information integration, designformanufacture is actually a process in which design and manufacturing requirements are integrated and tradeoffs are made on the design and manufacturing goals and variables. Therefore it is not necessarily to let the designer have all the DFM responsibility. This research demonstrates that by given some design freedom to the manufacturer, the cost/time of fabrication process may be reduced (Section 5.5 and Chapter 8). Geometric tailoring is identified as part of DFM tasks that may be transferred from the designer to the manufacturer in the process of producing functional prototypes. The definition and category of geometric tailoring are presented with its fundamentals (Section 5.2). Decision templates based on the compromise DSP are proposed as the digital interface to transform design information to the manufacturer for geometric tailoring problem. Their methodology is identified based on design freedom (Section 5.3). Two kinds of decision templates are formulated in this research and are applied to a set of examples (Section 5.5 and 7.3). An integrated design for Rapid Tooling system is developed based on DecisionBased Design. The DFRTS is a collaborative system which can handle conflicts between designers and manufacturers. A problem formulation which considers both the design and manufacturing requirements is presented. This research demonstrates that a concurrent approach to formulate and solve problem may result in a better solution than a sequential approach (Section 6.5 and 8.6). A solution strategy and related solution process are proposed for the integrated problem formulation. The solution process is systematic and the same three stages can be followed to obtain solutions for different parts (Section 7.4 and 8.5). The Rapid Tooling Mold Design System is a useful tool in designing molds for a part design. The implementation of the mold design method into a convenient tool is another kind of contributions of this research. The Design for Rapid Tooling System, which integrates several software packages, is developed to aid the manufacturer to produce functional prototypes by the direct AIM tooling. In this research, different software systems are used in solving the geometric tailoring problem, which reduces the time in achieving satisfied prototypes. The developed systems are important components of the Rapid Tooling TestBed. The RTTB is an experimental testbed that supports exploration of design and designformanufacture issues related to rapid prototyping and rapid tooling for injection molding (Section 1.2.2). The efforts in producing prototypes within 34 342
days of submitting a product model will significantly reduce the product realization time and cost. Several industrial cases are investigated, which demonstrates the advantage and disadvantage of the direct AIM tooling. As is a new technique, the direction AIM tooling has only limited case studies published in literature. In this research prototypes of a ring gear (Section 5.5.3) and a camera roller (Section 8.5) were produced. These studies illustrated that the direction AIM tooling can be used for rather complicated part. However its limited mold life should be considered in selecting a fabrication process.
Anticipated Impact: In summary, the author expects this research will have two impacts. (1) It is expected that this research will enhance our formal understanding of the basic computational issues that lie behind the computeraided mold design problem. In this way, improved and more rigorous mold design systems can be developed and used in the injection molding industry. (2) DesignforManufacture (DFM) is actually a process to integrate both design and manufacturing requirements. From this perspective, there is no particular reason for the designer to play a dominant role in performing DFM. A different approach is presented in this research, which, in the authors hope, will enhance our understanding of the basic strategies of DFM. It is believed that further research in this direction can enhance our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different DFM approaches. After the contributions of this research were highlighted in this section, limitations of the research will be identified and discussed in the next section. 9.3 CRITICAL ANALYSIS: LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH With the research questions answered and the contributions of this work presented, in this section a critical evaluation of this work is performed, with the focus on the limitations of RTMDS and DFRTS and their different elements. RTMDS The mold design method developed in this research only considers planar surfaces. Although quadric and parametric surfaces can be approximated by a series of planar surfaces, the face number and file size may increase dramatically. More importantly, it may bring problems in the integration of the RTMDS with other software systems. For example, the RP process planner developed by West (1999) checks all directions of planar surfaces of a part in selecting a building orientation in a SLA machine. Therefore it may take a long time for a mold piece generated by the RTMDS because too many planar faces are generated in the approximation of a quadric surface. The RTMDS can only handle a SAT file as the input. This may add a burden to the mold designer in preparing the input file of a part. Also the transfer of a STL file to a SAT file may bring in some errors in the CAD model. In the transferring, all planar faces that are in the same surface are combined into one face in the SAT file. This may not be
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desired for some parts (e.g. the camera roller in Section 8.2). Therefore the mold design method needs to be extended to handle a part represented in STL file. Some implementation limitations of the modules of the RTMDS are listed as follows. The limitations of the region generation module include (1) the face splitting algorithm is not general; (2) data structure of the system is not efficient which results in large memory requirements. The limitations of the region combination module include (1) limited more mold design knowledge is considered in the system; (2) the robustness and accuracy of the combination process are different for parts; (3) the combining orders of regions and faces are not changeable by users. The limitations of the mold piece module include (1) the algorithm of judging parting surface for a region needs to be refined; (2) the generation of inner glue faces can only handle regular cases; (3) the part can not be positioned freely within the mold base. DFRTS In the DFRTS, much effort is required to model the manufacturing process before a geometric tailoring problem can be solved. Currently some manufacturing requirements for the direction AIM tooling have been formulated in the DFRTS (Section 6.1). They can be reused for different parts. However, to add more requirements or process variables of the direction AIM tooling (e.g. injection molding process variables besides the cooling time), more process models are needed. To extend the DFRTS to other processes and materials, their manufacturing models should also be built by experiments or simulation. Related to this limitation is that as only quantitative equations can be considered in the compromise DSP, some properties of a fabrication process or a design function may not be able to be considered in the DFRTS if they cannot be formulated as equations. Geometric tailoring is mainly due to the material difference of products and prototypes (Section 5.5), or the fabrication difficulties for a part design (Section 8.3). Not surprisingly, if the material properties of products and prototypes are similar, the material geometric tailoring will generate similar results as the original design. Similarly if there is only little difficulty in producing a part design, the materialprocess geometric tailoring will generate similar results as those of material geometric tailoring (Section 7.6). Since it takes much time and effort to couple the decisions in the geometric tailoring problem, this effort may not be needed if the two results will be similar. Therefore a criteria and a related judging method may be needed in the DFRTS to determine if the geometric tailoring is necessary for a part design. The dimensions in the decisions templates are related to a feature in CAD models. Currently their relations are not recorded. In this research the author acts as the designer and the manufacturer at the same time, hence this is not a concern in the current DFRTS. However, in real applications, a mechanism to build and record the relation of dimensions in decision templates and features in CAD models is necessary. The research in feature representation and recognition may be incorporated in this development. In the camera roller example (Chapter 8), the topology of the part is changed because small dimension changes cannot satisfy the manufacturing requirements for the part. In the DFRTS a systematical approach was developed for the dimensional changes. However the topological changes are still based on the experience and knowledge of the 344
manufacturer. Therefore a systematic approach is desired for judging if the topology of a part needs to be changed, and how is should be changed if it is necessary. With some of the limitation of the RTMDS and DFRTS highlighted in this section, recommendations for future work will be presented in the next section. 9.4 FUTURE WORK The limitations of the RTMDS and DFRTS described in the last section can be used to guide future research related to the systems. Some of the future research avenues are described as follows. Future Work in ComputerAided Mold Design Refining the RTMDS As mentioned in Section 9.3, several refinements can be added in the current implementation of the RTMDS. Some tasks are further described as follows. The mold design method can be extended to handle a CAD model represented in STL format. As the concave regions are generated based on the convex and concave property of two neighboring faces, a part represented in triangles can also be handled by the regionbased mold design method. The only task here is to generate topology relation from a STL file. Research on the topology generation for STL file is rather mature in computer graphics area. !" In the later mold design process, it is desired to move the part position in the mold base based on the ejector pattern of the injection molding machine. Therefore in the RTMDS, it is important to enable the user to position the part freely within the mold base. !" Parting surface is a important mold design variable. The current algorithm of judging parting surface for a region is rather simple, and can be improved to handle more cases. !" The current data structure of the RTMDS is not efficient. By using pointer instead of array, the memory requirements for large CAD models will be reduced.
!"
Shrinkage compensation is also an important consideration in the mold design, especially for lowpressure powder injection molding (shrinkage can be as high as 14%). Based on the models developed in (Judson, 1999), it is possible to predict the shrinkages and change the shape of the mold correspondingly. In ACIS, the introduction of laws (mathematical functions) provides a powerful tool to model complex geometries. By using different law classes, complex functions can be used for creating curve and surface geometry. More design knowledge can be added to the multipiece mold design. One possible criterion is the ejection property of a mold piece. Considering the fragility of the injection molded part in the low pressure power injection molding, more mold pieces may be necessary for a complete part.
!"
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New Directions
!"
A geometric reconstruction problem, Problem GFG (Section 3.6.2), is defined in this research. No approaches for this problem are found in literatures of computational geometry. However it is an important problem in computeraided mold design research in order to construct mold pieces for a part (refer to Figure 4.12). In RTMDS an algorithm is proposed for simple cases. Further research is necessary to develop a theoretical basis and more advanced approach. Future Work in DesignforManufacture
Refining the DFRTS It is desired to formulate the updated research results on the direct AIM tooling and incorporate them into the DFRTS. !" To further testing the idea of geometric tailoring, it is desired to test the DFRTS with different fabrication process (e.g. lowpressure powder injection molding) and different materials. !" The automation levels in utilizing different software systems of the DFRTS need to be increased in order to handle different parts more efficiently. Extending the DFRTS
!" !"
A mechanism to build and record the relation of dimensions in decision templates and features in CAD models needs to be developed. As mentioned before, a decision template can be linked with a parametric featurebased CAD model which is similar to behavioral modeling (Section 2.4). Therefore the intent and performance of the design are an integral part of the product model. Their values can also reference external applications as part of the product model definition. A systematic approach is desired for judging if the topology of a part needs to be changed, and how is should be changed if it is necessary. The task would be rather challenging considering the representation and manipulation of the topology are all much more difficult than those of dimensions. However research on graph theory may be useful. In the DFRTS, a criteria and a related judging method can be developed to determine if the geometric tailoring is necessary for a part design. It would save the efforts of the designer and manufacturer in formulating and solving the geometric tailoring problem. Another significance of transferring the responsibility of geometric tailoring from the designer to the manufacturer is that it enables the designer to consider several fabrication processes at the same time. It is well known that different prototyping processes have their advantages and disadvantages. Typically no single process meets all the requirements of a part. Therefore it is difficult for the designer to consider several fabrication processes and perform designformanufacture tasks for them. Instead it is feasible to develop a distributed system (Figure 9.3). With the aid of decision templates, the designer formulates the design requirements and sends them to a process broker. The process broker can then select several candidate processes and send the manufacturers the design requirements. Based on the design 346
!"
!"
New Directions
!"
requirements and the property of a fabrication processes, the manufacturer performs the geometric tailoring and sends the results back to the process broker. The process broker can aid the designer in selecting a process based on the tailored part design. Therefore more fabrication processes are considered for a par design.
4.Tailored Part Design & Goal Achievements
1. CA D
2. CA D
Designer
5. Recomendation
Manufacturer Internet
3. Geometric Tailoring
Manufacturer
Figure 9.3 An Ideal System Working Between the Designer and Manufacturer.
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A.1 Code Files of RTMDS The RTMDS was written in C++ using Microsoft Wizard and the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC). The codes include C++ source (.CPP) files, header (.H) files, resource (.RC) files, and a project (.DSP) file. They are described with their source code size as follows: Source (.CPP) Files: RTMold.cpp The main program source file. It also contains the initialization and deletion of ACIS and LINGO libraries. (9 KBytes) MainFrm.cpp Derive the CmainFrame class, which handles the creation of toolbar buttons and the status bar. (5 KBytes) RTMoldDoc.cpp Derive and implement the document class, which initialize and serialize a document. This is also the main file which contains the functions of mold design modules that may change the context of a CAD model. (52 KBytes) RTMoldView.cpp Derive and implement the view class, which display and print the document data. (13 KBytes) Attrib_Connect_Region.cpp Implement of an attribute (connected region properties) attached to an entity of an ACIS model. (3 KBytes) Attrib_PEdge.cpp Implement of an attribute (parting edges) attached to an entity of an ACIS model. (3 KBytes) Attrib_Region.cpp Implement of an attribute (region properties) attached to an entity of a ACIS model. (3 KBytes) Attrib_Rtmold.cpp Implement of a basic attribute used for deriving other attributes. (1 KBytes) Concave_Edge.cpp Code to generate and record concave edges. (1 KBytes) Concave_Face.cpp Code to generate and record concave faces from generated concave edges. (2 KBytes) Concave_Region.cpp Code to generate and record concave regions from generated concave faces. (50 KBytes) Connect_Edge.cpp Code to generate and record connect edges of a region. (1 KBytes) Geometry.cpp Code to judge geometry properties. It also contains common functions to call ACIS functions. (41 KBytes) LP_Parting_Direct.cpp Code to generate parting direction of a region by calling LINGO software system. (7 KBytes) Region_Split.cpp Code to divide a region or a face by using a given plane. (31 KBytes) Rev_Glue.cpp Code to generate glue faces and generate mold piece bodies based on the glue faces and the mold base. (48 KBytes) RTMold_Dialog.cpp Code to generate an error dialog box. (3 KBytes) RTMSelectTool.cpp Code to select entities interactively by using a mouse. (13 KBytes) SetTolDlg.cpp Code to generate a dialog box for setting combination tolerances of faces and regions. (2 KBytes) ChangeRegDlg.cpp Code to generate a dialog box for changing region numbers. (2 KBytes) 349
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Set_CurR.cpp Code to generate a dialog box to set the current region number for judgment. (2 KBytes) Set_MP_CurR_Dlg.cpp Code to generate a dialog box to set the current region number for mold piece construction. (2 KBytes) StartLoopDlg.cpp Code to generate a dialog box to set the iteration number before a region which is not in main parting direction is considered in the combination process. (2 KBytes) Header (.H) Files: For each source file (.cpp) , there is a header file in the RTMDS. The header file (.h) contains the definitions of parameters that are used in the source files, and also the definitions of functions that are implemented in the source files. The function descripoint of each header file is omitted here because the header file has the same function as the source file in the same name. Therefore only the source code size is provided. RTMold.h (2 KBytes) MainFrm.h (2 KBytes) RTMoldDoc.h (5 KBytes) RTMoldView.h (4 KBytes) Attrib_Connect_Region.h (1 KBytes) Attrib_PEdge.h (1 KBytes) Attrib_Region.h (1 KBytes) Attrib_Rtmold.h (1 KBytes) Concave_Edge.h (1 KBytes) Concave_Face.h (1 KBytes) Concave_Region.h (3 KBytes) Connect_Edge.h (1 KBytes) Geometry.h (3 KBytes) LP_Parting_Direct.h (2 KBytes) Region_Split.h (2 KBytes) Rev_Glue.h (4 KBytes) RTMSelectTool.h (3 KBytes) SetTolDlg.h (1 KBytes) ChangeRegDlg.h (2 KBytes) Set_CurR.h (2 KBytes) Set_MP_CurR_Dlg.h (2 KBytes) StartLoopDlg.h (2 KBytes) Resource (.RC) Files: Resource.h Definitions of parameters in RTMold.rc. (4 Kbytes) RTMold.rc code for the definitions of menus, accelerators, dialogs, icons, and toolbars. (20 KBytes) Project (.DSP) File: RTMold.dsp code used within the development environment. information specific to the project. (13 KBytes)
It stores the
Total size of source code: 379 KBytes Executable Size: 913 KBytes, compiled optimized.
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A.2 Classes of RTMDS The major implementation of the RTMDS is in classes, which a format of ObjectOriented Programming. The classes in the code are presented as follows with a brief description of the purpose of each class: class CRTMoldApp : public CwinApp This class initializes the main application. It also contains the initialization and deletion of ACIS and LINGO libraries. class CMainFrame : public CframeWnd This class creates the toolbar buttons and the status bar. It also set their styles and positions. class CRTMoldDoc : public CDocument This class creates and modifies a document. The main functions of three mold design modules are also in this class because they change the context of a document. class CRTMoldView : public CView This class displays and prints the document data. All the functions related to showing a CAD model are in this class. class ATTRIB_RTMOLD : public ATTRIB This class defines the common attribute class used in the RTMDS. All other attribute classes are derived from it. class ATTRIB_PEDGE: public ATTRIB_RTMOLD This class defines an attribute (parting edges) which is attached to an entity of an ACIS model. class ATTRIB_CONNECT_REGION: public ATTRIB_RTMOLD This class defines an attribute (connected region properties) which is attached to an entity of an ACIS model. class ATTRIB_REGION: public ATTRIB_RTMOLD This class defines an attribute (region properties) which is attached to an entity of an ACIS model. class Concave_Edge This class generates and records concave edges in a CAD model. class Concave_Face This class generates and records concave faces from generated concave edges. class Concave_Region This class generates and records concave regions from generated concave faces. class Connect_Edge This class generates and records connect edges of a region. class RTMSelectTool : public MouseTool This class provides functions to enable users to interactively select entities in a CAD model by using a mouse. class CSetTolDlg : public Cdialog This class creates a dialog box for setting combination tolerances of faces and regions. class CStartLoopDlg : public Cdialog This class creates a dialog box to set the iteration number before a region which is not in main parting direction is considered in the combination process class CChangeRegDlg : public Cdialog This class create a dialog box for changing the number of a region. class CSet_CurR : public Cdialog This class creates a dialog box to set the current region number for judgment. class CSet_MP_CurR_Dlg : public CDialog This class creates a dialog box to set the current region number for mold piece construction.
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A.3 Implementation on ACIS The RTMDS is developed based on ACIS 6.2 and Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0. Before using ACIS Microsoft Foundation Class Component (AMFC), the environment and VC++ project should be set. Environment Variables 1. Set system variables: A3DT = [acis install directory]; ARCH = NT_DLLD; A3DT_MAJOR = 6; A3DT_MINOR = 2. 2. A path to the libraries associated with the ARCH should be set up by adding the string ;%A3DT%\lib\%ARCH% in path environment variable. Microsoft Visual C++ Project Settings Project settings are assessed under the Project>Setting menu command. 1. Use runtime library Setting: Select the C/C++ tab and Code Generation in the category popup. Select Debug Multithreaded DLL under the Use runtime library popup. 2. Precompiled Header Option: In the C/C++ tab, select Precompiled Header from the category popup. Select the Not using precompiled headers radio button. 3. Preprocessor definitions: In the C/C++ tab, select Preprocessor from the category popup. Click into the field for Preprocessor definitions: at the end of the existing text. Add the string ,ACIS_DLL,NT,STRICT into the project setting field. 4. Additional Include Directories: In the Preprocessor category of the C/C++ tab, move the insertion cursor to the Additional include directories: field. Add the string ., $(A3DT)\abl, $(A3DT)\aec, $(A3DT)\ag, $(A3DT)\ar, $(A3DT)\amfc, $(A3DT)\amfc\acismfc, $(A3DT)\base, $(A3DT)\blnd, $(A3DT)\bool, $(A3DT)\br, $(A3DT)\clr, $(A3DT)\covr, $(A3DT)\cstr, $(A3DT)\ct, $(A3DT)\ds, $(A3DT)\eulr, $(A3DT)\fct, $(A3DT)\ga, $(A3DT)\gi, $(A3DT)\gl, $(A3DT)\igl, $(A3DT)\ihl, $(A3DT)\intr, $(A3DT)\iges, $(A3DT)\kern, (A3DT)\kern\kernel, $(A3DT)\law, $(A3DT)\lop, $(A3DT)\lopt, $(A3DT)\mesh, $(A3DT)\ofst, $(A3DT)\oper, $(A3DT)\part, $(A3DT)\phl, $(A3DT)\pid, $(A3DT)\rbase, $(A3DT)\rbi, $(A3DT)\rem, $(A3DT)\sbool, $(A3DT)\scm, $(A3DT)\shl, $(A3DT)\skin, $(A3DT)\swp, $(A3DT)\vda, $(A3DT)\vm, $(A3DT)\warp, $(A3DT)\xgeom into the field. 5. Additional Library Path: Select the Link tab and Input from the category popup menu. Insert the string $(A3DT)\lib\$(ARCH) into the Additional library path field. After the environment is set, a new project can be created to implement intended functions. ACIS AppWizard 1. Copy the file AcisAW.awx from $(A3DT)\amfc\awi386 to Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\MSDev98\Template folder. 2. Initialize a new project by using ACIS AppWizard in VC++ environment. Function Implementations
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1. Add all the source files (.cpp) and header files (.h) in folders $(A3DT)\amfc\acismfc and $(A3DT)\amfc\acismfc\tools to the project. 2. Finally, ACISs API functions can be called in the source code to implement the intended functions. Spatial Technology provides an online help for all the functions and classes. By checking the description of functions, the developer can determine which function should be used and how it should be used.
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A.4 Implementation on LINGO LINGO provides the Dynamic Link Library (DLL) standard for interfacing with other applications. In C++ code, the steps to use LINGO to solve a linear problem are listed as follows: (1) First loading the LINGO DLL into the system by:
// Load the LINGO DLL HINSTANCE m_hInstLINGO = LoadLibrary( "lingodll.dll"); // Get a pointer to the LINGO script processor LGCSCRIPT LINGOCALL* m_pLINGOCall = (LINGOCALL*) ::GetProcAddress((HMODULE) m_hInstLINGO, "LGCSCRIPT");
(2) Generate a script file (.LNG); (3) Use the C/C++ wrapper function LGCSCRIPT to call the LINGO script processor to solve the linear problem. Some sample codes are given as:
pArgs[0] = (void*) "SET ECHOIN 1\nSET TERSEO 1\nTAKE D:\\cv_Parting_dir.LNG\nGO\nQUIT\n"; // Capture all standard output in a file pArgs[1] = (void*) "D:\\cv_Parting_Dir.LOG"; // Let LINGO allocate working memory pArgs[2] = NULL; double* pTransfer[8] = { &x1, &x2, &y1, &y2, &z1, &z2, &dStatus, NULL}; pArgs[3] = pTransfer; int nArgs = 4; // Pass the command script to LINGO int nErrorCode; (*m_pLINGOCall)( pArgs, &nArgs, &nErrorCode);
(4) The results given by LINGO are stored in the arguments pArgs[3], which can be manipulated by C++ code; (5) Finally after solving all linear problems, we should release the LINGO DLL from the system by:
// Release LINGO library FreeLibrary( m_hInstLINGO);
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(0.095493*(x1x2))+(0.095493*(y1y2))+(0.990839*(z1z2))>=0.990839; (0.130446*(x1x2))+(0.034953*(y1y2))+(0.990839*(z1z2))>=0.990839; !Here is the data; DATA: @POINTER (1) = x1; @POINTER (2)= x2; @POINTER (3)= y1; @POINTER (4)= y2; @POINTER (5)= z1; @POINTER (6)= z2; @POINTER (7) = @STATUS(); ENDDATA END
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Appendix B
APPENDIX B CAMERA ROLLER CASE STUDY: COMPLETE SOLUTIONS OF THE MODIFIED MPGT PROBLMES
In this appendix the results of solving the 24 modified MPGT problems in Section 8.5.2 are provided. Table B.1 contains the results of variables and goals given by OptdesX for the slicing schemes 1 to 6 for PO1 (Figure 8.20.a). Table B.2 contains the results of variables and goals given by OptdesX for the slicing schemes 1 to 6 for PO2 (Figure 8.20.b). Table B.3 contains the results of variables and goals given by OptdesX for the slicing schemes 1 to 6 for PO3 (Figure 8.20.c). Table B.4 contains the results of variables and goals given by OptdesX for the slicing schemes 1 to 6 for PO4 (Figure 8.20.d).
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Table B.1 Solutions Obtained from OptdesX for Slicing Schemes 1~6 of PO1.
PO 1 Dia (mm) Width (mm) Thick (mm) Rows Cols o Draft1 ( ) o Draft2 ( ) o Draft3 ( ) TA CT (sec.) HOC16 (mil) FOC16 (mil) SS1 2.782406 2.800527 1.00125 2 2 1.292404 1.17641 0.992764 0 300 0.002 0.012 SS2 2.75355 2.796417 1.000293 2 2 1.286405 1.182111 1.017975 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010417 2.399411 156 156 64.92935 6 68 6 68 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1268.699 1 1 3 0.015664 SS3 3.280292 2.801306 1.000419 2 2 1.289208 1.183049 1.167627 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010239 2.389682 156 156 132.7919 6 74 6 72 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1238.415 1 1 3 0.019315 SS4 2.762365 2.799082 1.001088 2 2 1.302345 1.179806 1.008618 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010415 2.399121 156 156 64.92262 6 77 6 75 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1215.334 1 1 3 0.016753 SS5 3.631252 2.802805 1.03211 2 2 1.455682 1.823202 0.001585 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010078 2.386154 390 390 407.0193 6 187 6 177 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1381.207 2 1 17 4.445024 SS6 2.833394 2.80029 1.000053 2 2 0.913498 0.962735 1.002316 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010391 2.397752 382 390 132.5313 6 187 6 177 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1293.074 3 3 6 3.492163
ZRot (rad.) 0.010408 Weight (g) 2.398691 mold1_SF (in) 156 mold2_SF (in) 156 mold3_SF (in) 64.91126 mold1_PP (in) 6 mold1_SP (in) 64 mold2_PP (in) 6 mold2_SP (in) 64 mold3_P (in) 6 Flat_Acc (inch) 0.001771 Par_Acc (inch) 0.001616 Per_Acc (inch) 0.002002 Pos_Acc (inch) 0.006434 Cost ($) 1290.801 # molds1 1 # molds2 1 # molds3 3 Z 0.015166
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Appendix B
Table B.2  Solutions Obtained from OptdesX for Slicing Schemes 1~6 of PO2.
Assembly 2 Dia (mm) Width (mm) Thick (mm) Rows Cols o Draft1 ( ) o Draft2 ( ) o Draft3 ( ) TA CT (sec.) HOC16 (mil) FOC16 (mil) SS1 3.283212 2.79911 1.001664 2 2 1.288486 1.183907 1.564165 0 300 0.002 0.012 SS2 3.257703 2.799287 1.001234 2 2 1.291703 1.182914 1.588649 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010242 2.390428 69 69 65.36319 66 6 66 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1510.464 1 1 1 0.033874 SS3 3.166841 2.801307 1.000015 2 2 1.285756 1.188512 1.69928 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010275 2.391826 69 69 65.45268 68 6 68 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1490.847 1 1 1 0.032748 SS4 3.538173 2.809834 1.007053 2 2 1.285702 1.17707 1.297851 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.01016 2.384321 69 69 133.0053 68 6 68 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1557.075 1 1 2 0.038377 SS5 2.947257 2.798542 1.003162 2 2 0.965153 1.108309 0.98618 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010341 2.39644 145 145 132.5065 158 6 158 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1278.308 3 2 5 1.175995 SS6 2.921188 2.800543 1.000218 2 2 0.966904 1.091008 1.01393 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010358 2.396307 145 145 132.5493 155 6 155 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1278.703 3 2 5 1.064109
ZRot (rad.) 0.010233 Weight (g) 2.389997 mold1_SF (in) 69 mold2_SF (in) 69 mold3_SF (in) 65.34362 mold1_PP (in) 64 mold1_SP (in) 6 mold2_PP (in) 64 mold2_SP (in) 6 mold3_P (in) 6 Flat_Acc (inch) 0.001771 Par_Acc (inch) 0.001616 Per_Acc (inch) 0.002002 Pos_Acc (inch) 0.006434 Cost ($) 1526.607 # molds1 1 # molds2 1 # molds3 1 Z 0.034796
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Appendix B
Table B.3  Solutions Obtained from OptdesX for Slicing Schemes 1~6 of PO3.
Assembly 3 Dia (mm) Width (mm) Thick (mm) Rows Cols o Draft1 ( ) o Draft2 ( ) o Draft3 ( ) TA CT (sec.) HOC16 (mil) FOC16 (mil) SS1 3.334592 2.800256 1.001374 2 2 1.285534 1.182152 1.521045 0 300 0.002 0.012 SS2 3.174583 2.791463 1.001518 2 2 1.286113 1.187626 1.688734 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.01026 2.392824 156 146 65.44407 6 64 71 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1480.554 1 1 1 0.033593 SS3 3.303421 2.798809 1.002335 2 2 1.285229 1.17893 1.540514 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010225 2.38971 156 146 65.3248 6 68 66 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1516.019 1 1 1 0.036098 SS4 3.328339 2.801502 1.004717 2 2 1.306726 1.180519 1.512036 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010216 2.389256 156 147 65.30225 6 70 67 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1504.937 1 1 1 0.035687 SS5 3.543661 2.784523 1.003623 2 2 1.248626 1.939747 0.000096 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010142 2.3862 382 206 406.9467 6 196 185 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1538.917 2 1 17 3.969953 SS6 3.595448 2.76438 1.040405 2 2 1.370419 1.921682 0.000575 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010034 2.391746 390 205 406.9701 6 196 185 6 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1535.311 2 1 17 4.033753
ZRot (rad.) 0.01022 Weight (g) 2.388818 mold1_SF (in) 156 mold2_SF (in) 146 mold3_SF (in) 65.30937 mold1_PP (in) 6 mold1_SP (in) 64 mold2_PP (in) 64 mold2_SP (in) 6 mold3_P (in) 6 Flat_Acc (inch) 0.001771 Par_Acc (inch) 0.001616 Per_Acc (inch) 0.002002 Pos_Acc (inch) 0.006434 Cost ($) 1535.333 # molds1 1 # molds2 1 # molds3 1 Z 0.037134
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Appendix B
Table B.4  Solutions Obtained from OptdesX for Slicing Schemes 1~6 of PO4.
Assembly 4 Dia (mm) Width (mm) Thick (mm) Rows Cols o Draft1 ( ) o Draft2 ( ) o Draft3 ( ) TA CT (sec.) HOC16 (mil) FOC16 (mil) SS1 3.228181 2.797147 1.00315 2 2 1.2909 1.191222 1.628649 0 300 0.002 0.012 SS2 3.204102 2.802364 1.001073 2 2 1.288987 1.181283 1.654986 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010262 2.391151 69 156 65.41664 66 6 6 64 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1479.042 1 1 1 0.032353 SS3 3.179343 2.798943 1.000267 2 2 1.286832 1.191475 1.682676 0 300 0.002 0.012 0.010268 2.39185 69 156 65.43913 66 6 6 68 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1513.217 1 1 1 0.035243 SS4 SS5 SS6 3.246603 3.537486 3.553896 2.799383 2.77814 2.797763 1.001422 1.03303 1.1209 2 2 2 2 2 2 1.289972 1.435979 1.503045 1.207883 1.861469 1.871831 1.606225 0.00358 0.00042 0 0 0 300 300 300 0.002 0.002 0.002 0.012 0.012 0.012 0.010245 2.390661 69 156 65.37729 67 6 6 70 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1497.957 1 1 1 0.034411 0.010077 2.390754 197 382 407.1168 192 6 6 200 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1497.03 2 1 17 4.171018 0.009911 2.399862 145 390 406.9625 185 6 6 185 6 0.001771 0.001616 0.002002 0.006434 1521.837 2 1 17 3.824423
ZRot (rad.) 0.010245 Weight (g) 2.391459 mold1_SF (in) 69 mold2_SF (in) 156 mold3_SF (in) 65.39534 mold1_PP (in) 64 mold1_SP (in) 6 mold2_PP (in) 6 mold2_SP (in) 64 mold3_P (in) 6 Flat_Acc (inch) 0.001771 Par_Acc (inch) 0.001616 Per_Acc (inch) 0.002002 Pos_Acc (inch) 0.006434 Cost ($) 1532.095 # molds1 1 # molds2 1 # molds3 1 Z 0.036288
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Vita
VITA
Yong Chen was born in Guiyang, Guizhou, China on October 20, 1972. He grew up in Zunyi, Guizhou and attended Zuiyi No. 4 High School. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, Zhejian, China) in 1993. He earned his Master of Science degree in Mechanical
Engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, Hubei, China) in 1996. After that he worked as a lecturer at school of Mechanical Engineering and a research scientist at Graphical Software Center at Huazhong University of Science and Technology before attending Georgia Institute of Technology in March 1998. His graduate work was funded by National Science Foundation Grant DMI9618039. Upon graduation, Yong has accepted a position as a Senior Software Engineer with the 3D Systems Inc. in Valencia, California.
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