While this “Fantasy World “ of design programming may not exist for all types of parts, that precisely is one of the goals of Automatic Feature Recognition. To sort out common elements of the 3D model and using rules and templates, create the code on the part.
Solid models have all the necessary information to describe a parts shape. Users should not need to waste time re-creating part data just for the CAM system. Most prismatic parts are comprised of standard features such as holes, pockets and bosses. Where other CAM systems may require users to define geometry, create boundaries, and then specify cutting operations, automatic feature recognition eliminates that. Typical 2D parts can often be programmed in just a few minutes, versus an hour or more.
Users can typically run a wizard to automatically find and sort the different features within their part. Typically input the stock material size, give it an initial tool orientation and then the tool analyzes the solid model and creates machinable features for machining.
These features will then be listed and automatically sorted for logical machining operations. Alternatively, users that wish for fine control may select the features themselves interactively, and sort them manually. Usually the best approach is a combined approach of utilising automatic feature recognition with some interactive selection or sorting of features for their specific preferences.
Once features are defined, they are sorted for machining efficiency and then they can be machined with strategies ideal to the properties of the individual feature. For example, an open pocket may be machined with a different strategy than a closed pocket. Or shallow bosses will be milled differently than tall ones.
the features are found or selected a three-step process or wizard can be used to program parts utilising the features. Users first select from a list of features so you can input information on shapes and sizes. Next users select a preferred machining strategy based on the information provided, or go with the recommended strategy. The programmer can accept the strategies suggested based on the type of features for rough, semi-finish, and finish passes, or make changes to fit the machining needs for that particular part.
The combination of feature dimensions, stock material, and cutting strategies are analyzed allowing the tool to recommend the most efficient cutting tools, toolpaths and feeds and speeds for each cutting operation. The programmer can choose the recommended tool or search for another tool in the library. Users can accept or change the recommended feeds and speeds.
Although automatic programming provides a good starting point, users should still retain control over how the tool generates its CNC code. Users can set machining preferences ahead of time for the CAM software to apply to future jobs. Although it recommends tools, feeds, speeds, etc, the users can override it with their own preferences at any time.
Automatic feature recognition can extend beyond using just the tool axis. Utilise multiple setup orientations to find all features on the part, regardless of the orientation. These will then be sorted by workplane, and feature type.
Users can then decide the order of various orientations they prefer to use, and program the features accordingly.
Based on your manufacturing knowledge, automatic feature recognition intelligently makes decisions for you. It automatically selects your tools, stepover, stepdown, and more, providing programming consistency, utilising parameters out of the box, or those that you customise for your own operations. These parameters, among others, form part of your operation.
As you create multiple features, the tool dynamically updates your process planning. Providing an optimal machining order, based on what you want to achieve.
Part changes are an inevitable fact of working in a job shop. If a part has already been analyzed and programmed, than the part geometry changes, one can simply compare the updated part to the original. Feature list will automatically update for the changes, and the generated code will update.
This strategy is not only useful on part changes, but when milling similar parts, or a family of similar parts. Simply utilise automatic feature recognition to sort and program one part, tweaking with your personal preferences, then apply all of those same strategies to a similar part, automatically.
Automatic feature recognition allows for standardisation of the entire machining process. The best expert machinists could set up the machining templates; and all programmers, regardless of experience, would be able to utilise their knowledge and experience. This allows for consistency in your finish, tool life and overall quality of parts produced.
Automatic feature recognition and feature based machining can simplify the machining processes of certain parts typical to the job shop, allowing for programming to be completed in minutes instead of hours. Knowledge gained during the process can be retained for future jobs, for your individual preferences
Previous workflows required engineers to create multiple sketches linked together to form a part that was organic in nature. Direct modeling allows engineers to simply push, pull, twist, etc. to manipulate a part. It meets the needs of the fast-paced design industry and allows engineers to create without the traditional boundaries of parametric modeling.
Many engineers in modern design operate mainly in the direct modeling that is not just about creating cool designs, it also is about having the power to edit your parts without neglecting physical characteristics of the design.
Direct modeling allows you to adjust a design organically without worrying about voiding certain necessary parameters set earlier in the design. This ultimately means that when a designer needs to alter a product per the client’s request – or any reason – it becomes an easy process.
Pretty much all of the modern design programs have direct modeling integrated into them. It’s a workflow that is just too essential to the modern engineer. You can use direct modeling techniques to move, rotate, resize, or scale features from imported geometries. The easy push/pull controls allow designs to be modified for quote. All of this functionality ultimately leads to faster iterations between simulations and directly editing the geometry.
The aerospace industry has always been on the forefront of technological developments and tends to be an early adopter of new technology. Even if these new technologies are only used initially on their concept vehicles or in high-performance racing vehicles. The massive manufacturing advances being made across the board point to a future of energy and cost efficiency, and generative design has placed itself firmly in the middle of this revolution.
Generative design is machine-learning-assisted design and is used to optimise a given design based on a set of user-specified parameter and iterative design solution based on external factors. It must not be confused with topology optimisation which is focused on improving an existing design.
Generative Design takes manufacturability into account when creating all the different configurations so you don’t end up with a good-looking design that would be completely impractical to manufacture. Another advantage is that homogenous parts can be created that replace sub-assemblies of multiple different components.
Multiple configurations are presented to the designer and each of these configurations meet all the criteria in different ratios. The designer can then choose the best configuration. However, if additive manufacturing techniques are being used then it is not necessary to do any modifications on the part as it can be directly printed.
Generative design has massive potential since there are thousands of components that make up a vehicle, and many of these can be revised using this system. There are many benefits of using generative design for vehicle engineering, such as cost efficiency since components use less materials, less energy and less time.
Usually components are designed and put through extensive simulations to verify the design, thereafter the part is tweaked and simulations are run again. With generative design, the simulations are run during the design phase and each of the thousands of iterations created have already passed a strength test.
Design Modeling tools have advantage of reducing time spent on the development of conceptual designs since 3D model is generated as part of the process, freeing up the designer to focus on more top-level design concerns. Once the designer decides on the final configuration, it can be slightly modified to meet designer preference.
As a designer, you need to look at what the factory does with the CAD and the interactions between the design team and factory, along with the creation of the instruction manual and sales & marketing material.
The differentiation between designer and CAD modeler varies depending on the size of the organisation or studio undertaking the design in question. In some cases a designer may take their designs to the CAD stage by themselves.
In other cases a specific CAD modeler may be employed to take on this part of the process. This can vary depending on work load, skill set or even the specifics of an individual design. In any case, the designer will remain plugged into any decisions and deliberations.
Maintaining design integrity is often the most important skill required. A CAD modeler is often asked to demonstrate some 2D concept capability, in addition to their core skills, before they're employed to make sure they're capable of following the design language into 3D.
There are many stages for a design to go through before it ends up in the hands of end-users. After a two-dimensional idea has been explored and resolved, the next fundamental stage in the process is the use of CAD. You will learn the differing uses of 3D in the design process, and look at how the role of the designer and CAD modeler comes into play as they work through the stages of getting a sketch into a form that can be used to generate a finished product.
Turning a sketch into 3D is a fairly simple process; all you have to do is add the third dimension. Doing it really well and maintaining the designer’s intent, however, is an entirely different proposition.
At this point in the process, you now have a solid design foundation to base all CAD upon modeling. You have detailed drawings and illustrations that depict several angles of the chosen design, along with specific details and technical features being noted and explored by the design team.
The factory will take over the CAD and truly engineer the design for most of the above points. The factory will also identify areas to strengthen in order to avoid failure during use and drop testing, consider production issues, such as the number of parts, and assess the production technique in order to minimize costs.
often have a habit of taking the most direct route to a 3D solution, which tends to be a straight line. Straight lines rarely exist in good design. So before the designs are handed off to the factory, the CAD modeler and the designer work in tandem to get as close in 3D to the original 2D design as possible.
1. Keeping the Curves
This stage is set of curves moved into the correct three-dimensional positions, known as a wireframe with no surfaces being built. This is a ‘quick and dirty’ process, much like a first rough pencil sketch, which can feed back into more illustrations from the designer if they’re not happy with certain aspects of the form.
2. Fluid and Flowing
Many tools give you the ability to create fluid nonlinear geometry. They're generally the tools of choice for most studios, as they allow designers to stay true to their sketches before applying engineering constraints. Model sets will often need rebuilding by an engineer or factory team to get to a ‘toolable’ state. Of course, the more experienced the modeler or designer, the less change required.
3. Tight and Constrained
Some tools allow for a high level of engineering from the very first stages of modeling and is often used by factories to create final CAD for tools. To this end, the more technical studios prefer their designers to work within these design spaces to reduce lead time to production. This can, however, result in some loss of some desirable properties since constraints within the tools make it more difficult to create flowing geometry.
Some modeling options are applicable to designs that are of a far more organic nature. Organic surfacing is difficult in most applications. However, despite being able create great organic designs and allow for 3D printed prototypes, the data is not viable for tooling.
5. Modeling Process
Designer and the modeler will sit down together and run through the final illustrated design document to highlight the salient features of the design. Turnaround/elevation drawings and specific features required will be discussed, and any questions the modeler has can be further sketched and defined. Depending on time and complexity of the design, the modeler and designer will take the CAD through several different stages to get to the final 3D.
6. Sketch CAD
The first kickoff point can often be a set of elevation drawings in 2D CAD created by the designer or, for the non-CAD proficient designer, a set of elevation drawings. Once the 2D drawings are into the 3D package and arranged in the specific views, a sketch model is produced. Relevant internal components will also be arranged in space to make sure they’ll fit inside the design. This model is a first pass of very basic surfaces to make sure internals can be housed and to get an idea of how forms and surfaces might interact with one another. Objects may overlap and intersect, with the main purpose to get a volume to look at.
7. Mockup CAD for Prototype
In product development there’s often a desire to get something physical from the process as early as possible. If there are mechanisms to test an early prototype is often used, but lacks nearly all of the details and design of the final product, serving as a shell to place mechanical components within and will take the form of a relatively cheap 3D print. Problems can be identified at this early stage, such as space constraints, assembly issues, visibility of sensors, rotation restrictions can be identified to give an early look at potential manufacturing issues later down the line.
8. Refined Prototype
Once the rough prototype has been explored, feedback will be taken and fed back into the CAD process. The model will have evolved into something that looks a lot more like the designer’s intent along with improved mechanical constraints. Considerations for how the product will be assembled will come into play, with accurate parting lines being added, along with the addition of draft angles to allow parts to come out of the mold, and internal structures being added to support components and facilitate assembly, Usage can now be tested properly with engineers continuing to feed into the design, highlighting production issues or material constraints as well as updating the factory with new CAD or providing duplicates of the prototype.
9. Refined CAD
Once the prototype has been thoroughly tested and any issues identified, the CAD is refined further with new ideas being encompassed into the model. Relocation of components or internals will be assessed and practical considerations will be implemented, such as part assembly and interaction sensors or buttons.
The final task to be undertaken on the CAD is to create renderings of the design. There are samples at this stage that can be shown to select buyers, but they’re few and far between and relatively expensive to create in numbers so illustrations are still a necessity. Renderings are now used to populate and update marketing documents and sales material, along with illustrations for packaging. In particularly complicated products or ones with very deep interaction or play, the CAD model can also be used to create an animation to further demonstrate the product in various user scenarios and further support sales efforts long before fully functioning samples of the product are produced.