A Thesis
Presented to
the Academic Faculty
By
Yong Chen
In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering
Approved:
Janet Allen
Senior Research Scientist, Mechanical
Engineering
Charles Eastman
Professor, Architecture and Computer
Science
Farrokh Mistree
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
John Muzzy
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Thomas Starr
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Date 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 96
18039) 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.
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi
LIST OF TABLES xi
LIST OF FIGURES xiv
NOMENCLATURE xix
SUMMARY xxi
CHAPTER 1
FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPE USING RAPID TOOLING 1
1.1 PRIORS – FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPE AND RAPID TOOLING 2
1.1.1 Product Realization and Prototype 2
1.1.2 Rapid Prototyping 3
1.1.3 Injection Molding and Rapid Tooling 6
1.1.4 Rapid Manufacturing 8
1.2 DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING AND RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES 9
1.2.1 Current Usage of Rapid Tooling and Related Problems 9
1.2.2 Motivating project – Rapid Tooling TestBed 11
1.2.3 Challenges of RTTB and My Research Approaches 12
1.2.4 Research Opportunities in Mold Design and DesignforManufacture 16
1.3 RESEARCH FOCUS IN THE DISSERTATION 23
1.3.1 The Principal Goal, Research Questions and Hypotheses in the Dissertation 24
1.3.2 Validation Philosophy and Strategy 26
1.3.3 Contributions from the Research 29
1.4 OVERVIEW OF DISSERTATION 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 MOLD CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND TOOLS 43
2.3.1 Approach Based on Extending Parting Lines 43
2.3.2 Approach Based on Sweeping 43
2.3.3 Industrial Approach 44
2.4 CAD REPRESENTATION 46
2.4.1 Representation of 3D Surfaces and Solids 49
2.4.2 Manipulation of Solid Models 51
2.4.3 High Level Representations 53
2.5 DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURE: STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES 56
2.6 DESIGN TECHNOLOGIES 62
2.6.1 DecisionBased Design 62
2.6.2 Compromise Decision Support Problem 62
2.6.3 Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) 69
2.7 LITERATURE REVIEW SUMMARY 71
CHAPTER 3
THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN METHOD 72
3.1 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN METHOD 73
3.2 PROBLEM FORMULATION FOR MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN 75
3.2.1 Analysis of Existing Problem Formulations 75
3.2.2 Problem Formulations of MultiPiece Mold Design 78
3.3 OVERVIEW OF THE MULTIPIECE MOLD DESIGN PROCESS 79
3.4 BASIC ELEMENTS OF MPMDM 80
3.4.1 Demoldability of Mold Pieces 81
3.4.2 Analysis of the Basic Elements 87
3.4.3 The Generation Approach of Concave Regions 89
3.5 REGION COMBINATION OF MPMDM 94
3.5.1 Combining Criteria and Their Evaluation Approach 94
3.5.2 Verification of Draft Angle 98
3.5.3 Analysis of Region Combination Process and Related Representations 99
3.5.4 Region Combination Algorithm and Design Knowledge 103
3.6 MOLD PIECE CONSTRUCTION APPROACH BASED ON REVERSE GLUE 107
3.6.1 Principle and Related Representations of the Approach 108
3.6.2 Generation Approach of Glue Faces 111
3.6.3 Reverse Glue Algorithm and Parting Surface 115
3.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 3 118
CHAPTER 4
RTMDS AND ITS USAGE FOR MOLD DESIGN 122
4.1 OVERIEW OF RAPID TOOLING MOLD DESIGN SYSTEM 123
4.2 SUPPORTING MODULES AND THEIR IMPLEMENTATIONS 124
4.2.1 ACIS Manipulation Module and Part Representation 124
4.2.2 Problem PDLP and LINGO® 128
4.2.3 GUI and Control Options 128
vii
4.3 THE IMPLEMENTATION AND LIMITATIONS OF MOLD DESIGN
MODULES 129
4.3.1 Region Generation 130
4.3.2 Region Combination 132
4.3.3 Mold Piece Construction 135
4.4 INTUITIVE EXAMPLE PARTS 136
4.4.1 Test Example 1: A Box with a Rib 137
4.4.2 Test Example 2: A Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves 141
4.5 INDUSTRIAL CASES 145
4.5.1 Industrial Example 1: A Housing 146
4.5.2 Industrial Example 2: A Thin Wall Part 150
4.5.3 Industrial Example 3: A Complex Housing 152
4.6 EVALUATION OF EXAMPLES AND CASES 155
4.6.1 Region Generation Process 155
4.6.2 Region Combination Process 156
4.6.3 Mold Piece Construction Process 157
4.6.4 The Whole Process of RTMDS 158
4.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 4 159
CHAPTER 5
FORMULATING DESIGN REQUIREMENTS FOR RAPID TOOLING AS
GEOMETRIC TAILORING PROBLEM 162
5.1 PROPERTIES OF RAPID TOOLING 163
5.1.1 Mold Material Properties 163
5.1.2 Mold Fabrication Properties 165
5.1.3 Part Properties of the AIM Tooling 166
5.2 PRINCIPLES OF FUNCTIONAL TESTING AND GEOMETRIC TAILORING 167
5.2.1 Principle of Functional Testing – Buckingham Π Theorem 167
5.2.2 Similarity Methods 168
5.2.3 Fundamentals of Geometric Tailoring 169
5.3 DESIGN DECISION TEMPLATE FOR MGT 171
5.3.1 MGT Decision Template and its Methodology 174
5.3.2 Formulation of the MGTDT 176
5.4 USAGE OF MGTDT 178
5.4.1 Formulating Functional Properties in the MGTDT 178
5.4.2 Formulating and Solving the MGT Problem 181
5.5 INITIAL CASE STUDIES 181
5.5.1 Building Prototypes of a Tensile Bar 182
5.5.2 Building Prototypes of a Rib Part 188
5.5.3 Building Prototypes of a Ring Gear 198
5.6 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 5 209
CHAPTER 6
A DECISIONBASED DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING SYSTEM 212
viii
6.1 OVERVIEW OF DESIGN FOR RAPID TOOLING SYSTEM 213
6.2 PROCESSING PLANNING OF THE AIM TOOLING 216
6.2.1 SLA Process Planner 216
6.2.2 Stereolithography Mold Life Predictor 218
6.2.3 Rapid Tooling Cost Estimator 221
6.3 MPGT DECISION TEMPLATE AND MPGT PROBLEM FORMULATION 222
6.3.1 MPGTDT 223
6.3.2 MPGT Problem Formulation 226
6.4 SOLVING THE MPGT PROBLEM 229
6.4.1 Solution Strategy 229
6.4.2 Solution Process and Implementations 233
6.5 COMPARISON OF THE CURRENT USAGE AND DFRTS 238
6.6 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 6 242
CHAPTER 7
FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES OF A ROBOT ARM 246
7.1 A ROBOT ARM DESIGN – PROBLEM DESCRIPTION 247
7.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS 248
7.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS – MODELING 253
7.3.1 MPGT Decision Template for the Robot Arm 253
7.3.2 Modeling Design Functions 256
7.3.3 Modeling Fabrication Processes 261
7.3.4 MPGT Problem Formulation 262
7.4 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS – SOLVING 265
7.4.1 Solving Discrete Variables 265
7.4.2 Solving Other Variables 269
7.4.3 Selecting A Solution 274
7.4.4 PostSolution Analysis 274
7.5 PHYSICAL VALIDATION 278
7.5.1 Build Time Validation 278
7.5.2 Accuracy Validation 279
7.5.3 Surface Finish Validation 280
7.5.4 Material Property Validation 281
7.5.5 Geometry and Weight Validation 281
7.5.6 Mold Life Validation 283
7.5.7 Summary of Physical Validation 284
7.6 EVALUATION OF ROBOT ARM CASE – POST DFRTS 285
7.7 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 7 287
CHAPTER 8
FUNCTIONAL PROTOTYPES OF A CAMERA ROLLER 290
8.1 A CAMERA ROLLER DESIGN – PROBLEM DESCRIPTION 291
8.2 MOLD DESIGN WITH AID OF RTMDS 293
8.3 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS – PROBLEM ANALYSIS 299
ix
8.4 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS – MODELING 303
8.4.1 Modeling Design Functions 303
8.4.2 Modeling Fabrication Processes 311
8.4.3 MPGT Problem Formulation 313
8.5 GEOMETRIC TAILORING WITH AID OF DFRTS – SOLVING 317
8.5.1 Solving Discrete Variables 317
8.5.2 Solving Continuous Variables 321
8.5.3 Selecting A Solution 323
8.5.4 PostSolution Analysis 323
8.6 PHYSICAL VALIDATION 326
8.7 EVALUATION OF CAMERA ROLLER CASE – POST DFRTS 329
8.8 SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 8 331
CHAPTER 9
ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 334
9.1 ANSWERING THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS 335
9.1.1 Research Question Overview 335
9.1.2 Answering Research Questions 337
9.2 ACHIEVEMENTS: REVIEW OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS 340
9.3 CRITICAL ANALYSIS: LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH 343
9.4 FUTURE WORK 345
APPENDIX A
RTMDS IMPLEMENTATION 348
A.1 CODE FILES OF RTMDS 349
A.2 CLASSES OF RTMDS 351
A.3 IMPLEMENTATION ON ACIS 352
A.4 IMPLEMENTATION ON LINGO 354
APPENDIX B
CAMERA ROLLER CASE STUDY: COMPLETE SOLUTIONS OF THE
MODIFIED MPGT PROBLMES 356
B.1 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES
1~6 OF PO1 357
B.2 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES
1~6 OF PO2 358
B.3 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES
1~6 OF PO3 359
B.4 SOLUTIONS OBTAINED FROM OPTDESX FOR SLICING SCHEMES
1~6 OF PO4 360
REFERENCES 361
VITA 375
x
LIST OF TABLES
xi
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. 321
Table 8.14  Solutions Obtained for Slicing Scheme 1 for Different Starting
Points. 322
Table 8.15  Objective Function Values Obtained for Different Slicing Schemes. 323
Table 8.16 – Solutions of the MPGT Problem for Camera Roller. 323
Table 8.17  Values of Goals and Intermediate Responses for the Solution. 323
Table 8.18  Target Modification Experiments. 325
Table 8.19 – Results of Target Modification Experiments. 325
Table 8.20 – Percent Change of the Goals for Target Modification Experiments. 325
Table 8.21  Values of System Variables for Target Modification Experiments. 326
Table 8.22  Injection Molding Parameters Used for the Camera Roller. 328
Table 8.23  Solutions of Sequential and Concurrent Solution Process. 330
Table 8.24  Goals Achievements for Sequential and Concurrent Solution
Processes. 330
xiii
LIST OF FIGURES
xiv
Figure 2.17  The Compromise DSP with Modifications based on the Linear
Physical Programming Model (Hernandez and Mistree, 2001). 66
Figure 2.18  Class Function Regions for a Generic ith Objective (Hernandez
and Mistree, 2001). 68
Figure 2.19  The Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Chen, 1995). 69
Figure 2.20 – Summary of Chapter 2 and Preview of Chapter 3. 71
Figure 3.1 – The Elements of the MultiPiece Mold Design Method. 73
Figure 3.2 – Relationship between the Elements of MPMDM and Dissertation
Hypotheses. 74
Figure 3.3 – An Approach Based on Vmap. 76
Figure 3.4 – Examples for the Problem Formulation. 76
Figure 3.5 – Mold Pieces for a Pocket with Empty VMap. 77
Figure 3.6 – Steps of the Mold Design Process. 80
Figure 3.7 – Demoldability of Mold Pieces. 81
Figure 3.8 – Demoldability of Neighboring Mold Pieces. 83
Figure 3.9 – Dividing of Concave Regions. 85
Figure 3.10 – Splitting of a Combined Region. 86
Figure 3.11 – Concave Regions and Combined Regions. 87
Figure 3.12 – Combined Region Example. 88
Figure 3.13 – Edge Classification. 89
Figure 3.14 – Different Splitting Faces and Orders. 91
Figure 3.15 – PD Evaluation Approach. 96
Figure 3.16 – A Region with Different Mesh Size. 98
Figure 3.17 – Different Draft Angles. 98
Figure 3.18 – Relationships Between Regions and Minimum Draft Angle. 99
Figure 3.19 – Edges and Faces of a Region in a CXF Combining Step. 100
Figure 3.20 – Edges and Faces of Two CRs in a Combining Step. 102
Figure 3.21 – Different Combining Results of a Part. 104
Figure 3.22– Face Dividing for A Region of Cavity. 105
Figure 3.23 – Two Example Parts for Combining Order. 107
Figure 3.24 – Regions and Mold Pieces of a Part. 107
Figure 3.25 – An Example of a Boolean Mold Base and Mold Pieces. 109
Figure 3.26 – Glue Faces of an Example Part. 111
Figure 3.27 – Generation of Inner Glue Faces. 113
Figure 3.28 – Process of Face Generation. 114
Figure 3.29 – An Example for Coedge Splitting. 116
Figure 3.30 – An Example of Different Parting Surface. 118
Figure 3.31 – Partial Theoretical Validation. 119
Figure 3.32  Summary of Chapter 3 and Preview of Chapter 4 121
Figure 4.1 – The Organization and Data Flow of the RTMDS. 123
Figure 4.2 – The Process to Generate an Input File for RTMDS. 125
Figure 4.3 – Focus of the ACIS Entity Classes in RTMDS. 126
Figure 4.4 – The Relationship of Topology Entity Classes in ACIS. 127
Figure 4.5 – Screen Capture of the RTMDS Interface. 128
xv
Figure 4.6 – Setting Tolerance Values in RTMDS. 129
Figure 4.7 – A Simple Example of Face Splitting. 131
Figure 4.8 – Two Examples of Face Splitting. 131
Figure 4.9 – A Complicated Example of Face Splitting. 132
Figure 4.10 – The Combining Order of Faces in a Same Plane. 133
Figure 4.11 – An Example for Setting Tolerance Value. 134
Figure 4.12 – Mold Pieces for a Pocket with Empty VMap. 136
Figure 4.13 – A Test Example of a Rib Part. 138
Figure 4.14 – Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Test Example 1. 139
Figure 4.15 – Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for Test Example 1. 140
Figure 4.16 – A Test Example of a Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves. 141
Figure 4.17 – Illustration of the Running Results of Test Example 2. 142
Figure 4.18 – Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2. (Step 1~7) 143
Figure 4.19 – Graphical Results of Mold Design for Test Example 2 (Step 8). 144
Figure 4.20 – A Housing for A Phone Adapter. 146
Figure 4.21 – Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 1. 148
Figure 4.22 – Physical Validation of the Mold Design for Industrial Example 1. 149
Figure 4.23 – A Thin Wall Part for A Phone Adapter. 150
Figure 4.24 – Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 2. 151
Figure 4.25 – Generated Mold Pieces for Industrial Example 2. 152
Figure 4.26 – A Complex Housing. 153
Figure 4.27 – Region Combination (2 regions). 153
Figure 4.28 – Mold Pieces for Industrial Part 3. 154
Figure 4.29 – Relations of Region Generation Time with Face/Edge Number. 156
Figure 4.30 – Relations of Region Combination Time with Face/Edge Number. 157
Figure 4.31 – Relations of Mold Piece Construction Time with Face/Edge
Number. 158
Figure 4.32 – Relations of Mold Design Running Time with Face/Edge Number. 158
Figure 4.33 – Empirical Structural and Performance Validation for Hypothesis 1. 160
Figure 4.34 – Summary of Chapter 4 and Preview of Chapter 5. 161
Figure 5.1– Maximum Tensile and Shear Strength of SL5170 Versus Temp. 164
Figure 5.2 – Stair Stepping Effect of Layer Manufacturing and Reason. 165
Figure 5.3 – Fundamental Terms and Concept of the ESM [Cho, 1999 #964]. 169
Figure 5.4 – Steps of a Scenario based on the MGT Decision Template. 172
Figure 5.5 – The Decision Template for the MGT and Design Freedom. 174
Figure 5.6  A Cantilever Beam. 179
Figure 5.7 – The Illustration of a Tensile Bar Example. 183
Figure 5.8 – Photo of SLA Tools and Prototype Tensile Bars. 186
Figure 5.9 – Photo of Prototype Tensile Bars Used for Tensile test. 187
Figure 5.10 – Quality Distribution and Geometric Tailoring. 188
Figure 5.11 – The Illustration of a Rib Example. 189
Figure 5.12 – Geometry Variables of the Rib by Adding Draft Angle. 191
Figure 5.13 – Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Rib Part. 193
Figure 5.14 – Graphical Relations of The Maximum Deflection and Variables. 194
xvi
Figure 5.15 – Parts Produced by SLA Molds. 197
Figure 5.16 – SLA Molds and Pullout Failure. 198
Figure 5.17 – The Ring Gear and the Speed Reducer of a Cordless Drill. 198
Figure 5.18 – Some Terminology Describing a Spur Gear (Shigley and Mischke,
1989). 199
Figure 5.19 – Fatigue of Ring Gear. 200
Figure 5.20 – Two Screen Dumps of Experiment Results for Ring Gear. 204
Figure 5.21 – Graphical Relation of the Maximum Stress with PD and W. 205
Figure 5.22 – A Photo of the Prototype Ring Gears. 208
Figure 5.23 – A SLA Mold Piece in a Standard Mold Plate. 208
Figure 5.24– Summary of Hypothesis Validation. 210
Figure 5.25 – Summary of Chapter 5 and Preview of Chapter 6. 211
Figure 6.1 – Relations of DFRT, Geometric Tailoring and DFM. 213
Figure 6.2 – Infrastructure of the DFRTS and Related Sections. 214
Figure 6.3 – Research Scope of the DFRTS. 215
Figure 6.4 – Screen Capture of the SLA Process Planner. 218
Figure 6.5 – Screen Capture of SL Mold Life Predictor. 221
Figure 6.6 – Relations of Designer’s Requirements and MGTDT/MPGTDT. 222
Figure 6.7 – Relations of the MPGTDT and MPGT Problem. 225
Figure 6.8 – Possible Values of PO and LTi for a Example Part. 230
Figure 6.9 – The Solution Strategy for the MPGT Problem. 231
Figure 6.10 – Two Subproblems of the MPGT. 232
Figure 6.11 – The Solution Process of the DFRTS. 234
Figure 6.12 – Surface Finish Test Piece. 235
Figure 6.13 – The Current Usage of RT and Related Decision Order of Variables. 239
Figure 6.14 – The DFRTS and Related Decision Order of Variables. 240
Figure 6.15 – A Two Variable Design Space [Karandikar, 1991 #269]. 241
Figure 6.16 – Summary of Chapter 6 and Preview of Chapter 7. 245
Figure 7.1 – A Robot Arm Design. 247
Figure 7.2 – Generated Regions for the Robot Arm. 249
Figure 7.3 – Graphical Results of a Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 250
Figure 7.4 – Graphical Results of Another Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 251
Figure 7.5 – A Completer Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 252
Figure 7.6 – Physical Validation of the Mold Design for the Robot Arm. 252
Figure 7.7 – Processrelated Goals of Robot Arm Design. 253
Figure 7.8 – Example ANSYS Output of Analysis for the Robot Arm. 257
Figure 7.9 – Graphical Relations of Responses and Variables. 259
Figure 7.10 – Validation Experiment Design for the Response Surfaces. 260
Figure 7.11 – Some Process Planning Goals. 262
Figure 7.12 – Two Considered Mold Designs for the Robot Arm. 266
Figure 7.13 – Four Considered Part Orientations for the Mold Designs. 267
Figure 7.14 – Eight Considered Slicing Schemes for the Part Orientations. 268
Figure 7.15 – InterRelationship Diagram of Goals and Variables. 275
Figure 7.16– Objective Function vs. Iteration No. for Modified MPGT Problem. 276
xvii
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
xviii
NOMENCLATURE
xix
MPC Mold Piece Construction
MPD Mold Parting Direction
MPGT MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring
MPGTDT MaterialProcess Geometric Tailoring Decision Template
MPMDM MultiPiece Mold Design Method
NF Neighboring Face
OptdesX Engineering Optimization Software
PC Personal Computer
PD Parting Direction
PE Parting Edge
PIM Powder Injection Molding
PL Parting Line
PO Part Orientation in SLA Process
PS Parting Surface
R2, R2adj 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
RCEM Robust Concept Exploration Method
Response Performance parameter of the system, i.e., a system constraint or goal
RM Rapid Manufacturing
RMCD Regionbased Mold Configuration Design
RSE Response Surface Equation
RSM Response Surface Methodology
RTMDS Rapid Tooling Mold Design System
RTTB Rapid Tooling TestBed
RP Rapid Prototyping
SLA Stereolithography Apparatus
Vmap Visibility Map
xx
SUMMARY
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
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
xxi
running time of the system is tested for each part. The mold design results are also
basic idea of this work is that for Rapid Tooling the burden of designformanufacture
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
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
xxii
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
CHAPTER 1
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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 higher
quality 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 designer’s
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 DaimlerBenz’s 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.
3
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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.
4
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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 Blaupunkt’s 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).
5
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
6
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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.
Mold Mold
CAD Physical
Model Model
7
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
8
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Designer Manufacturer
Part
CAD
Model Mold CAD Model
Mold build by RP
Mold after Epoxy Back Fill Injection Part
9
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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 Designfor
Manufacture (DFM) step in order to get a fabricatable part design. The task of Design
forManufacture 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 isn’t
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 lead
time 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
10
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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 lead
time 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.
11
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Event Timeline
12
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13
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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.
14
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Better Part
Design
Part Design Mold Design
Parameters & Parameters &
Variables Variables
Mold Design
Attributes
Part Design Function
Cost
Testing Time
Rapid Quality, etc
Designer Prototyping
Manufacturer Process
Planning
RP Process IJM Process
Parameters & Parameters &
Functional Injection Variables Variables
Prototypes Molding
Process
Planning
15
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
16
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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.
(a)
Determine Check Part for
Determine
Parting Draft Angle,
Mold Parting Lines
Surface Thickness, etc.
Configuration
Design
(choose layout) Determine Part Determine external and
Orientation and Determine Core internal side actions and
Position in Mold and Cavity movement requirements,
Base if any
Determine part
Splitting mold
shrinkage and
Mold Base Selection base into mold
apply shrinkage
pieces
compensation
(b)
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Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Cavity
Sprue
Master
Frame
Runner
BPlate
Leader
Pin
Ejector
Plate
18
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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.
19
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
20
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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 design’s 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
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Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
22
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Considerations
on Topology,
Assembly,
Design for etc.
Manufacture
Geometric
Tailoring Mold Design
(Chp 5)
Design for
Rapid Tooling
(Chp 6)
IJM Process RP Process
Planning Planning
23
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
1.3.1 The Principal Goal, Research Questions and Hypotheses in the Dissertation
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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Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
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 multi
piece mold designs for Rapid Tooling.
There is a onetoone correspondence between the supporting questions and sub
hypotheses. 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?
25
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
26
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Theoretical Theoretical
Structural Performance
Validity Validity
Empirical Empirical
Structural Performance
Validity Validity
27
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
28
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
29
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Chapter 1
Functional Prototype Using Rapid # Intorduction, Motivation, Foundation
Identification
Tooling # Research question, hypotheses
Problem
# Review different mold design methods
Chapter 2 from existing literature
A Literature Review: Mold Design # Review different DFM methods and
and DesignforManufacture solving techniques
# Present technological foundations
Development of Method
piece Molds: Methods Mold construction method and algorithms
Chapter 7 DFRTS
Functional Prototypes of a Robot Arm # Provide verification of methods
30
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
31
Chapter 1 – Functional Prototype Using Rapid Tooling
Part Design
Parametric
Part Design
CAD Model
Requirements
of Part
Processor
Tailored Part Design and
related Mold Design, RP and
CDSP Template
IJM Process Parameters
Part P Part P
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3 Given
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F6 F8
An alternative to be improved throughmodification; Assumptions usedto modelthe domainof interest.
F2 The systemparameters:
n number of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints
p equality constraints q inequalityconstraints
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
m number of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function
fk(di ) function of deviation variables to be minimizedatpriority level k for the preemptive case.
F4 Find
Values for the systemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n
F7 F7 Values for the deviation variables  +
di , di i = 1, ... , m
Satisfy
Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear)
Part P gi(X) = 0 ; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) ≥ 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q
Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear)
PD1
Mold Base Bounds
Ai(X) + di  di+= Gi ; i = 1, ..., m
F4
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2
Fn
R2 F7
PD2
32
Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
33
Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
34
Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
(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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
Feasible withdrawal
directions Drawrange
CR
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 V
maps 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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
(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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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
(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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 (Mantÿlä, 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).
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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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
(Mantÿlä, 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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 world’s 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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 fabricator’s
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 information
oriented 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 “don’t 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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 sub
tasks 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 Computer
aided 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 co
modeling. 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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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.
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
COMPROMISE DSP
Keywords Descriptors
Given An alternative to be improved through modification;
assumptions, system parameters, constraints,
bounds, goals, and the deviation function.
Find Values of system variables and deviation variables.
Satisfy System constraints and bounds (feasibility), and goals
(desired target values or objectives).
Minimize A deviation function.
Figure 2.15  Word formulation of a Compromise DSP problem (Mistree, et al., 1993).
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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
Find
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
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 Š Xi Š 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 = Σ Wi (di  + di +) ; Σ Wi = 1; Wi 0; i = 1,...,m
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
(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 cDSP’s 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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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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
Satisfy
System constraints (linear, nonlinear)
gi ( x ) = 0 ; i = 1, …, p
gi ( x ) ≥ 0 ; i = p+1, …, p+q
A (x)≤t
i
+ +
i ,5 i = 1, …, h
Ai− ( x ) ≥ ti−,5 i = 1, …, m
System goals (linear, nonlinear)
Ai+ ( x ) + d i−,k − d i+,k − d i+,k +1 = t i+,k i = 1, …, h; k = 1,…,4; d i+,5 = 0
Ai− ( x ) + d i−,k − d i+,k + d i−,k +1 = t i−,k i = 1, …, m; k = 1,…,4; d i−,5 = 0
Bounds
ximin ≤ xi ≤ ximax ; i = 1, …, n
+ −
d ,d ≥ 0 ;
i ,k l ,k i = 1, …, h; l = 1,…,m
d + . d i−,k = 0 ;
i ,k i = 1, … h,…m
Minimize
Lexicographic Formulation
Deviation function with four preemptive levels: Z = [ z1 ,..., z 4 ]
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
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
zi Class1S
~
z5
~z 4
~
z3
~z 2
gi ( x )
ti+1 t i+2 ti+3 t i+4 t i+5
Highly
Ideal Desirable Tolerable Undesirable Unacceptable
Undesirable
zi
Class2S
~z 5
~z 4
~z 3
~z 2
gi ( x )
ti−5 t i−4 t i−3 t i−2 ti−1
Highly
Unacceptable Undesirable Tolerable Desirable Ideal
Undesirable
zi
Class3S
gi ( x )
− − − − + + + +
t i5 t i4 t i3 t i2 ti1 t i2 t i3 t i4 t i5
Highly Highly
Unacceptable Undesirable Tolerable Desirable Desirable Tolerable Undesirable Unacceptable
Undesirable Undesirable
zi
Class4S
gi ( x )
t i−5 t i−4 t i−3 t i−2 t − t +
i1
t i+2 t +
i3 t +
i4 t i+5
i1
Highly Highly
Unacceptable Undesirable Tolerable Desirable Ideal Desirable Tolerable Undesirable Unacceptable
Undesirable Undesirable
Figure 2.18  Class Function Regions for a Generic ith Objective (Hernandez and Mistree,
2001).
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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
D. Experiments Analyzer
Design of Experiments
PlackettBurman Input and Output
Eliminate unimportant factors
Full Factorial Design
Fractional Factorial Design Reduce the design space to the region Processor
Taguchi Orthogonal Array of interest
Central Composite Design Plan additional experiments Simulation Program
etc.
Figure 2.19  The Robust Concept Exploration Method (RCEM) (Chen, 1995).
69
Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
Design variables are defined as either control factors (under designer’s 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 top
level 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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Chapter 2 – A Literature Review: Mold Design and DesignforManufacture
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 Part P
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F2 F6 F8
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
F4
F7 F7
Part P
PD1
Mold Base
F1 R3
R1 F9 M1 F1
F3
(3) PD1
F3
F2 F8 F2
PL1
F6
F5 Fn M2 F5 Mk
F4
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2
Fn
R2 F7
PD2
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
CHAPTER 3
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F2 F6 F8
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
F4
F7 F7
Part P
PD1
Mold Base
F1 R3
R1 F9 M1 F1
F3
(3) PD1
F3
F2 F8 F2
PL1
F6
F5 Fn M2 F5 Mk
F4
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2
Fn
R2 F7
PD2
72
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
A Mold
A Mold Configuration Design Process Construction
Process
Mold
Base
73
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
MultiPiece Problem MD
Mold Design
Method
Problem MCD Problem MPC
H1
A Mold
A Mold Configuration Design Process Construction
Process
H1.1
An approach H1.2
An approach to H1.3
An approach
to generate combine basic to construct
basic elements elements mold pieces
Mold
Base
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 multi
piece 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.
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
(a) A part (b) Pockets of the part (c) Spherical polygon of the pockets
PD
PD1
PD2
PD2+
PD1+
76
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 M2
F
PD2
P
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
78
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
79
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
Part P Part P
Section Section
3.4 3.5
F1 F1
F9
F9
F3 F3
F2 F8 (1) F2 F8 (2)
F6 F6
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
F4
F7 F7
Fn M2 F5
F5 F4 Mk
F4 PL2 Rk
F7
PD2
Fn
F7
R2
PD2
80
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
comparison with the basic elements of other approaches. Finally an approach and two
algorithms to generate them are described in Section 3.4.3.
PDi
PDi + η(Fj) PDj
+ PDi
 
Fj PDi Mj
Ri PEi Mi
Fi PEi Fi Fj Fi Fj Fi Fj
Rj
PEi PEi
(1) (2) (3)
81
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
82
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
PDj
PDi PDj PDi
PDi PDj PDj PDi
PEi Rj
Ri
CEj Fj
CEi
Fi Mi Mi Mj Mi Mj
CEi Mj CEi CEi
(1) (2) (3)
(a) Two neighboring regions (b) Relation of Parting Direction of the regions
83
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 region’s 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.
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 η(F1); any PD2 for R2’ makes an angle from 0o to 90o with the outward
normal η(F2), as shown in Figure 3.9.b. If only F1 and F2 are considered, the feasible
region of PD for R’ is from η1 to η2. 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 η3 to η2
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
F6
F3
R 1' R 2'
η1
R 1' η6 η4
η3 F4
η2
F2 F6 PD2 R 2'
F1 E12 F1 PD1
F5
F4
E12 F2
F3
R'
(a) Two neighboring regions (b) Relation of Parting Direction of the regions
85
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
R1
R1 + P
Fi Fi
Fi +

+ Ei Fj ' R1 R2
Fj
R2
Fi  Fi ' Fi
convex
Fi '
edge
 concave concave
R2 P
Fi concave Fj edge edge
edge convex
Fj ' Fj
edge
86
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
(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.
R1
R3
R1
R4 R
R2
R2
F
R3
(a) Four concave regions (b) A combined region and three concave regions
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 F2
R2
R5
R R1 R4
R3
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
A F1
F2
C
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
A F B A F B
B
R (1)
A F4
F1 C C
(F1 > F3) (F1 > F2> F4)
F F2
PD A F B A F B
C
F3
(2)
C C
(F1 > F2> F3) (Divide all)
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
Algorithm Analysis of Complete_Split_Region:
In the algorithm CSR, the main steps are (4), (5) and (6). Other steps can be omitted
compared to them. For the first splitting, n faces will be handled and a•n will be divided.
Therefore we will get n + a•n = b•n faces. For the second splitting, b•n faces will be
handled and a• (b•n) will be divided. So for the third splitting, b•n + a• (b•n) = b2•n
need to be handled and a• (b2•n) will be split. Similarly, for the mth splitting, bm•n need
to be handled. Suppose the analysis of each face is Θ(1), the running time of the
algorithm is:
T ( n, m) = n + b ⋅ n + b2 ⋅ n + b3 ⋅ n +...+ bm ⋅ n = n ⋅ (1 + b + b2 +...+ bm )
= n ⋅ [( bm − 1) / ( b − 1)] = Θ( n ⋅ bm )
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
b b b
= n + b ⋅ n + b2 ⋅ n +...+2m' −1{( )m' −1 ⋅ n + 2T [( )m' ⋅ n,( )m' ⋅ m)]
2 2 2
= n + b ⋅ n + b2 ⋅ n +...+ bm' −1 ⋅ n + bm' ⋅ n = n ⋅ [( bm' − 1) / ( b − 1)]
1
lg b / 2
= Θ( n ⋅ bm' ) = Θ( n ⋅ b m
)
1
lg
b
1 lg b / 2 b 1 b lg 1− lg b lg 1− lg b
lg b / 2 1 lg b / 2 lg
since b m
= =m b
=m 2
= m lg b− lg 2 , T ( n, m) = Θ( n ⋅ m lg b− lg 2 ) .
m
lg 1− lg b
For any 1< b <1.412, 0 < r =
lg b− lg 2
<1 . So T ( n, m) = Θ( n ⋅ mr ) = Ο( n ⋅ m) = Ο( c ⋅ n 2 ) .
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 η (ηx, ηy, ηz) which forms an angle α with a direction PD
(dx, dy, dz), the value dp = η•PD = ηx dx + ηy dy + ηz dz = η PD cos(α). dp can evaluate
the value of α. If we take η and PD as unit vectors (η=1, PD=1), dp = cos(α). Also
since a face Fi with bigger area (Ai) should have a bigger influence on the selection of
parting direction, Ai•dpi can be used to evaluate the ease of ejection for the face in PD.
Ai•dpi is also the projected area of the face in PD because dp = cos(α).
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 η(Fi) = (ηix, ηiy, ηiz) 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:
η1x dx + η1y dy + η1z dz ≥ 0
η2x dx + η2y dy + η2z dz ≥ 0
…
ηnx dx + ηny dy + ηnz 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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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
PD2
PD1 F1
Si
F2
(0, 0, 0)
PD1
R
(a) Planar faces of a sphere (b) Relations between Problem PDOP and PDLP
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
(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 = ηi•PD =
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 = η1 x η2 and PD2 = η2 x η1 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; Time = 0.16 second.
(b) Maximum deviation: 0.0001”; Number of faces: 143; Time = 0.17 second.
(c) Maximum deviation: 0.00001”; Number of faces: 224; Time = 0.20 second.
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
R R R
PD1
F F F F
PD2
98
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 γ. By setting df = sin (γ) 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 γ = 1.5o is nonnoticeable when they
are displayed on a monitor.
PD2
R
R2
R1
PD1
(a) (b)
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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) = c•n(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.
Core Faces
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 (ηxNF1, ηyNF1, ηzNF1) to form an additional plane constraint:
dpi+1 = η xNF1d x + η yNF1d y + η 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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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 CR1' of Part P
Faces
102
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
n
since the combining cost of a convex face is O( ) as shown in Section 3.5.3, the time
m
cost of algorithm CR is:
n a⋅n n n2
T ( n, m) = k ⋅ m ⋅ NF ⋅ = ⋅ = 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
F4 Combining result 1:R1+F1+F3+F4+F5+F6, R2
F1
R1 Combining result 2:R1+F1+F3+F4+F5, R2+F6
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 PD1
Top view of F
PD2
PD2 F CR1 F2 L1
CR2 CR1 CR2 O1
C2
F M C1
O2
L2 F1
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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 µm 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,
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
F2
R2
PD2 F1
PD1 R4
R1
R3
R2
PD2 PL2(PL3)
M2
R2 M3
Convex R3
Face PD3
(a) Regions and convex faces (b) Regions (c) Related Mold Pieces
107
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
PF
P
↑Fout M’
MB
Glue Face 2
M1
Part ~F(R1)
M ' = MBP Glue
Glue Face 1 Fout M’
M2
Reverse ~F(R2)
Glue
PF Fin M’
Glue Face 1
↓Fout M’
Glue Face 2
109
Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
CPL2
F8
M2
(a) Parting edges and EFout in M’ (b) Glue faces (c) Generated mold pieces
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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:
Problem GFG: Glue Face Generation. A solid part MB’ is given in the
Boundary Representation, which has two shells with outside faces (Fout) and inside faces
(Fin) respectively. Suppose a planar parting surface PS and a parting direction PD are
given. Further suppose a closed edge loop EFout, which is the intersection of Fout with PS,
is given with several closed edge loops CPLi (1≤ i≤ k), which are composed by some
edges of Fin. Generate faces F1 ~ Fm such that:
a. Fi are planar (1≤ i≤ m) .
b. Suppose set E1(EFout, CPL1,…, CPLk) are all the edges of EFout and CPLi (1≤ i≤ k),
and set E2(F1,…,Fm) are the boundary edges of Union(F1, …, Fm). Two sets
should be the same, that is E1 = E2.
c. Fi (1≤ i≤ m) satisfy the disassembly requirements for a mold piece, that is,
normal(Fi) •PD ≥ 0 (Equation (3.1)).
Among CPLi (1≤ i≤ k), suppose CPL1 is the loop with the biggest projection area in
PS. To connect faces Fout and Fin, and separate faces ~F(R1) and ~F(R2) in M’, three
kinds of glues faces, GFps, GFproj, and GFinner, exist.
(1) Glue face on the parting surface (GFps):
GFps connects the faces of Fout with the outer parting loops CPLi (if CPLi is on PS),
or with project glue faces GFproj (if CPLi is not on PS). Usually GFps has only an outer
loop (Lpso) and an inner loop (Lpsi). The outer loop L pso is formed by the intersection of
Fout with PS, and the inner loop Lpsi is formed by the projection of the CPL1 onto PS. In
Figure 3.26.b, F1 is a GFps.
(2) Glue faces by projection (GFproj):
Disassembling a mold piece in direction PD is similar to sweeping the faces of the
mold piece along PD. Thus we can generate glue faces for edges of CPL1 in the same
principle. GFproj connect CPL1 with GFps. So for each parting edge ei of CPL1, if it is not
on PS, project it onto PS to get a new edge eip. A new glue face is generated by ei, eip and
edges to connect them. In Figure 3.26.b, F2 ~ F7 are GFproj.
An algorithm to generate GFps and GFproj from CPL1 and EFout is presented below.
Algorithm: Glue_Faces_Outer_Loop
Input: A linked parting loop CPL1, parting surface PS and M’.
Output: A set SGF of glue faces GFps and GFproj.
(1) initialize edge array pe, se;
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
E1
LR1
R1
f3
E2
CPL2 E4
E3 f2
LR2
R2
f1
(a) Part with a snap fit (b) Linked parting loops (c) Resulted inner glue faces
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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
(0) (2) f1 f2 f1
(2) (1) (1)
(1) (0)
(0)
(4)
(0) (0)
(2) (1)
(0) (2)
LR2 (4) f3 (4)
(4)
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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;
(9) else ne ← make_edge (esn, esn+m); // new edge to form a closed loop
(10) generate coedges cne1 and cne2 from ne; // if ne = null, cne1 and cne2 are null
(11 ) gf_inner ← make_face(Sce, cne1); // generate new face
(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(ne•lgne), 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.
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
PS
E
E1
V GFinter1
E3
E2
PE1
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
M1 M1 M1
PF3 PF3
M1
e2 e1 e2 e1
PF1 PF2
P
P P P
M2 M2 M2 M2
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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
H1
H1.3
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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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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Chapter 3 – The MultiPiece Mold Design Method
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.
Part P Part P
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F2 F6 F8
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
F4
F7 F7
Part P
PD1
Mold Base
F1 R3
R1 F9 M1 F1
F3
(3) PD1
F3
F2 F8 F2
PL1
F6
F5 Fn M2 F5 Mk
F4
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2
Fn
R2 F7
PD2
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Mold
(1) Region (2) Region (3) Mold Piece Input
Step 2 Base
Step 1 Generation Combination Step 3 Construction
CAD
Module Module Module
Model
ACIS Manipulation
Module
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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).
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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
(1) (2)
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Figure 4.3 – Focus of the ACIS Entity Classes in RTMDS (Spatial Technology,
2000).
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
Toolbar
Drawing
Area
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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 Euler’s
Rule can be used to check if a model is manifold (Mäntylä, 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 SS
F F
+ +
F1 F2 F+
SS SS
SS SS
F F 
F
F F
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
SS
F
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
F2
F3 F4 F1
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
y x
R1
z
F
R2
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Inner Parting
Loop Parting
Surface
Table 4.1 – The Complexities of the Example Parts in Section 4.4 and 4.5.
Complexity Example Part Example Part Industrial Part Industrial Part Industrial Part
1 (Section 2 (Section 1 (Section 2 (Section 3 (Section
4.4.1) 4.4.2) 4.5.1) 4.5.2) 4.5.3)
Low X X
Medium X X
High X
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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 multi
piece 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.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Region
Region
Convex Convex
Faces Face
(a) Region Generation (1 region+ 6 CXFs) (b) Region Combination (1 region+ 1 CXF)
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Region
Parting
Surface
Convex
Faces
(a) Region Combination Result with the Parting Surface (1 region + 5 CXFs)
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
4.4.2 Test Example 2: A Box with a Through Hole and Two Grooves
Input SAT file size: 23 KB.
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.
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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
R2 4 concave faces
5 concave edges 1 region
4 concave faces
1 region
R1
4 concave edges
4 concave faces
1 region
6 convex faces
z
x
y
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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
R1
Convex
Faces
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
GFinner
GFps
GFinner
GFps
(b) Mold Piece M2’ for R2 and R3 (c) Mold Base and the Parting Surface
GFps
(d) Mold Piece M2 for R2 (e) Mold Piece M3 for R3
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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 Morgan
Press 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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
R1
R2
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
F2
R
F1
R8
R4
R3 R1
R2
R7
R6
R5
R1
R2
(c) Region Combination (2 Regions)
Figure 4.24 – Graphical Results of a Mold Design for Industrial Example 2.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
R1
R2
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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(ne•lgne) (refer to
Section 3.6.2), is more timeconsuming than the algorithm to generate GFps and GFproj,
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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.
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Region Generation
3.5
3
Running Time (sec)
2.5
2
Total Face No.
1.5 Concave Face No.
1 Total Edge No.
Concave Edge No.
0.5
0
0 500 1000 1500
Face/Edge No.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Region Combination
12
10
Running Time (sec)
0
0 500 1000 1500
Face/Edge No.
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
45
40
Running Time (sec)
35
30 Total Face No.
25 Concave Face No.
20 Edge No.
15 K*ne*npe
10
5
0
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000
Face/Edge No.
Figure 4.31 – Relations of Mold Piece Construction Time with Face/Edge Number.
45
40
35
Running Time (sec)
30
Total Face No.
25 Concave Face No.
20 Total Edge No.
15 Concave Edge No.
10
5
0
0 500 1000 1500
Face/Edge No.
Figure 4.32 – Relations of Mold Design Running Time with Face/Edge Number.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
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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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
H1.3
H1
Mold pieces of the
Develop the mold piece
case stuides are
constructing module for
generated by the
Mold designs of the the combined regions
module in acceptable
Develop the RTMDS based case stuides are and a mold base. The
time, and they can be
on the MPMDM. The generated by the module can generate
used in the Rapid
system can be used to RTMDS in acceptable mold pieces for several
Tooling process to
generate mold design for time, and they can be test parts and industrial
produce prototypes.
several test parts and used to produce parts.
industrial parts. prototpyes in the Rapid
Tooling process.
Empirical Empirical
Structural Performance
Validation Validation H1.2
Develop the region Mold configurations
combining module
H1.1 based on the concave
of the case stuides
are generated by the
regions and convex module in acceptable
faces. The module can time, and they can be
Develop the region Basic elements of the
generate mold used in constructing
generation module based case stuides are
configuration design for mold pieces for the
on the basic elements of generated by the
several test parts and parts.
concave regions and module in acceptable
industrial parts.
convex faces. The time, and they can be
module can generate the used in the region
basic elements of mold combining process of
design for several test mold configuration
parts and industrial parts. design.
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Chapter 4 – RTMDS and Its Usage for Mold Design of Industrial Parts
Part P Part P
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3 Given
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F6 F8
Analternative to be improved throughmodification; Assumptions used tomodel the domain of interest.
F2 The systemparameters:
n number of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints
Fn Fn
p equality constraints q inequalityconstraints
F4 F5 F5
m number of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function
fk(di ) function of deviation variables to be minimized at priority level k for thepreemptive case.
F4 Find
Values for the systemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n
F7 F7 Values for the deviation variables di, di+ i = 1, ... , m
Satisfy
Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear)
Part P gi(X) = 0 ; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) ≥ 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q
Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear)
PD1
Mold Base Bounds
Ai(X) + di  di+ = Gi ; i = 1, ..., m
F1 R3 Xi ≤ Xi ≤ Xi ;
min max
i = 1, ..., n
R1 F9 M1 F1 Deviation variables
F3 F3
di, di+ ≥ 0 ; di . di+ = 0 ; i = 1, ..., m
(3) PD1 Minimize
F2 F8 F2 Preemptive deviation function (lexicographic minimum)
PL1
F6 Z=[f1(di,d+i ),..., fk(di, d+i )]
Archimedain deviation function
F5 Z= ∑Wi (di− + di+) where ∑W =1, W ≥ 0
F5 Fn M2 F4 Mk i i
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2
Fn
R2 F7
PD2
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
CHAPTER 5
Given
Analternative tobe improvedthroughmodification; Assumptions usedtomodelthe domainof interest.
The systemparameters:
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 tobe minimizedat prioritylevel kfor the preemptive case.
Find
Values for the systemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n
Values for the deviationvariables 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
Ximin ≤ Xi ≤ Ximax ; i = 1, ..., n
Deviationvariables
di, di+ ≥ 0; di. di+ = 0; i = 1, ..., m
Minimize
Preemptive deviationfunction(lexicographic minimum)
Z=[f1(di ,d+i ),..., fk(di,d+i )]
Archimedaindeviationfunction
Z= ∑W(d i
−
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
! 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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
(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
feature’s 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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
(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.
Table 5.1– Tensile Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene (Dawson, 1998).
Tooling Ultimate Stress Young’s Ultimate Density
(Mpa) Modulus (Gpa) Elongation (%) (g/cc)
Steel 37.4 3.2 1.3 1.045
Direct AIM 32.8 3.4 1.1 1.042
Table 5.2 – Flexural Properties Comparison for Atactic Polystyrene (Dawson, 1998).
Tooling Ultimate Stress Young’s Modulus Ultimate
(Mpa) (Gpa) Elongation (%)
Steel 67.5 3.0 2.6
Direct AIM 71.0 4.0 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
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 Π 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
LMLF OP
= 1 from the units of the variables. Therefore π =
LF
NMU 2
Q MU 2
, which is a
dimensionless variable.
Suppose π0 is the solution or root of the equation f (π) = 0, one can know
MU 2
L = π0 .
F
Therefore an experiment can be designed with M’, U’ and F’ to test L’, and calculate
π0 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 Π 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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 designfor
prototyping approach, geometric tailoring, is proposed. It is also based on the
Buckingham Π theorem. Its fundamentals are presented in the next section.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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
≤ i≤
close to dp,i (1≤ ≤ 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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 Π 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
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Designer Manufacturer
Step 1
Determine properties of interest.
Step 6
Determine attributes affected by the
material differences.
Step 2
Determine loading conditions, attributes,
and system parameters that are relevant Step 7
to the properties of interest. Formulate additional relations in the MGT
template, hence complete deisgn decision
formulation for MGT.
Step 3
Determine the importance of the attributes
and their relations with system
parameters. Step 8
Solve the formulated MGT problem.
Step 4
Formulate attributes, system parameters
and their requirements in MGT design Step 9
template. Produce prototypes for tailored part
design.
Step 5
Send MGT design template, CAD model.
and/or FEA model to the manufacturer. Step 10
Send prototypes to the designer.
Step 11
Execute the functional testing of the
prototypes.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Desired
Range Design Design
Variables Desired
Desired Functions Range
Range Fi Di
Fi = f (Di, Mi)
Designer
Manufacturer
Material Process
Properties Variables
Mi Pi
Material
Properties
Space
Figure 5.5 – The Decision Template for the MGT and Design Freedom.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 component’s 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 component’s 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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Deviation Variables:
di+, di i = 1, …, ng+nf
SATISFY:
Goals:
Fp, i / Fm,i  di+ + di = 1 i = 1, …, nf [5.3]
Fimin ≤ Fi ≤ Fimax i = 1, …, nf
MINIMIZE:
Deviation Function: Wi • (di+ + di) where ΣWi = 1, Wi ≥ 0 (i= 1, …, ng+nf)
Note:
1. Subscripts m and p denote the prototype model and the product respectively.
2. Symbol ‘**’ denotes the entries that are to be completed by the manufacturer.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 Young’s 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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
3δc
ε= [5.9]
L2
3 Iδ * YM
F= [5.10]
L3
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 production
representative 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:
k k k k
y = b0 + ∑ bi x i + ∑ bii x i + ∑ ∑b x x
2
i i j [5.11]
i =1 i =1 i=1 j = 1, i≠ j
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Fixed
L
h
t
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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 0.99•Fp to 1.01•Fp.
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+, d2
Satisfy:
! Goals:
0.5
• Width: + d −1 − d +1 = 1 [5.13]
h
F
• Maximum Force: p + d − 2 − d + 2 = 1 [5.14]
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 ),( ΣWi = 1)
Note: Symbol ‘**’ denotes the entries that are to be complemented by the manufacturer.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 Width Goal Max Force Goal h Fm
1 0.1 0.9 0.57 3.739
2 0.5 0.5 0.57 3.739
3 0.9 0.1 0.564 3.703
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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: 430 / 450 oF
Clamping Force: 11 tons
Injection Pressure: 2.5 x 103 psi
Pilot Valve Pressure: 6x10 psi
Injection Time: 35 second
Cooling Time: 200 second
Cycle Time: 6 minutes
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 Young’s 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.
Figure 5.9 – Photo of Prototype Tensile Bars Used for Tensile test.
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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 µY and σY. They are mainly determined by the capability of the manufacturing
process. For a given target value y, bias(y) = yµY. 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 µY. 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
Quality within
deviation
Probability σY specification
Distribution
bias
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
b
F
w
h
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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.
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.
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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 Young’s 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 – 14.54•hr + 16.06•α + 1.4•hr•hr + 0.67•α•α  2.24•hr•α,
where hr is the height ratio (h/b) and α 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 α 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  2•h•tan(α)
where h is the height and α 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,
α). 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.
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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  4.799•b2 + 0.093•h + 0.021 • α + 14.722•b2•b2 + 0.139•h•h –
1.281•b2•h – 0.093•b2•α  0.002•h•α
2 2
(R = 98.8%, R (adj) = 96.7%, Max. dev = 4.5%, Avg. dev = 1.98%)
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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
inch
inch
inch
inch
inch
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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.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
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:
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
• Physical Validation
For the tailored part design, the author used a SLA3500 and Morganpress injection
molding machine in producing molds and parts respectively. The material is a general
purpose 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
To
Chuck
From
Motor
Figure 5.17 – The Ring Gear and the Speed Reducer of a Cordless Drill.
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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 ω1
= . The designer may not want the manufacturer to change the number of N
N1 ω 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 σmax. Since σmin = 0
for the ring gear, one can get
mean stress (σm) = (σmax + σmin ) / 2 = σmax /2,
stress amplitude (σa) = (σmax  σmin ) / 2 = σmax /2.
σ Sa
σmax
σa
0
Time N
0
(a) Fluctuating Stress in the Gear (b) The StressLife Curve
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
• 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.
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%)
MS2,m = 15634 + 175337*W  1119*PD  386502*W*W + 631*PD*PD  9837*W*PD.
(R2 = 99.0%, R2 (adj) = 97.3%, Max. dev = 1.5%, Avg. dev = 0.8%)
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
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.
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 – 3282•4760/5430)/ (3282•4760/5430) = 14%
for T1 and (1017  1017•4760/5430)/ (1017•4760/5430) =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 220 oC
Zone 2: Melt Zone 225 oC
Zone 3: Transition Zone 230 oC
Zone 4: Metered Zone 235 oC
Zone 15 Nozzle 235 oC
Clamping Force: 50 tons
Hold Time: 15 second
Hold Pressure: 8.0 kgf/cm2
Shot Size: 40.5 mm
Cooling Time: 450 second
Cycle Time: 8 minute
Injection Speed: 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
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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 Π 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. Designfor
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Chapter 5 – Formulating Design Requirements for Rapid Tooling as Geometric Tailoring Problem
Hypothesis 2.1
Theoretical Structure Validation Theoretical Performance Validation
Potential Time
Savings
100%
Knowledge
Increase about Design
Maintain Knowledge
CUMULATIVE
Freedom
Design
Freedom
0%
Design Timeline
Figure 5.24– Summary of Hypothesis Validation.
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
Proces sor
Tailored Part Design and
related Mold Design, RP and CDSP Template
IJM Process Parameters
Part P Part P
F1 F9 F1
F9
F3 F3 Given
F2 (1) (2)
F6 F8 F6 F8
Analternative tobeimprovedthroughmodification; Assumptions usedtomodel the domainof interest.
F2 Thesystemparameters:
n number of systemvariables p+q number of systemconstraints
p equalityconstraints q inequalityconstraints
Fn Fn
F4 F5 F5
m number of systemgoals Gi(X) systemconstraint function
fk(di ) functionof deviationvariables tobeminimizedat priority level k for thepreemptive case.
F4 Find
Values for thesystemvariables Xi i = 1, ... , n
F7 F7 Values for thedeviation variables di, di+ i = 1, ... , m
Satisfy
Systemconstraints (linear, nonlinear)
Part P gi(X) = 0; i = 1, ..., p gi(X) ≥ 0 ; i = p+1, ..., p+q
Systemgoals (linear, nonlinear)
PD1
Mold Base Bounds
Ai(X) + d i  di+ = Gi ; i = 1, ..., m
F4 PL2 Rk F7
PD2 Fn
R2 F7
PD2
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
CHAPTER 6
Part Design
Parametric
Part Design
CAD Model
Requirements
of Part
Processor
Tailored Part Design and
related Mold Design, RP and CDSP Template
IJM Process Parameters
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 material
process 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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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Considerations
on Topology,
Assembly,
Design for etc.
Manufacture
Geometric
Mold Design
Tailoring
Design for
Rapid Tooling
(Chp 6)
IJM Process RP Process
Planning Planning
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Part Design
Parametric
Part Design
CAD Model
Requirements
of Part
(Chp3 & 4)
A. Rapid Tooling Mold
Design System
Parting Directions
Parting Lines
Parting Surfaces
(§6.3.1)
Mold Piece Number
The Designer's MPGT
Problem Formulation
Parametric CAD Given
Part Design
Models of Mold Pieces Find
Design Parameters
(§6.2.1) (§6.2.2) Satisfy
C. Injection Molding Constraints
B. RP Process Planner Goals
Process Analyzer Minimize
Building Directin Cooling Time
Layer Thickness Draft Angle Deviation
Fill Overcure Rib Height/width Ratio
Hatch Overcure Part Thickness
Processor
Tailored Part Design and
related Mold Design, RP and CDSP Template
IJM Process Parameters
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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.
Part
CAD
Model Mold CAD Model
Mold build by RP
Mold after Epoxy Back Fill Injection Part
Phase I: Phase II: Phase III: Phase IV:
Design Part Design Mold Build Mold Build Part
Cost
Parting Direction Layer Thickness Cooling Time
Time
Parting Lines Building Orientation Thermal Cure
Part Number
Parting Surface Hatch Overcure Nozzle Temperature
Stress
Part Orientation Fill Overcure Clamping Force
Strain
Ejection Pin No. Zlevel wait Injection Pressure
Weight
Ejection Pin Position Sweep period Injection Time
Surface finish
Sprue Type Boder Overcure Holding Time
Flatness tolerance
Gate Size Predip delay Packing Pressure
Parallelism tolerance
Cooling Channels Postdip delay etc.
Positional tolerance
etc. etc.
Circularity tolerance
Concentricity tolerance
Perpendicularity tolerance
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Goals: Constraints:
Meet target material properties Meet SLA process constraints
Meet targets of SLA process goals Bounds:
Bounds for all system variables
MINIMIZE:
Deviation Function: Weighted sum of goal deviations
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 Young’s 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).
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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.
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
SATISFY:
Goals: Constraints:
Meet target mold life Meet IJM process constraints
Bounds:
Bounds for all system variables
MINIMIZE:
Deviation Function: Weighted sum of goal deviations
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).
Injection molding
Geometry variables parameters SLA parameters Material properties
Feature type Injection pressure Layer Thickness Young’s modulus
Feature size Injection velocity Hatch Overcure Tensile strength
Draft angle Injection temperature Border Overcure Heat deflection temperature
Surface area Ejection temperature Laser beam size Glass transition temperature
Hydraulic radius Ejection force Degree of cure Friction coefficient
Bonding Area Cooling time Thermal cure Poisson’s ratio
Wall thickness Hold pressure Thermal expansion coefficient
Gating type
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
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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.
cd h
4 2
Deviation Function: ∑∑w
p =1 j =1
j, p
+
j, p + d j−, p
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Table 6.6 – Cost and Time Estimates for Different Steps in Rapid Tooling Process
(Sambu, 2001).
Step Time (hr) Cost ($ / hr)
Mold design 0.5 50
SLA Preparation 0.25 50
SLA 250  35
SLA Building BT
SLA 3500  65
Human – 0.25 Human – 20
RP Cleaning
TPM – 0.5 TPM – 5
Postcuring 1 10
Thermal curing TC * 8 10
Human – 0.25 Human – 20
Backfilling
Setting – 12 Setting – 0
Human – 20
Machining 0.25
Machine – 20
Human – 20
Assembling 0.25
Machine – 30
Molding parts CyT * NP 30
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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 System’s 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
{
Stress
Functional Strain
}
MGTDT Properties Load
(§5.3) etc.
Surface Finish
Flatness tolerance MPGTDT
Parallelism tolerance
Tolerances Positional tolerance
Circularity tolerance
Concentricity tolerance
Perpendicularity tolerance
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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 component’s 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.
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
• Mp, i i = 1, …, nm
• Fp, i = fi (Gp,j, Mp,n) i = 1, …, nf; j = 1, …, ng; n = 1, …, nm
• Mm, i** i = 1, …, nm
• Fm, i = fi (Gm,j, Mm,n)** i = 1, …, nf; j = 1, …, ng; n = 1, …, nm
• SFi,T , SFi** i = 1, …, nsf
• Toli,T , Toli** i = 1, …, ntol
• MLT, ML**
• Time: [Tmin , Tmax], T** • Cost: [Cmin , Cmax], C**
• Wi i = 1, …, nf+ng+nsf+ntol+2
FIND:
System Variables:
Gm, i i = 1, …, ng
Deviation Variables:
di+, di i = 1, …, nf+ng+nsf+ntol+2
SATISFY:
Goals:
Fp, i / Fm,i  di+ + di = 1 i = 1, …, nf [6.1]
Gp,i / Gm,i  + dnf+i = 1
dnf+i+ i = 1, …, ng [6.2]
SFi,T / SFi  dnf+ng+i+ + dnf+ng+i = 1 i = 1, …, nsf [6.3]
Toli,T / Toli  dnf+ng+nsf+i+ + dnf+ng+nsf+i =1 i = 1, …, ntol [6.4]
(Tmax–T)/(Tmax–Tmin) di+ + di = 1 i = nf+ng+nsf+ntol+1 [6.5]
(Cmax–C)/(Cmax–Cmin) di+ + di = 1 i = nf+ng+nsf+ntol+2 [6.6]
Constraints:
di+ • di = 0, di+ ≥ 0, di ≥ 0 i = 1, …, nf+ng+nsf+ntol+2
Fimin ≤ Fi ≤ Fimax i = 1, …, nf
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Note:
1. Subscripts m and p denote the prototype model and the product respectively.
2. Symbol ‘**’ denotes the entries that are to be completed by the manufacturer.
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.
MPGT Problem
Given
Fh = f (Gj, MPg)
AC = f (PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi)
SF = f (PO, LTi, Gj, θk)
ML = f (LT, TA, Gj, θk, CT)
Nm = f (ML)
BT = f (PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, Nm)
Cm = f (BT, TA)
Tm = f (BT, TA)
Synthesis Cp = f (CT)
Tp = f (CT)
C = Cm + Cp
T = Tm + Tp
System Variables
Gj, θk, PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA, CT
Goals & Constraints
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
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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.
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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.
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MINIMIZE:
4 2( h + i + o )+ q + r + 2
Deviation Function: ∑
p =1
∑w
j =1
j, p dd +
j, p + d −j , p i
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 θs),
RT process planning problem (RP process variables: part orientation PO, layer thickness
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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.
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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 2 Orientation 3 Orientation 4
Orientation 5 Orientation 6
Figure 6.8 – Possible Values of PO and LTi for a Example Part (Sambu, 2001).
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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 sub
problems 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)
P1 P2 P3
Given Given Given
Y' X' Xi', Yi'
Find Find Select
X Y X, Y
Minimize Minimize Minimize
Z=f(X, Y') Z=f(X', Y) Z=f(Xi', Yi')
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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
MPGT Problem
Given
Fh = f (Gj, MPg)
AC = f (PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi)
SF = f (PO, LT i, G j, θk)
ML = f (LT, TA, Gj, θk, CT)
Nm = f (ML)
BT = f (PO, LT i, HOCi, FOCi, Nm)
Cm = f (BT, TA)
Tm = f (BT, TA)
Cp = f (CT)
Tp = f (CT)
C = C m + Cp
T = T m + Tp
System Variables
Gj, θk, PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA, CT
Goals & Constraints
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
Large horizontal planes
Support structures
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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.
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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, θs, 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.
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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 West’s 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, θs, 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).
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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.
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
Part
CAD
Model Mold CAD Model
Mold build by RP
Mold after Epoxy Back Fill Injection Part
Phase I: Phase II: Phase III: Phase IV:
Design Part Design Mold Build Mold Build Part
(Chp 3 &4)
Decision Mold
Gi, θ j Variables PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA CT
Order:
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 sub
problems into a combined problem, and then decompose the synthesis problem into sub
problems again in order to solve it?
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
MPGT Problem
Given
Fh = f (Gj, MPg)
AC = f (PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi)
SF = f (PO, LTi, Gj, θk)
ML = f (LT, TA, Gj, θk, CT)
Nm = f (ML)
BT = f (PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, Nm)
Cm = f (BT, TA)
Tm = f (BT, TA)
Synthesis Cp = f (CT)
Tp = f (CT)
C = Cm + Cp
T = Tm + Tp
System Variables
Gj, θk, PO, LTi, HOCi, FOCi, TA, CT
Goals & Constraints
AC, SF, C, T, Fh
Decision Mold
Variables PO, LTi Gi, θ j ,HOCi, FOCi, TA, CT
Order:
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Chapter 6 – A DecisionBased Design for Rapid Tooling System
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,
θi, 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.
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