In review, the previous blog covered step two: Developing Design Concepts. This brainstorming session was to generate and document ideas for the new design.
In today’s world, nothing moves on or off an engineer’s desk without Computer Aided Design (CAD). This requires time to define a part and assembly model using specialized software which provides many benefits down the line.
- CAD defines critical characteristics with dimensions, wall thickness, and important features.
- It gives visibility of the part in 3D and allows the part to be embedded within a product to look for design errors. It also allows a permanent archive, which is more detailed than a blueprint.
- It gives engineers a platform to share data with interchangeable formats.
- It can put fast-track programs into motion immediately.
Using the approved CAD data, the next step of the team would be to appropriately analyze the model in its working environment to demonstrate functionality.
- Tests with FEA software can define deflection characteristics or part failure.
- Importing the CAD into moldflow software will validate injection molding parameters and better design the tooling.
- This allows the software to analyze forces and motion to test strength (fatigue) and other functional tests such as fluid flow delivered by a fan or pump.
During the next blog, we will cover the fourth step: Optimize for Manufacturability.