Can you manufacture your design?

Written by: Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS | Published: 02/20

The most elegant, beautiful product design ever created is of little commercial value if it cannot be manufactured at volume and sold at a profit.

As you know, thinking about the processes through which you will manufacture your designs is an important part of the design process. Can your design be machined or will it need to be produced with an injection mould or investment casting? Integrated tools that let you evaluate the manufacturability of a design while you develop it—and then allow you to easily create the G Code for CNC machining, or the injection mould, or investment casting—will make you more efficient and your designs easier to make.

What will it cost to produce your design?

Considering production costs as a key variable during conceptual design is becoming increasingly necessary as global competition grows. While you may know what material you’d like to use from an engineering standpoint, how will material selection and production processes affect

manufacturing costs? Although you may be able to come up with answers to those questions through additional research, wouldn’t you like to be able to automatically estimate the costs of production from within your CAD system and see how material and process options affect the costs to produce your design?

Are you sure that you’re working with the right revision?

Managing design data without a product data management (PDM) system can be a losing proposition because you’ll need to spend additional time to make sure that all of the links, mates, and references in your assembly model are intact, as well as to verify that you’re working with the latest revision. In the absence of a separate PDM system, wouldn’t it be nice if your CAD system contained some basic PDM capabilities to make your job easier? Fortunately, CAD-integrated PDM capabilities that support you at the workgroup level are available.

Is your product sustainable?

Increasingly, projecting the environmental impact that your design will have and understanding whether your design is environmentally sustainable have become critically important to a product’s long-term success. Until recently, you would have had to conduct a formal, lengthy

lifecycle assessment of a product’s environmental impact to gain such insights. Today, CAD-integrated lifecycle assessment capabilities can help you quickly and easily determine the sustainability of your product designs.

A case in point

Automotive Performance Solutions–Roaring Forties (APS) is an Australian automotive engineering consultancy that produces custom modern versions of the classic Ford GT40 sports car, and provides design and engineering services to leading automotive companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

APS originally used 2D drawings to work with machine shops to create components, a process that was both slow and costly. To efficiently and cost-effectively develop GT40 replicas bearing modern parts and mechanicals, APS needed an integrated 3D development platform.

“As a low-volume replica car manufacturer, we needed the flexibility of an all-in-one mechanical package that would enable us to quickly and affordably design, validate, and produce new parts and assemblies,” says Business Development Manager Ivan Viduka. “We found that package in SOLIDWORKS Premium software.

“With the automation that SOLIDWORKS Premium software provides, we’ve cut our vehicle assembly cycle times nearly by half and improved quality along the way,” Viduka continues. “In fact, we can leverage the dynamic motion, interference detection, and FEA [finite element analysis] tools of SOLIDWORKS Premium software to increase the assembly accuracy and meet our performance targets for both components and assemblies.”

By implementing SOLIDWORKS Premium software, APS cut its design cycles by 50 percent, reduced its development costs by 30 percent, decreased assembly time by 40 percent, and minimized design errors.

Read the full Automotive Performance Solutions story here: