MS Thesis Presentation by Sungshik Yim
Thursday, May 5, 2005

(Dr. David W. Rosen, Chair)

"An Information Infrastructure (DFM Framework) for Distributed Design for Additive Manufacturing"

Abstract

Design for manufacture (DFM) is the practice of designing products with manufacturing in mind. Due to the rapid development of information technology, one of the research areas that draw considerable attention in DFM is improving simultaneous design of product and process. This research effort contributes toward improving simultaneous design of product and process by enabling communication between distributed designers and engineers.

Product design typically requires complete design decisions due to complicated dependencies of design goals. For example, the design goals of surface finish and manufacturing costs are in conflict in a sense that increasing the quality of surface finish usually increases the manufacturing costs where increasing quality of surface finish and decreasing costs are desirable. Also, the design goals of any products are usually functions of design variables and manufacturing process parameters such that achievement of design goals is controlled by both design variables and manufacturing process parameters. Therefore, simultaneous design of product and process naturally involves complex design decisions and collaboration of distributed designers and engineers. To enable such collaboration, it is necessary to construct information infrastructure that supports communication between distributed designers and engineers. The aim of this research is to address issues that arise while constructing such an information infrastructure to support collaboration on design problem construction and decomposition.

A DFM method called DFM framework is proposed. This DFM framework is a theoretical foundation for the construction of an information infrastructure that provides standardized information representations and retrieval services to assist design problem construction and decomposition in distributed environment. To establish such theoretical foundations, the following three major research areas are identified:

  1. Construction of an information model for describing design problem, communication interfaces and decomposition strategies
  2. Construction of a systematic procedure that detects the similarities among design problems and among coupling conditions in design problems to support the retrieval of appropriate design problems and decomposition strategies
  3. Construction of reusable process templates that can be combined and used to coordinate the information exchange in a distributed environment

Construction of a DFM framework will be accomplished by satisfying the three research requirements described above; we believe that this DFM framework will provide the necessary support for construction of an information infrastructure that enables collaboration among distributed designers and engineers in DFM process.