Using rapid prototyping to verify design for assembly

2006-05-02T11:55:48Z (GMT) by Ian Campbell N.O. Balc
Design for assembly (DFA) is a well-establish technique that has proved beneficial in many companies in different manufacturing sectors. It aims to simplify the assembly of a product by reducing the number of components and by making sure that they fit together easily. Often, a DFA analysis will show a theoretical improvement in the assemblability of a product, but the re-design is not implemented because there is no way of verifying the findings of the analysis. Rapid prototyping (RP) enables physical models to be made directly from CAD data in a relatively short period of time. Using RP, it is possible to build the re-designed product and test the accuracy of the DFA analysis. This paper describes the procedure that can be followed to achieve this and demonstrates its practicality through use of a case study.