At Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, a variety of tool design issues are covered in a junior-level manufacturing engineering course called Tool Engineering. In the course, designing fixtures – for any process – is a major component of the content. The process of designing a fixture is similar to the method a mechanical engineer would use to design a new product. The course is therefore an excellent opportunity to teach design principles to manufacturing engineers. This project involves an attempt to introduce computer-aided methods, including the finite element method (FEM), for analysis of tool design into the Tool Engineering course. The approach is to cover in 2-3 lectures the basic principles of FEM without getting into computational algorithms. A healthy skepticism for software results and the need for validation tests are encouraged and explained. A series of labs (using FEM software) has also been developed to analyze and optimize fixture designs, mold and die designs, and product “design for fixturing.”


Industrial Engineering | Manufacturing

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/ime_fac/51