Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
When I was 30, ratcheting back on the beer gave me a quick loss of five pounds. Now, I'm lucky if I get a pound. A few years back, eating the right stuff no longer reined in my guto grande. So, it's off to the club and treadmills, lap pools, and smiling, perky trainers shouting “whoa” as they lead the torment of the old and infirm. If I had only been consistent in applying the rules of healthy living from the beginning, I would not be paying so dearly for my engineering change orders so late in the game today.
Kind of sounds like the new product design process, no? If you had just designed your parts from the beginning with a consistent set of rules that made late changes to the design less likely, late-in-the-process activities like manufacturing easier, you could fabricate your parts efficiently and eliminate all that time and money you hemorrhage fussing and fixing them late in the game. That's why you should really stop and consider something like Geometric’s DFMPro design for manufacturability (DFM) tool.
DFMPro has three modules, one each for machining, sheet metal, and injection molding. All three are tailored for the specific discipline. You use DFMPro early and throughout your part modeling endeavors to ferret out areas within your design that will haunt you later – say, a single blind hole with a flat bottom, a hole too close to a bend, or a rib that adds too much thickness to a molded part. DFMPro analyzes your design and points out then explains areas that are going to cause you agita, and, when possible, it suggests a way out of your jam. You can share results, run batch analyses, and you can develop DFM rules that become your standard operating procedures.
Some of you may already be familiar with a light version of DFMPro known as DFMXpress that's embedded within SolidWorks. Today's Pick of the Week write-up focuses on the just released full-power DFMPro version 2.2 for Pro/ENGINEER. A SolidWorks complement is also available, so it's a multi-CAD write-up in its way.
You'll find a bunch of DFMPro links at the end of today's write-up, most of which have registration-free videos for you to watch. If you're really serious about getting your design for manufacturing process into shape, there are links to sign up for a 15-day trail of DFMPro for Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks.
And you really should get serious. ECOs are a drag, both in terms of money and time squandered. DFMPro can help you reduce the number of them you build into your design from the start. Well worth a gander.
Thanks, Pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony . Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Read today's Pick of the Week write-up.