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Computer-aided engineering (often referred to as CAE) is the use of information technology to support engineers in tasks such as analysis, simulation, design, manufacture, planning, diagnosis, and repair. Software tools that have been developed to support these activities are considered CAE tools. CAE tools are being used, for example, to analyze the robustness and performance of components and assemblies. The term encompasses simulation, validation, and optimization of products and manufacturing tools. In the future, CAE systems will be major providers of information to help support design teams in decision making.
The software employed here in this coursework is CATIA.
CATIA (Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application) is a multiplatform CAD/CAM/CAE commercial software suit developed by the French company Dassault Systemes and marketed worldwide by IBM. Written in the C++ programming language, CATIA is the cornerstone of the Dassault Systemes product lifecycle management software suite. The software was created in the late 1970s and early 1980s to develop Dassault’s Mirage fighter jet, and then was adopted in the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, and other industries.
In this coursework, the task will follow from previous coursework and will address the building of the 3D CAD Design model in CATIA environment. This task can give the opportunity to the student to review their design strategy upon lecturer comments.
This coursework will use the final shape (Figure-1) from previous coursework to build a 3D CAD model of bracket in CATIA.
Figure-1 Final shape from previous coursework
Detailed 2D CAD drawings of the bracket, including critical dimensions in the design will be provided as well.
M10MAE CAE Regarding to the requirements and the production information from previous coursework, material employed here is steel. The bracket should be able to afford the combined load of Fx=-400N, Fy=-6000N, Fz=-1000N with 4 clamps constrained at the rear. The maximum deflection of the bracket should not exceed 5mm. The limited quantity of production unit of the bracket, which is 10, should be considered while defining manufacturing strategy and material grade as well.
Final weight optimization plots
The final shape of the weight optimization can be seen in Figure-1 as shown above. By reading the .OUT file, the final Design Volume Fraction in iteration 80 which is 3.43517E-02 can be found.
Go back to HyperMesh, Go to Optimization OSSmooth, chose the output tyre as IGES, type in the volume fraction 0.03435 into the topology density threshold, and click the green button OSSmooth as shown in Figure-2.
Figure-2 OSSmooth process
Then the shape of the optimized bracket will be created as an IGES file as shown in 3
M10MAE CAE Figure-3
Figure-3 Optimized bracket shape
The final shape of the bracket shows that the geometry of the component is not that complex. The rare part of the bracket is symmetrical as well. The production units are only 10, which mean a production line for large amount manufacturing is not needed.
Refer from CES Edupack 2008, gray cast iron is chosen as the material of the bracket in this case, considering its low cost, easy manufacturing process and credible properties. Its composition and properties are shown in Figure-4
Figure-4 Grey cast iron [CES Edupack 2008]
3D CAD Design
By reading the IGES file provided by OSSmooth process in CATIA, the shape of the bracket can be seen in the series of views as shown in Figure-5
Figure-5 Top, Isometric, Back, Front and Side view of the optimized bracket
One way of building the 3D CAD model of the bracket based on the final result of optimization is to build a 300mm x 300mm design space, and then follow the final shape of the optimized bracket, trying to cut the redundant parts off from the design space. By using Sketch Profile Pocket command in CATIA, the design space will be cut step by step, finally get a detailed shape as the same as the IGES provided. The process is demonstrated in Figure-6
Figure-6 Demon of design space cutting
The advantage of this method is the final geometry will perfectly match the shape coming from IGES file. Although the so-called design space cutting method will finally provide a detailed shape which exactly matches the final shape coming from the previous optimization, the disadvantage it will bring is a very time consuming process. Regarding to the fact that manufacturing strategy should be considering in this case as well, the detailed shape provide by this method will be too complex to define an easy manufacturing approach. Considering all the factors above, another approach to build this 3D CAD model will be utilized.
In this case, the bracket could be described as two major parts combined together. The rigid front edge can be described as an approximate trapezoid shape from the top view, with a thickness of about 100mm and a through-hole R= 10 mm, located at the centre axis. (Figure-7)
M10MAE CAE Figure-7 Front Part
And the rear part of the bracket can be described as a symmetric component including 4 cylindrical structures. (Figure-8)
Figure-8 Rear Part
The approach to build the 3D CAD model is to build a trapezoid sketch on XY plane from the top view and pad it with 100mm, drill the through-hole at certain location. Then build the sketch of the symmetric cylindrical structure from the back view on YZ plane, pad it with 140mm. The rough 3D CAD model can be built then as shown in Figure-9.
Figure-9 Back, Front, Side and Top view of rough 3D CAD model The following steps will be refining the rough model such as: cutting of the redundant material, drilling bolt holes (R=10mm, depth=50mm) for clamping at the cylindrical structures and the edge filleting (R=10mm) etc. By using the features provided by CATIA, the refinement of the 3D CAD model could be achieved. Final 3D CAD shape could be seen in Figure-10.
Figure-10 Isometric, Front, Back, Side and Top view of Final 3D model.
2D CAD Drawing
Detailed 2D CAD drawing can be seen in the attachment. dimensions in the design must be mentioned. Several critical
The max length of the bracket, which is from the front to the rear end, is 300mm. The max height of the bracket, which is from the top to the bottom, is 300mm. The width is 300mm as well. These parameters are just fit in the coursework requirements with the design space max length, height and width all equal to 300mm.
From the top and front view, it can be seen that the front part is 160mm long, 100mm thick. Its width varies from 120mm (the front edge) to 264mm (the contact surface to the symmetric rear part). 10
From the back view, the distribution of the 4 cylindrical structures (R=50mm) can be described as symmetrically spreading at the rear edge. 4 bolt holes with R=10mm and 50mm depth are on those 4 cylindrical structures which clamp the bracket to be constrained.
The manufacturing process of the bracket can be divided into rough machining and finish machining.
The factors such as the complexity of component geometry, the component function and the quantity of production will be the key to define the machining approach. The overall geometry is not complex in this case, and also there is no high thickness
M10MAE CAE variance or thin-shell structure in the bracket geometry. The production units of this bracket are only 10 in total, which is a limited number.
Considering all the factors above, Casting will be chosen as the rough machining method. Furthermore, manual green sand casting could be employed if take the manufacturing cost into account. In green sand casting, a mixture of sand and clay is packed around a pattern that has the shape of the desired casting. The pattern is then removed to leave the cavity in which molten metal is poured. The mold is broken to retrieve the casting when the metal solidifies. (Shown in Figure-11) The manual green sand casting process is used when small quantities of castings are required. The advantage of green sand cast is the low cost. But disadvantage is that mold compaction is done manually using hand rammers which make molding slow and labor intensive.
Figure-11 Green sand casting (Manual) [CES Edupack 2008] The surface roughness of casting should be controlled in an acceptable level. But anyway, because the roughness of the bracket is not highly required, it can be suggested that the finish machining be chosen as planing as the finish machining in the front part, milling in the rear part and drilling for the through-hole at the centre axis and bolt holes at the rear end. Shown in Figure-12
Figure-12 Planing, Milling and Drilling
Planing is a machining process for removing metal from surfaces in horizontal, vertical or angular planes. In this process, the workpiece is reciprocated in a linear motion against one or more single-point tools. Although it is most widely used for producing flat surfaces on large workpieces, the process can also be used to produce contours and a variety of irregular shapes. For the front part of the bracket in this case, horizontal surfaces on the trapezoid shape from the top view can be machined in this method.
M10MAE CAE In milling metal is removed by a rotating multiple-tooth cutter, each tooth removes a small amount of metal, with each revolution of the spindle. Because both the workpiece and cutter can be moved in more than one direction at the same time, surfaces having almost any orientation can be machined. It is suitable for machining the symmetric structure of the rear part of this bracket.
Drilling uses a rotary end cutting tool with one or more cutting lips and usually one or more flutes for the passage of chips and the admission of cutting fluid to machine hole structure. Drilling is the fastest and most economical method of cutting a hole in solid metal. In this case, the through-hole and the 4 bolt holes will utilize this method.
Total cost of these brackets will be separated into two parts, which are material price and the manufacturing cost.
Bring the IGES file back to HyperMesh, assign the steel material property to the meshed geometry, it can be seen the mass of the final shape is about 6.8 kg. Production quantities are 10. The material lost in manufacturing process should be considered as well. Simply, assume the lose rate is 10%, so the total cost of material will be:
6.8 x 10 x (110 / 100) x price of material
Refer from CES Edupack 2008, the price of gray cast iron is 0.3 GBP/kg, so the cost of material is about 22.5 GBP.
The manufacturing process cost rate, including casting and the finish machining, is between 12 to 65 GBP per unit (CES Edupack 2008). Assume it to be 50, then the cost will be 500GBP for 10 units.
As a conclusion, the total cost of the brackets will be about 522.5GBP.
CAE Design Validation
By reading the IGES file of the final design in HyperMesh, Meshing of the bracket could be done as well as the boundary conditions. As shown in Figure-13, the 3D solid mesh is applied on the bracket, and the 4 bolt holes are constrained.
Figure-13 Meshing of the final shape
Then the FE model is exported as a LS-DYNA keyword file to be analysis in DYNA. Then a linear static analysis is carried out with the loads Fx = -400, Fy = -6000 and Fz = -1000 applied on the front surface of the bracket. The results of max displacement and max Von Mises Stress can be seen in Figure-14 and 15 separately.
Figure-14 Max Displacement
Figure-15 Max Von Mises Stress
It can be seen clearly that the max displacement under the load case of the bracket is 3.168mm, which is under the coursework requirement of max displacement less than 5mm.
The max Von Mises stress is only 68.47 MPa, which is also far lower than the yield stress of Gray cast iron which is 140MPa (CES Edupack 2008).
As a conclusion upon the factors above, the design of the optimized bracket could be validated. It is not only able to stand below the yield stress limitation under the load case, but also can limit the max deformation to be lower than the value as required.
In this second part of coursework for M10MAE, CATIA was employed to build the 3D CAD model and the 2D CAD drawings.
Not as supposed, the method of moving some redundant part of the shape was abandoned during the process of building the 3D model. But in order to devise the component to make the bracket be realistic to machine, also in the purpose of saving the designing time, another method of building the 3D CAD model was utilized.
By separating the geometry into two different parts, the method of building 3D CAD model was simplified. It can be described that the step by step approach reflects the geometry particularity of the specific bracket in this case. On the other hand, it also reflects the manufacturing strategy. The final structure of the bracket has the geometry of a simple front part and a symmetrical rear part, which is fairly easy to be machined.
Reviewing the optimization process, it can be summarized that the HyperMesh optimization function is powerful. By changing the design and optimization parameter, different final shape of the bracket will be resulted.
Again, an important point needs to be mentioned is that the meshing quality plays a 19
M10MAE CAE very important role in the optimization process. Smaller mesh size will produce better refined final shapes, but the simulation time required hence the computing time and CPU requirement will increase at the same time.
Comparing the optimization results and the design validation output, the optimization process provided a creditable design parameter to accomplish a successful product design.
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