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19

COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN/ENGINEERING

19.1 COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN CAD software packages and their capabilities


Computer-aided design (CAD) is a signifi- continually evolve. Early CAD software pack-
cant tool used in the design and manufacturing ages included a limited number of modeling tools
process. Most CAD systems are designed and and capabilities. Modern software packages of-
intended to automate manual functions, such as fer a variety of collaboration tools and a much
engineering analysis, conceptual design, draft- broader range of modeling tools. This is more
ing, or documentation. evident in higher-end packages as compared to
To automate design processes, many software mid-range packages. Following is a brief descrip-
packages were developed independently to suit tion of select CAD applications.
specific needs and objectives. However, because
of the proprietary nature of the various formats, PARAMETRIC AND NONPARAMETRIC MODELING
system-to-system compatibility became a big In parametric modeling, features such as
problem when electronic transfer of informa- lines or circles are defined by parameters,
tion was needed. Therefore, a joint government/ dimensions, and relationships. Parameters
industry force was created in 1979 to develop a also control the location of features within a
method for data exchange. Through their efforts, part or assembly. Typical parametric modeling
the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification software records the history of how the model
(IGES) was published in 1980 to facilitate data was built. When a part revision is made, param-
exchange independent of CAD/CAM (computer- eters change, and the revised model is rebuilt
aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) using the same history of operations but with
systems. IGES is capable of design data exchange the new parameters. Parametric models can
for applications such as 2D, freeform, surface, be enhanced with appropriate animation or
wireframe, and solid models. Since 1980, several rendering software.
versions of the standard have been published. Nonparametric modeling or direct modeling is
Since IGES was initially developed, another geometry based rather than parameter based. It
neutral exchange standard called the Standard allows the designer to interact directly with the
for the Exchange of Product model data (STEP) model and does not utilize history information
has emerged. As compared to IGES, STEP is as in parametric modeling. This can allow the
generally better for solid models and includes designer to more easily create flowing or organic
product data in addition to design data. STEP shapes. Virtual clay modeling is an example of
can also incorporate different application proto- nonparametric modeling whereby the designer
cols that identify how data for a specific applica- can create the same clay models normally cre-
tion are exchanged. ated by hand.

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WIREFRAME DRAWINGS scribe shapes such as lines, curves, and three-


Wireframe drawings store the geometry of dimensional free-form or organic shapes such
the 3D model as edges and points. A wireframe as surfaces and solids. NURBS are used in
is transparent in nature, requiring some skill applications such as, but not limited to, anima-
and expertise in interpreting the model. The tion, virtual clay modeling, and rendering. Using
points on the surface are implied. Precise surface NURBS to define a given geometry generally
representations or information must be passed requires less data or information than other
through line and offset-type information. One methods that use facets.
advantage of a wireframe is the infinite number
of views and drawings that can be generated POINT CLOUDS
from a single model. However, it is moderately A point cloud is a collection of XYZ points typi-
difficult to clean up the wireframe to make a cally captured by contact or noncontact scanning
finished engineering drawing. Thus wireframe devices. Point cloud data is collected when part
drawings have given way to solid modelers. data does not exist for reverse engineering or in-
spection purposes. Collection of the point cloud is
SURFACE MODELING the first step the process. Once collected, the data
Surface modeling adds varying degrees of accu- must be converted to a mesh, surface, or solid. A
racy in a CAD model when compared to wireframe mesh connects the points together using polygons
models. Planar or ruled surfaces or surfaces of or facets. Surfaces can be created from the points
revolution have increased accuracy, while sculp- using NURBS. The points also can be converted
tured surfaces have lesser degrees of accuracy into a parametric solid. The conversion process
than wireframes. The additional surface infor- chosen is a function of the scanned part geometry
mation gives improved graphical imaging when and how the resultant CAD model will be used.
it is linked to 2-1/2, 3, and 5-axis manufacturing
applications and numerical control processes. 19.2 FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computer-
SOLID MODELING based technique for developing and improving
Solid modeling consists of constructive solid an engineering design whenever an analytical
geometry (CSG) or boundary representation solution is not easy to obtain or the analysis
solids (BREP). CSG uses primitives (cubes, cyl- is too complex for a classical approach. From
inders, cones, tori, etc.) to create solid models. In an engineers point of view, FEA is a practical
the CSG system, the solids are created by storing method of analyzing the design of a component
construction parameters and size to specified under its working or service conditions.
primitives. These primitives are combined to
form a composite solid object. BREP is a data- BACKGROUND
base method that defines and stores a solid as In 1943, R. Courant began theoretical work
a set of vertices, edges, and faces (points, lines, related to the finite element method using a
curves, and surfaces), which completely enclose numerical approach to obtain approximate solu-
its volume (SME 2011). tions for vibration problems. The finite element
Solid modeling provides CAD/CAM systems method was more fully developed during the
with a wealth of knowledge. Solid modeling 1950s. For the next two decades, 1960 to 1980,
requires more computer power than surfaces or intensive research and development was done on
wireframe, but drafting, engineering analysis, linear problems. After 1980, most research work
and CAM functions can be executed faster from was focused on non-linear problems. Commercial
solid models than from other systems. software was developed during the 1980s with
the advancement of computer technology and
NURBS computational capacity (Cook et al. 2001).
Non-uniform rational b-splines (NURBS) In the early 1970s, FEA software was expen-
are mathematical representations used to de- sive and limited to mainframe supercomputers.
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Most of these computers functioned in the the finite element procedure for that par-
aeronautical, automotive, defense, and nuclear ticular problem.
industries. With modern computer technology, 2. Solution: Solutions are generated and
commercial FEA programs now run on desktop calculated. The FEA software derives the
computers or laptops making them affordable governing matrix equations from the model
solutions to many engineers. However, compo- and solves for the primary quantities, such
nents requiring more complicated analysis still as stresses and displacements in a struc-
require supercomputers to obtain a realistic tural analysis, for example.
solution within a reasonable timeframe. 3. Post-processing: Results are reviewed and
FEA has proven to be a useful tool in new interpreted. Figure 19-2 shows a part with
product design and in the refinement of existing higher stress levels/darker shading. It is
products. It can also provide valuable analysis an example of the graphical images that
for complex parts that may be expensive to pro- are prepared for visualization and inter-
totype and test. With verification of the strength pretation. The actual image would have
and the possibility of improving the design multiple colors representing the varying
during the initial design stage, FEA can reduce stress levels. As part of the final step, the
the cost of engineering changes, field failures, analyst will check the validity of the solu-
prototyping, and testing. However, most designs tion, examine the values of the primary
will always require some amount of prototyping quantities, such as stresses and displace-
and testing. ments, and derive and examine additional
quantities, such as specialized stresses and
MAJOR PHASES error indicators.
Finite element analysis is comprised of three
major phases. APPLICATIONS
The finite element method was initially used for
1. Pre-processing: An FEA model is prepared
structural analysis but has been adapted for many
for the solver. Starting with a solid model,
other applications in engineering such as fluid flow,
an analyst develops a finite element mesh,
heat transfer, etc. For example, FEA is used for:
which divides the original model into
smaller elements for mathematical analy- structure analysis,
sis. Figure 19-1 illustrates the finite ele- thermal analysis,
ment mesh. The analyst also applies mate- fluid flow analysis,
rial properties and boundary conditions. electromagnetic analysis,
Boundary conditions represent external acoustic analysis,
constraints, such as a bolted connection, biomechanics and bioengineering,
for example. To determine the number and soil mechanics,
the shape of elements required for the geo-mechanics,
analysis, the analyst should have a good mechanisms and linkages, and
understanding of the physical model and design optimization.

Figure 19-1. FEA mesh. Figure 19-2. FEA resulting stress distribution.
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Finite element analysis has a number of ad- conductor routing and board layers;
vantages, including the ability to: frequency of the current in the different
circuits and the resulting inductance;
handle a wide variety of engineering prob-
heat dissipation; and
lems where the analytical solutions are not
the placement of similar types of components.
available with a classical approach.
improve an existing product by alternat- PCB-oriented CAD software can assist in
ing various design parameters easily and board layout and routing, and in accommodating
inexpensively. the preceding points. It is preferred over attempt-
verify a new design concept quickly to deter- ing PCB design manually or with non-PCB CAD
mine its real-world behavior under various software. Manual layout gives greater flexibility
working conditions. in component placement and in determining if
allow designers and engineers to quickly and conductor placement is an inductive or capaci-
accurately assess critical dimensions or fea- tive issue, but it requires electrical expertise.
tures when integrated with a CAD package. For an automatic system to be useful, the rules
be used on affordable computer worksta- constraining the layouts (for example, board size,
tions and personal computers. components, component placement, etc.) must
shorten the time to market, lower develop- be established. This may be time consuming.
ment costs, and improve product quality. However, the advantage is that once they are
developed, they are done for that type of board.
It is also important to recognize the limita-
tions of FEA, for example: 19.4 RAPID PROTOTYPING
it requires an investment in commercial Rapid prototyping uses modern technology
software packages and the required hard- to produce a physical prototype from a CAD file
ware to run them if more than a personal in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks.
computer or laptop is necessary. Due to the rapid evolution of rapid prototyping,
the analysis tool can reduce physical prod- this section provides only a survey of some of
uct testing, but does not totally replace it. the rapid prototyping technologies available.
the FEA analyst must be proficient not only It is not meant to be an all inclusive list or an
in engineering fundamentals but also in the authoritative reference on rapid prototyping.
finite element method itself.
an inexperienced user can unknowingly TECHNOLOGY SURVEY
deliver incorrect answers that can nega- The technologies discussed in this section are:
tively impact the design based on this false
information. stereolithography apparatus (SLA),
selective laser sintering (SLS),
direct metal laser sintering (DMLS),
19.3 CIRCUIT BOARD LAYOUT laminated object manufacturing (LOM),
CAD software designed for printed circuit fused deposition modeling (FDM);
boards (PCB) has features unique to that ap- 3D printing (3DP), and
plication. Current surface mount technology jetted photopolymer (JP).
(SMT) and the continued miniaturization of The advantages of rapid prototyping include
integrated-circuit products make the design the ability to:
of most PCBs complex. Contributing to the
produce three-dimensional parts within
design complexity are:
hours;
the number of layers in a final board as- create masters, patterns, and tooling;
sembly (single-sided, double-sided, and accelerate prototype production;
multi-layered); achieve major savings in production of soft
the miniaturization of components and the and hard tooling;
effect on pin spacing and the number of pins increase manufacturing capabilities with
in a conductor; low-volume production runs;
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add impact to marketing concept presenta- workspace container and heated to just below
tions with hands-on models; and its melting point. An initial cross-section of the
improve the accuracy of vendor bid response. object under fabrication is traced on the layer
of powder by a laser. The temperature of the
Rapid prototyping also has some disadvantages:
powder impacted by the laser beam is raised to
Not all parts can be used for physical testing. the point of sintering, forming a solid mass.
Parts can have surface finish quality, As the process is repeated, each layer fuses to
strength, and tolerance limitations. the underlying layer, and successive layers of
Special techniques and materials are re- powder are deposited and sintered until the
quired on some systems. object is complete.
Equipment can be relatively expensive.
Regardless of the method used, rapid proto- Direct Metal Laser Sintering
typing begins with a solid model developed in a Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is similar
CAD package and saved in the stereolithogra- to selective laser sintering except it uses metal
phy (STL) or virtual reality modeling language powder as opposed to wax or plastic powder. The
(VRML) file format. The VRML format preserves process begins when an initial cross-section of
part colors as created in the CAD package. the object under fabrication is traced on a thin
Therefore, if the rapid prototyping process is layer of metal powder by a laser, thereby sintering
capable of color, the model will be printed in or fusing the powder into a solid. As the process is
color. If desired, color can usually be added to repeated, each layer fuses to the underlying layer,
an STL file through a secondary process. The and successive layers of powder are deposited and
software, which comes with the machine, will sintered until the object is complete.
slice the model into layers based on the user-
defined layer thickness. Depending on the rapid Laminated Object Modeling
prototyping technology used, layer thickness
generally ranges from .001 to .013 in. (25.4 m Laminated object modeling (LOM) produces
to 330.2 m). The software will also calculate 3D parts of various complexities directly from
where supports are needed, if necessary. After CAD data by successive deposition, bonding,
compiling the necessary information, the part and laser cutting of sheet or film materials. A
is sent to the modeler. laser is guided over an x-y axis table by the data
from CAD files and cuts a 2D cross-section in
the sheet material. A platform under the table
Stereolithography Apparatus drops an increment equal to the thickness of a
A stereolithography apparatus (SLA) creates single layer of the material. The material is then
three-dimensional plastic parts directly from advanced from a supply roller to a pickup roller
CAD data. It builds the physical models one over the top of the previously cut cross-section
layer at a time. An ultraviolet (UV) laser traces and a heated roller presses and bonds the mate-
a thin cross-section of the object onto a liquid rial against the previous layer. The next layer is
resin surface, selectively hardening the polymer. cut by the laser beam and the cycle is repeated
The layer is lowered into a polymer vat, and its until the 3D object is completed.
surface is recoated in preparation for building
the next cross-section. Successive layers are
Fused-deposition Modeling
built until the object is complete.
Fused-deposition modeling (FDM) involves
depositing thin layers of thermoplastic material
Selective Laser Sintering from an extruder head/nozzle onto a fixtureless
Selective laser sintering (SLS) is similar to base. The thermoplastic material is supplied in
SLA except the part is not created in a liquid the form of wire-like filaments from a spool. The
vat but from heat-fusible wax or plastic powder, plastic is fed into the extruder head/nozzle and
such as nylon. As the process begins, a very thin heated so that each layer fuses to the previously
layer of heat-fusible powder is deposited into a deposited one. The head/nozzle moves in an x-y
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plane to build each layer. A water-soluble sup- as but not limited to, direct metal laser sintering,
port material is used when necessary. selective laser sintering, and fused deposition
modeling, are considered additive manufactur-
3D Printing ing since they are capable of producing tooling
for injection molding and casting, parts for func-
Unfortunately, there is no universal defini- tional testing, and/or end-use parts (Campbell
tion of 3D printing (3DP). However, 3D print- et al. 2011).
ers use rapid prototyping technology and are Additive manufacturing has a number of
generally smaller, less expensive, and more advantages such as the ability to produce parts
user-friendly than larger rapid prototyping directly from a digital file, to accommodate
machines. They are also designed to be used in part complexity that is difficult to produce with
an office environment. other methods, and waste reduction. However,
A powder-based build material and a com- additive manufacturing faces several challenges
patible binder are used in 3D printing. Powder such as non-uniform part strength due to the
types typically include plaster, metal, and sand. layer-by-layer building process and a slow pro-
A print head, which is similar if not identical duction rate as compared to processes such as
to an inkjet print head, sprays binder in select injection molding (Campbell et al. 2011).
locations as it passes over the powder in the x-y
plane. If using plaster powder, it is possible to
REVIEW QUESTIONS
use a second print head that can print multi-
color prototypes. After one layer is printed, a 19.1) What are the names of the exchange
roller distributes another layer of powder. The standards used to exchange CAD data between
print head then prints the next layer. After different CAD systems?
completion, the part is removed and excess 19.2) Which type of 3D CAD modeling is trans-
powder removed. parent in nature?
Finishing the parts, to increase strength, de- 19.3) Which type of solid modeling uses primi-
pends on the type of powder used. Plaster powder tives to create solid images?
parts can be sprayed with a solution of Epsom
19.4) What process must be done after collecting
salt and water, or dipped in isocyanate. Metal
a point cloud?
powder parts are sintered to impart strength.
19.5) Which stage of FEA produces a color image
showing stress distribution on the part?
Jetted Photopolymer
19.6) Which type of rapid prototyping uses a
In the jetted photopolymer process, a print
laser and an ultraviolet-light-sensitive polymer?
head containing multiple jets moves in the x-y
plane as it deposits a photocurable polymer 19.7) Can rapid prototyping create a part that
onto a build tray. After deposition of one layer, can be physically tested?
the polymer is immediately cured by ultraviolet
light. The build tray then lowers and the next REFERENCES
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Campbell, T., C. Williams, O. Ivanova, and B. Garrett.
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19.5 ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING ing Change the World? Washington D.C.: Atlantic
Additive manufacturing (AM), an extension Council, October.
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one layer at a time as compared to subtractive Robert Witt. 2001. Concepts and Applications of
manufacturing that removes material to form a Finite Element Analysis, 4th Ed. New York: John
part. Several rapid prototyping processes, such Wiley & Sons.
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