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To reduce the cost of laminated dies manufacturing, the amount of the extra

material and the number of slices must likewise be reduced. This is considered

an optimization problem, which can be solved by genetic algorithms (G.A.).

A new niching method is presented in this paper. Using the proposed method,

results show not only a significant improvement in the quality of the

optimum solution but also a substantial reduction in the processing time.

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_aminated tooling is based on taking sheets of metal to produce the final
product, after cutting each layer profile using laser or other techniques. CNC
machining removes the extra material and brings the final product to specific
_aminated tooling, as a manufacturing method, uses Computer Aided Design
(CAD) to produce tools.
u This technology involves designing the tool within 3-D CAD software, slicing
the model into cross sections, cutting off the 2-D profiles for each slice,
bonding the sheets together and finally a post processing stage

u Usually CNC machining, to remove the extra material and finish the surface
and bring it to desirable tolerances.

u It is obvious that having smoother surface after joining the sheets means .
u Although using smaller sheet thicknesses provides a smoother surface,
the cost of the cutting process is increased.
u Therefore, an optimization problem is defined to find the best sort of
thicknesses to minimize the number of slices and the volume deviation at
the same time.

u Rapid prototyping and laminated tooling are two manufacturing methods

that have almost the same process steps mentioned in the previous

u In rapid prototyping, the RP machine can create slices with any

thicknesses within a boundary, based on the RP machine capability.

u In laminated tooling, all the thicknesses must be selected from a set of

available sheet thicknesses.
u The above-mentioned research aims to find a way to minimize
the manufacturing cost.

u This can be done by optimized the thickness of sheet.

u In this research, commercially available thicknesses which are

considered as the standard set are:

{1/2ƍƍ, 7/16ƍƍ, 3/8ƍƍ, 5/16ƍƍ, 1/4ƍƍ, 3/16ƍƍ, 5/32ƍƍ}

u In the genetic algorithm, each thickness vector can be considered
as a chromosome.

u New thickness vectors can then be created with the genetic

algorithm operators.

u So there is no need to generate all solution space members at the

beginning of the optimization process.

u In this way, the genetic algorithm is able to solve the

optimization problem.

uParallel genetic algorithms typically divide the solution space into sub populations.

uThis helps the system to consider different areas of the solution space.

u Consequently, the searching performance is increased with this modification.

u Moreover, the calculation process for each subpopulation can be done on different
u Although parallel genetic algorithms improve searching
performance, having several powerful processors available at the
same time is not always possible.

u This is the disadvantage of the parallel method, which makes it

unsuitable for the aim of the current research.

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u Genetic algorithms start with a randomly selected population.

u Next, the value of the objective function is calculated.

u These fitness values show how close the solution is to an acceptable

u If the termination criterion is satisfied, the process will stop.

u Otherwise, genetic operators are applied to the population to create new off
spring, and new fitness values are calculated.
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uTo maintain diversity in the population, there are other methods which are
mostly categorized as niching techniques.

u These methods divide all members of the population into groups based on
their fitness values.

u Each group, which is named as a niche, represents a group of individuals

with almost the same characteristics.

uSome of the most important niching method are described in the following.
itness sharing

u itness sharing is one of the best known niching methods.

u It was originally introduced by Holland.
u And then improved by other researchers such as Goldberg and Richardson.
u itness sharing is a nature-based method.
u Since each niche population suffers from a shortage of physical resources.
u This pushes all species in an ecological population to create subpopulations
in different niches.

uThe weak elimination crowding is the new crowding method which
has been designed for the purposes of this research.

uIt gives the system more options for creating new thickness vectors
by injecting standard thicknesses into each generation of the

uIn this crowding method, fitness values are calculated

for all members of the current population as in regular genetic

uThen all members are ranked based on their fitness

uThe N weakest members of the population are then
replaced by N new randomly created members
N à Cf .M

Cf = is the user-defined crowding factor value.

‡ This value represents the magnitude of the diversity in the population,with

M the population size.
u Schematic of the modified genetic algorithm procedure in
the current research.
u since the weak elimination crowding method adds diversity to the
population, it may take too much time for the system to converge to an

u Therefore, none of the termination criteria, which are based on population

convergence, are applicable.

u Consequently, a new termination criterion is developed to match this

modified version of genetic algorithm.

u Consequently, a new termination criterion is needed to stop the process as

soon as a solution with a predefined accuracy is found.

The objective function for this optimization process is:

Obj = 1/(ȕ1V + ȕ2N)

where , V is the volume deviation

N is the number of slices
ȕ2 are user-defined coefficients
u The new termination criterion is actually a set of criteria that can be
summarized as follows:

u As soon as the algorithm finds a thickness set that creates a volume

deviation less than a user defined value, it checks the second criterion.

u The optimization process stops as soon as the difference between

the maximum fitness and the average fitness in the population is
less than or equal to a user-defined value.
Comparison of volume deviations with the ideal
value at the first (left) and last (right) generations
u Above fig. shows the value of volume deviations for all thickness vectors in
the first generation (at the left) and the last generation (at the right), for all
three cases.

u As depicted in fig. a, in the first run, the optimization process can create
thickness vectors that reduce the amount of volume deviation

u This figure also shows that, at the time of termination (the 20th iteration),
almost all thickness vectors produce the same volume deviation.

u In the next run, the weak elimination crowding method is employed to

improve the search technique.

u ig. (b) shows diversity in the population in the last generation.

u As depicted in ig. c, there is another improvement in the quality of the
solution in this case, as the best set creates a lower amount of V compared
to the first and second runs.

u ig. shows that, during the different generations of the three runs, the
minimum value of volume deviation is getting closer to the ideal value.

u A modified genetic algorithm was used to find the best locations of slice
planes in a laminated manufacturing process.

u Premature convergence, one of the main problems in most genetic

algorithm applications can now be prevented by a newly developed
crowding method.

u or the aim of this research, a weak elimination crowding method was
designed. This technique significantly reduces the processing time for
finding the optimum thickness vector.

u The modified genetic algorithm was applied to a CAD model to show the
performance of the proposed optimization method.
Thank you!!!