First step to establish a plan from the idea is to create a basic design. A simplified 3D model helps to check and understand design concept already in this early phase. The designer and the customer can verify the concept, find collisions and problematic points. A preliminary structural analysis helps to estimate mass and costs.
Detailed 3D models are the base of the design process. Parametric modelling method enables to adapt more easily to design changes and employ mechanisms, motion phases and design phases. Parametric model modifies easier and faster than traditional ones. It may contain also dynamic/moving parts or subassemblies which helps to visualize movements and execute collision check. The output of the model can be dxf file or other manufacturer specific file format.
2D detail drawings are the base of manufacturing. These drawings are developed from the 3D model, ensuring the consistency of plan, section views, details and developed sheet metal contours. Drawings contain precise sheet contours for automatic cutting and it is possible to provide CNC data. Hierarchical or flat parts lists can be included in the drawing or submitted separately as data file (xls).
The design is based on structural calculation using FEM softwares with beam and surface modelling. The calculation may consider different effects, like wind, earthquake, global and local stability, vibration, fatigue. It is possible to estimate the mass/price after the preliminary analysis.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
FEA simulations uses 3D solid elements to help the design of complex mechanical parts or assemblies. Analysis may include steady or moving parts and provides a deep understanding of the structure behavior visualizing the stress distribution.
The base of the teamwork is a common database of the design data, which helps to maintain the coherence between versions and also serves as a store of previous designs.