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A Design For Manufacturability Workbook

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design for Manufacture and Industry

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.39.1 - 11.39.7



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Paper Authors


Alvin Post Arizona State University

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Alvin Post, Ph.D., P.E., received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Hawaii. He has extensive industrial experience as a machine design engineer.

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Thuria Narayan Arizona State University

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Thuria Narayan received a Bachelors degree in Mechatronics engineering from Bharathiar University, Tamilnadu, India in 2004 and is currently pursuing a masters degree in the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department at Arizona State University. Her areas of interest are design and automation.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Design for Manufacturability Workbook


As in other subjects, students can develop Design for Manufacturability (DFM) skills by solving problems in the classroom. A number of texts provide graphical examples of poor DFM with improved versions, but there are few exercises available for students to solve. With support from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, a workbook of open-ended DFM problems is being prepared. These exercises and experience with their initial use in the classroom are discussed.


The Society of Manufacturing Engineers has designated “product/process design” as a competency gap that should be corrected in manufacturing education. Design for manufacturability (DFM), assembly (DFA), and related topics, collectively referred to as “DFX” skills, are central to this gap. DFX texts and reference books are available1-6, often containing design guidelines and a number of instructive before-and-after DFX examples, but few of them offer unsolved problems for students to work through on their own. Instructors occasionally bring hardware into the classroom to demonstrate DFX principles, and this can be very effective. However, it is time consuming, especially if the instructor wants students to work through problems on their own, and it can be less effective in large classes. There are not many other educational tools available for teaching DFX. Graphical exercises may provide an additional and useful tool for classroom use. They can be tailored to illustrate specific groups of design principles, and are easily administered in the classroom. A set of unsolved graphical DFX problems is being prepared at Arizona State University Polytechnic, with support from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Education Foundation. These exercises and experience from their initial classroom use are described here.

The DFX Exercises

Various lists of DFX principles are available. These range from the general (‘reduce the number of parts’), to specific guidelines for a given manufacturing process (‘optimum wall thickness for a structural foam molding is 6 mm’). These lists will vary from text to text, but core DFM principles are well represented in most of them. Guidelines occasionally conflict, for example when redundancy is advised to improve reliability, at the expense of manufacturability5. These contradictions are understandable in context, and can be resolved with good judgment. Guidelines are also categorized by objective: design for manufacturability, design for assembly, design for safety, design for ergonomics, etc. A complete listing cannot be given here, but Bralla4 and Boothroyd3 provide good coverage of key principles. The workbook exercises are intended to cover a large number of DFM and DFA principles, although issues with serviceability and other DFX topics may occasionally surface. Each exercise in the workbook is intended to present several different design shortcomings at once, for educational efficiency and to provide opportunity to work through overlapping or conflicting design issues.

Post, A., & Narayan, T. (2006, June), A Design For Manufacturability Workbook Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1085

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