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Computer Aided Engineering For Tool Design In Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.282.1 - 6.282.9



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Daniel Waldorf

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

Session # 2263

Computer-Aided Engineering for Tool Design in Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum Daniel J. Waldorf Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department Cal Poly State University – San Luis Obispo


At Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, a variety of tool design issues are covered in a junior-level manufacturing engineering course called Tool Engineering. In the course, designing fixtures – for any process – is a major component of the content. The process of designing a fixture is similar to the method a mechanical engineer would use to design a new product. The course is therefore an excellent opportunity to teach design principles to manufacturing engineers. This project involves an attempt to introduce computer-aided methods, including the finite element method (FEM), for analysis of tool design into the Tool Engineering course. The approach is to cover in 2-3 lectures the basic principles of FEM without getting into computational algorithms. A healthy skepticism for software results and the need for validation tests are encouraged and explained. A series of labs (using FEM software) has also been developed to analyze and optimize fixture designs, mold and die designs, and product “design for fixturing.”

I. Introduction

Tool design in manufacturing industry has long been an “art-form” requiring years of experience and familiarity with processes and available tooling. Manufacturing engineering programs have struggled with how to teach the subject, resolving mostly to include it in courses on individual processes (e.g., design of cutting tools in a material removal class, design of molds in a casting class, etc.). This approach leaves manufacturing engineers without an understanding of the overall methodology of design, especially as compared to their counterparts getting mechanical engineering degrees. This knowledge gap is critical as manufacturing engineers join mechanical engineers (and other engineers) on concurrent design teams where they must work with and contribute to design efforts. Furthermore, in today’s design world computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools, especially those using the finite element method (FEM), play an important role for product designers and represent another area to which manufacturing engineers may not be exposed.

Like other design tools, FEM can be applied to process tooling design. It’s capability for simulating static and dynamic response of the modeled object makes it a perfect tool for aiding the design of fixtures and tooling for manufacturing processes. FEM is important for tool design because it helps to analyze rigidity and because of the influence of rigidity on the overall success of the design. Particularly with part fixtures, rigidity affects dimensional control due to resistance to static deflection and it affects surface finish and safety due to resistance to dynamic

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Waldorf, D. (2001, June), Computer Aided Engineering For Tool Design In Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9028

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