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Validation Of A Cad Based Tool For Design Of Flexible Components

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Design in Engineering Eduaction - Poster Session

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1582.1 - 12.1582.7



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Paper Authors

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Jorge Rodriguez Western Michigan University

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Mitchel Keil Western Michigan University

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Luis Rodriguez University of Wisconsin - Waukesha

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Alamgir Choudhury Western Michigan University

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Pavel Ikonomov Western Michigan University

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

Validation of a CAD-Based Tool for Design of Flexible Components


Flexible components such as hydraulic hoses are critical to the operation of basically all vehicles, but they are difficult to model accurately, be that in a CAD system or for an engineering calculation. Thus, in many industries, experimental mockups are built to gain confidence in the placement of flexible components. These mockups are made from hard-tooled components, thus leading to another problem: the hose models make a late entry into the CAD database. The effect is that it is difficult to plan for the space needed for proper hose clearance. Better and valid modeling techniques are needed.

One hose modeling technique being studied at Western Michigan University involves the use of discrete flexible links in simulation software. To aid in the proper implementation and validation of this modeling technique, a group of four students in a Capstone Design Course were asked to apply reverse engineering techniques to measure points along an actual hose and enter those points into the simulation software for comparison and validation of the model. This validation process is the work presented in this manuscript.


Cables and hoses are absolutely essential to the successful safe operation of any vehicle. As critical as they are, however, they are among the less glamorous components in vehicular design. They are often difficult to design because they are subject to large elastic deformations and potential collisions with other components6. This combination of factors leaves cables and hoses to be rushed into production near the end of a design. These components present another problem related to this delay: they rarely are incorporated into the vehicles’ solid model. A collaboration between industry and academia was formed to address this problem. The objective was to develop a CAD-based scheme, and it was implemented as a software tool to assist in the design (routing) of flexible components. As a requirement for this software tool, it should be capable to predict the position and motion of system’s components as connection and mounting points are moved and accelerated in accordance with expected operation of the system. Additionally, proper interface and interaction with CAD software packages currently being utilized in the automotive industry is required. The implemented tool has been tested with brake hoses. The use of three-dimensional cubic splines in combination with discrete flexible links has resulted in an adequate solid representation of the flexible elements. As with all software-based engineering tools, it is required to have validation of the implementation. In order to do so with the proposed CAD-based tool it was necessary to apply reverse engineering techniques. Towards this end, as a Capstone Design Project, a testing fixture to have wheel/suspension components was built and a digitizing arm was utilized for the accurate collection of key points before and after operation scenarios. The students received the experience of working on an industry-sponsored project, where design, implementation, redesign and adjustment phases were included. The results from this project demonstrate the importance of validation of implemented software-based tools in order to consider them useful ones.

Rodriguez, J., & Keil, M., & Rodriguez, L., & Choudhury, A., & Ikonomov, P. (2007, June), Validation Of A Cad Based Tool For Design Of Flexible Components Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2972

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