Originally Published January 2000
Smoothing the Road to RolloutHere are three software packages to help you with different facets of the design process
DFM Concurrent Costing 1.1 Helps Designers Track Costs
Version 1.1 of Design for Manufacture (DFM) Concurrent Costing software allows engineers to quickly generate an initial cost estimate at any stage of the design process. Developed by Boothroyd Dewhurst Inc. (Wakefield, RI), DFM Concurrent Costing isolates the major cost drivers associated with a wide range of processes for part manufacture and finishing. Used as an analysis tool during part design, the DFM software guides engineers as they investigate alternative materials and processes for producing parts and helps them select the most cost-effective design.
Unlike its predecessor, version 1.1 of DFM Concurrent Costing lets users import solid models in order to obtain 3-D part geometry data for cost estimating. Users can open and view solid models of parts created in all the major CAD/CAM software systems. When a CAD file opens, part dimensions, weight, volume, number of surfaces, and other measurements are automatically updated in the DFM software.
As the engineer selects different materials and manufacturing processes for the part, the software uses the imported 3-D part geometry to calculate estimated manufacturing costs.
Another feature of version 1.1 is that it offers twice the amount of information formerly available on material manufacturing processes. The updated software adds five new processesstructural foam molding, plastic extrusion, injection molding, thermoforming, and blow moldingto the original set. In addition, the expanded library of secondary operations now includes information on the plating of plastics and on trimming and hole punching for blow molding. The library's built-in programming capability also features added checkbox and list section variables, which designers can use to improve the accuracy of their cost-estimating practices.