With time-to-market a growing concern, there is the possibility that designers might pass off designs that are difficult, if not impossible, to produce. So one tool that can be used to prevent this from occurring comes from Geometric Technologies (www.geometricglobal.com). It is a design for manufacturing product that works with SolidWorks 2007 and 2008. It is called “DFM Pro.” The package includes design rules for manufacturing processes including milling, drilling, turning, and sheet metal fab. Among the benefits cited by the company:
- Early prediction and consequent prevention of production problems or inefficiencies
- Assists developing optimal designs and product quality
- Facilitates automation of the manufacturability review
- Decreases lead-time
- Produces a scalable framework for manufacturability knowledge capture and reuse
Another benefit: Designers may be more innovative than they otherwise might be, given that they’ll have indication during their SolidWorks session whether their design is manufacturing-feasible.