Carnegie Mellon University
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Product Decomposition
This project is no longer active.
Head: David Bourne
Contact: David Bourne
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated center(s) / consortia:
 Center for Integrated Manfacturing Decision Systems (CIMDS)
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 Rapid Manufacturing Lab
Project Homepage
During the product development stage, designers often face the task of partitioning a product into functioning parts. Unfortunately, most decomposition decisions are made based upon product functionality and manufacturability. As a result, the decomposed parts can be too expensive to manufacture and are sometimes impossible to make.

In this project we present a systematic approach to help designers decompose sheet-metal products. This approach takes into account the manufacturability of cutting, bending and assembly processes, while trying to minimize the number of parts. To make this decomposition more tractable, a develop-first-decompose-later strategy is used. Inside the decomposition algorithm, there are three evaluation modules:

  1. part unfoldability,
  2. tool accessibility, and
  3. product disassemblability.
The system iteratively goes back and forth between the design and decomposition modules to achieve near-optimal results (minimum number of parts and minimum number of bends). The decomposition results are sent to these process planners and a complete production plan is produced.