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:
- part unfoldability,
- tool accessibility, and
- 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.