P18721: Value Re-Engineering for Additive Manufacturing

Systems Design

Table of Contents

Team Vision for System-Level Design Phase

The System-Level Design Phase for our team is focused on making sure the quality of our process is up to the standards asked for by our customer. This phase is a brief example of how we are thinking of taking a part print and turning it into a working prototype via a variety of variable steps that could change from part to part. Toward the end of the Senior Design course, we hope to have some examples of working prototypes that we made using the steps that are shown on this webpage.

During this phase, we plan to be able to receive our parts and start doing analysis to determine material properties. We hope to research 3D printed materials and collect material properties to have a database of materials that we can use in our redesigns. We will work on developing a theory of operation that describes how Additive Manufacturing will work with Gleason and it's third parties in production to leverage the technology in an economical way for all involved. Our goal is to look for AM resources and 3D printing facilities available to us that we can use to print our parts.

The following is what we've been able to accomplish during this phase. We received an interim part with which we started preliminary analysis regarding material property needs. We have not yet been able to find reliable data on 3D printing material properties, but will continue searching as well as use available resources, such as the strengths lab at RIT, to conduct testing and start creating our own AM material properties database. We have found various small resources available for our use to print parts, both in house and through third parties, and are planning on taking a trip to BuffaloWorks to explore and inquire use of its facility for our parts.

Functional Decomposition

Our Functional Decomposition flowchart breaks down the major tasks that will need to completed to take a part from a drawing with limited information to a working prototype. This is a very general flowchart, however it is likely that each one of the steps shown will need to be taken in order to get a prototype of any given part.

Functional Decomposition Flowchart


Our Benchmarking is based off of the functional decomposition, and the general idea behind it is that each step listed needs to be completed in before the next step can take place. Within each step, more benchmarking can be done to gather more information and possibly make improvements to the efficiency, costs, or parts. An example of this branching out effect is shown in step 5, as selecting the material leads into other benchmarking steps.

1. Select the part to be assessed for AM

2. Create a business case to use AM on that part

3. Obtain original drawing

4. Re-engineer and model the new design

5. Select the material

Material Benchmarking

A. Acquire standard specimen of unknown material properties from an unexplored material and/or machine

-note that simply using the same material is not enough, the orientation, machine, or outside conditions are all variables. If these change, even though one is using the “same” material, a new round of testing would have to be done on this new “configuration.”

B. Perform ASTM tests to acquire all material properties possible.

C. Catalogue the material with its properties.

D. Attempt to redesign component within its package/operating limitations with new material.

6. Create a prototype of the new design

7. Send new design and process out to be approved

8. Once approved, send the new design to the manufacturer

9. Manufacturer produces part using AM

10. Part passes the dimensional quality checks

11. Part passes the non-destructive tests

12. Part passes the destructive fatigue tests

13. The part is certified and approved for use

Concept Development

Each step in our process has the potential to be improved. Whether it be making the parts stronger or lighter, or making the process itself cheaper or faster, there is always room for improvement. However, since it is a process we are designing and not a specific object or part, it is difficult to come up with any specific concepts that will lead to an improved solution every time. For a part by part basis, it is important to look at the bench marking process and ask why each step is being conducted, and what the benefits are of each step. Perhaps bench marking will reveal several new materials that could potentially be used for a given part, and a concept development analysis can be used to determine which material would be best suited to that specific part. Or maybe bench marking reveals that there are several different manufacturers, each with slightly different 3D printing capabilities. Based on the part, one manufacturer may be beneficial over another manufacturer, but this will not be the case every time. It is important that concept development is done, but there is never a solution that fits in all cases.

Feasibility: Prototyping, Analysis, Simulation

Prototyping: Initial prototyping will involve producing standard testing specimens for ASTM style materials tests to obtain material properties. This is the main obstacle in the implementation of an AM process. These samples will be used in destructive tensile, compressive, torsion, and impact testing.

Analysis: The data will be collected and catalogued much like ASTM standard materials already are, making them readily available for use on future projects.

Simulation: The simulation of this process will be done empirically with known materials first to ensure it functionality.

Using this process it should be possible to find materials that yield a redesign that maintains dimensional stability within 5% of the original tolerances, and also within 5% of the original part performance.

Morphological Chart and Concept Selection

Our Morphological Chart breaks down our process in a bit of a different perspective. Essentially, we took some of the tasks from our functional decomposition or our benchmarking and we came up with a few methods of completing those tasks. Each task will only require one method of completing it. For example, one part may use autodesk for the redesign, ANSYS for the FEA, material C, and manufacturer X. There are a variety of different paths down the morphological chart that would result in a working prototype, but each part may have some advantages or disadvantages given a certain path, so the path taken may not be the same for all parts.

Morphological Chart

Morphological Chart

Concept Selection

Due to the nature of our project, concept selection seems to be outside the scope of what we are looking to do. We are helping to create a process of taking part drawings and turning them into working prototypes using additive manufacturing, and the most important deliverable is the documentation that denotes how we get to the end objective. Our process will be made an example of for other companies to be able to see more clearly some of the advantages and disadvantages of additive manufacturing. It will be applied to many different parts and in many different scenarios, and there is no one solution that fits all parts. Therefore, it will be up to the company using our process to make a concept selection on a part by part basis. The company using our process will be able to see examples from our bench marking through to our morphological chart, and they will likely even be able to expand upon what we already have, but we do not hope to tell them what they need to do for a specific part in a specific case.

Systems Architecture

The essence behind our System Architecture flowchart is that there are several subfunctions that will come together to create a whole. In order for additive manufacturing for our customer to become a reality, each subfunction must be completed.

Systems Architecture Flowchart

Designs and Flowcharts

Decision Charts:

Decision Chart

Decision Chart

Material Decision Chart

Material Decision Chart

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment

Design Review Materials

Content has been removed due to change in customer

Plans for next phase

Plans For Next Phase Document

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