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Manufacturability analysis systems (MASs) have been developed to ensure that the `ready for manufacture' designs are exempted from repetitive iterations occurring at the interface between design and manufacturing activities when the sequential approach of the product development lifecycle is taken into account. The feature analysis approach is one of the methods used to gather information from the proposed design for manufacturability assessment purposes. The objective of this paper is to explore the development of a MAS for micro-milling process run on a custom-built 4-axis Miniature Machine Tool (MMT). In the introduction to this paper, the definition, methodology and importance of MAS are discussed along with their relations to feature analysis. In this paper, the Primitive Feature Analysis (PFA) approach is being implemented in collecting data from the CAD model and further to analysis their manufacturability. Next, the development of the MAS is discussed where the analysis which is supported by a database containing rules and constraints that are specific to micro-milling process in MMT; these account for primitive features orientations/interactions as well as machining conditions and workpiece materials. The new MAS is able to illustrate the analysis of the PFA approach and it provides outputs such as redesign suggestions and manufacturability indices. Finally, the paper discusses the advantages and possible limitations of the developed MAS followed by suggestions for future developments.
Date of Conference: 17-19 July 2011