An Automated Design Framework for Assembly Task Simulation

R. McConnell, J. Butterfield, K. Rafferty, M. Price, A. Murphy, R. Burke, A. Legg, R. Lemon

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This paper presents an automated design framework for the development of individual part forming tools for a composite stiffener. The framework uses parametrically developed design geometries for both the part and its layup tool. The framework has been developed with a functioning user interface where part / tool combinations are passed to a virtual environment for utility based assessment of their features and assemblability characteristics. The work demonstrates clear benefits in process design methods with conventional design timelines reduced from hours and days to minutes and seconds. The methods developed here were able to produce a digital mock up of a component with its associated layup tool in less than 3 minutes. The virtual environment presenting the design to the designer for interactive assembly planning was generated in 20 seconds. Challenges still exist in determining the level of reality required to provide an effective learning environment in the virtual world. Full representation of physical phenomena such as gravity, part clashes and the representation of standard build functions require further work to represent real physical phenomena more accurately.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPROCIR4360
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2016
Event9th International Conference on Digital Enterprise Technology - DET 2016 – “Intelligent Manufacturing in the Knowledge Economy Era - Nanjing, China
Duration: 29 Mar 201631 Mar 2016 (Link to conference details online)


  • Virtual reality; assembly optimisation; learning; assembly optimisation


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