Journal Article Manufacturability evaluation for molded parts using fictitious physical models, and its application in topology optimization

Sato, Yuki  ,  Yamada, Takayuki  ,  Izui, Kazuhiro  ,  Nishiwaki, Shinji

Manufacturing methods using molds, such as casting and injection molding, are widely used in industries. A basic requirement when using such manufacturing methods is that design engineers must design products so that they incorporate certain geometrical features that allow the mold parts to be removed from the created solid object. In the present study, we propose a manufacturability evaluation method especially adapted for the use of molds. To evaluate the manufacturability, we introduce fictitious physical models that are described by steady-state anisotropic advection-diffusion equations. In these fictitious physical models, material domains have a virtual source term and the advection directions are aligned with the directions along which the mold parts are parted. Void regions, where the values of all fictitious physical fields are high, then represent either undercut geometries that would prevent the mold from being released, or interior voids that cannot be cast. Consequently, manufacturability can be evaluated using these fictitious physical fields. Furthermore, in the present study, we integrate this evaluation method with topology optimization and propose a scheme for imposing a molding constraint within the topology optimization procedure. This newly proposed topology optimization method can consider the position of mold parting lines prior to the detailed optimization procedure. Several numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed method.

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