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Automated Manufacturability Analysis: A Survey

Satyandra K. Gupta
Rapid Manufacturing Laboratory
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburg, PA 15213

Diganta Das
Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Institute for Systems Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

William C. Regli
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
Building 220, Room A-127
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

Dana S. Nau
Department of Computer Science, and Institute for Systems Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


In the marketplace of the 21st century, there is no place for traditional ``over-the-wall'' communications between design and manufacturing. In order to ``design it right the very first time,'' designers must ensure that their products are both functional and easy to manufacture. Software tools have had some successes in reducing the barriers between design and manufacturing. Manufacturability analysis systems are emerging as one such tool---enabling identification of potential manufacturing problems during the design phase and providing suggestions to designers on how to eliminate them.

In this paper, we provide a survey of current state of the art in automated manufacturability analysis. We present the historical context in which this area has emerged and outline characteristics to compare and classify various systems. We describe the two dominant approaches to automated manufacturability analysis and overview representative systems based on their application domain. We describe support tools that enhance the effectiveness of manufacturability analysis systems. Finally, we attempt to expose some of the existing research challenges and future directions.

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