An efficient mechanical product design process implies the evaluation of many alternatives in a short time and rapid product changes on the basis of emerging needs. Product cost is one of the main factors in order to choose the most promising solution. Hence its accurate estimation in the design phases is fundamental. The main problem is the vast amount of knowledge that has to be managed in order to make robust evaluations. Features based 3D CAD models implicitly contain part of needed information. But such information has to be elaborated by adopting suitable rules based on manufacturing knowledge. In this context, the paper presents an approach and the related knowledge-based system able to automatically make reliable cost estimation starting from the 3D CAD model. The approach is based on the manufacturing knowledge formalization, on the geometrical and non-geometrical feature automatic recognition and, finally, on the mapping between manufacturing operations and modelling features. In order to validate the system performance case studies are reported. © 2010 Springer-Verlag London Limited.
Cicconi, P., Germani, M., Mandolini, M. (2010). How to support mechanical product cost estimation in the embodiment design phase. In Advanced Concurrent Engineering (pp.419-430). HEIDELBERGER PLATZ 3, D-14197 BERLIN, GERMANY : Springer-Verlag London Ltd [10.1007/978-0-85729-024-3_45].