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Technical Brief

Evaluation of Design Feedback Modality in Design for Manufacturability

[+] Author and Article Information
Prashant Barnawal

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, 3004 Black Engineering; Ames, IA 50011, USA
imprsnt@gmail.com

Michael Dorneich

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, 3004 Black Engineering; Ames, IA 50011, USA
dorneich@iastate.edu

Matthew C. Frank

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, 3004 Black Engineering; Ames, IA 50011, USA
mfrank@iastate.edu

Frank Peters

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Iowa State University, 3004 Black Engineering; Ames, IA 50011, USA
fpeters@iastate.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037109 History: Received July 23, 2016; Revised June 09, 2017

Abstract

The early conceptual design phase often focuses on functional requirements, with a limited consideration of the manufacturing processes that will be needed to turn design engineers' conceptual models into physical products. In the past, design and manufacturing engineers often worked in close physical proximity. Today, the geographically distributed manufacturing paradigm has slowed the feedback cycle and increased product lead-time. Design for manufacturability (DFM) techniques have been adopted to overcome this problem. DFM feedback is critical for faster convergence to a manufacturable design. DFM tools give feedback in several modalities, including textual and graphical. However, since information modality may affect interpretability, empirical evidence is needed to understand how manufacturability feedback modalities affect design engineers' work. A user study was conducted with novice design engineers to evaluate how their design performance, workload, confidence, and feedback usability were affected by textual, two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) feedback modalities. Results showed that graphical feedback significantly improved performance and reduced mental workload compared to textual and no feedback. Differences between 3D and 2D feedback were mixed. 3D was generally better on average, but not significantly so. However, the usability of 3D was significantly higher than 2D. Conversely, providing feedback in textual modality was often no better than not providing any feedback. The study will benefit manufacturing industries by demonstrating that early 3D manufacturability feedback improves novice design engineers' performance with less mental workload, and streamlines the design process resulting in cost-saving and reduction of product lead-time.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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