Towards Intelligent Design Tools for Micro-Scale Components
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Galea, Amanda; Borg, Jonathan; Grech, Alexia; Farrugia, Philip
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Increasing market pressures to produce smaller, easier-to-use and cheaper products with minimal time-to-market, are putting more pressures on design and manufacturing industries to invest in better technologies in order to help them meet these needs. In micro-manufacturing, which involves the manufacturing of components whose form features, or at least one dimension, is in the order of µm, this is even more so. The reason for this is that during design and manufacture of micro components, one has to take into account not only of the size, but also issues concerning special material properties, micro tooling and equipment and micro handling. These additional requirements drive the need for more intelligent design tools to aid designers in the generation of micro components so that manufacturing and other life-cycle issues can be taken into account. This paper contributes to supporting design in this direction - by presenting a framework for an intelligent design tool that explicitly aims at assisting designers working in the micro-scale domain to take a life-cycle approach in their work.