Projects into industry - taking academic ideas on parametric modelling to industry

Year: 2009
Editor: Clarke, A, Ion, W, McMahon, C and Hogarth, P
Author: Dowlen, Chris
Page(s): 91-96


This describes two instances where parametric CAD modelling has been used to good effect in industrial-based projects, reducing significantly the time taken in the design stage as a result. The initial vision for their incorporation came from understanding that many product ranges show similarities. This developed into a project presented to Design and Manufacturing Management MSc students to develop their practical computing and manufacture skills in developing parametric descriptions of a range of model steam locomotives in a form that would be suitable for production. Two examples are described where similar visions of the possibilities for parametric modelling have been transferred to industry. The first was to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project between London South Bank University and Wright Manufacturing Ltd. Wright manufactures food processing machinery, and the major part of the project was to develop a new range of vibratory conveyors for the company. However, the opportunity was also taken to incorporate concepts of parametric modelling into the new range, cutting down significantly on the design office time for each project. The second involved an MSc student taking the initial model locomotive brief and revising it, through discussions with Daimler-Benz, into a proposal to utilise parametric concept modelling for the generation of alternative seating plans for the Mercedes-Benz range of minibuses. These two instances of parametric modelling have been incorporated into the company design processes, saving significant time and design energy in the process. These last two examples demonstrate the possibilities for academic and student-led projects to be incorporated meaningfully into industry.

Keywords: Parametric design, student projects, academic-industrial liaison

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