Design plays an important part throughout your project
With our dedicated team of in-house design engineers, Physical Digital® provides a variety of design services to support your project.
Throughout the cycle of a project, consideration for design should be taken; how a part will be manufactured, the process, material, quantity, environmental affects etc. Our design engineers and metrology team work closely from the very beginning of your project to establish and understand the exact design requirements and intended outcome end-to-end, using their experience and expertise to help you to achieve the very best result.
An understanding of the measurement process is vital
Whilst undertaking reverse engineering of components and/or assemblies, there are generally opportunities to improve the design. Design optimisation could be required from experience of operation or maybe the introduction of new and improved manufacturing techniques since the original design. Our designers can apply their vast experience across multiple industries to optimise the design to improve operation and reduce cost.
Design for Manufacture (DfM) and Design for Assembly (DfA) are key to the design process. We employ these practices when designing our own fixtures and when undertaking reverse engineering. Reducing the part count, developing modular design, ensuring ease of manufacture and assembly are essential aspects of quality design and something that our team focus on when working with you on your project.
Design definition can be in many forms. Physical Digital is able to produce high quality traditional detail drawings through to advanced model based definition. Our reverse engineering projects often require 2D drawing definition and our skilled design team produce high quality drawings to both BS and ASME standards including GD&T as required. Additionally we work to client-specific standards including modelling and drafting guidelines and procedures where requested.
Some clients require scan data as graphical images rather than CAD solid models. We use powerful rendering tools to provide high quality photo-realistic images of parts which the client can use for marketing or technical documentation.
More on our design services
To capture 3D scan data for quality inspection, the components often need to be supported by a fixture which allows repeatability of position within the scan volume, while also allowing the maximum optical access across the whole surface of the component. The design of the fixture requires an understanding of metrology and the scanning process. As well as the repeatability and optical access requirements, elements such as thermal expansion effects need to be taken into account to ensure a robust design. Physical Digital designs fixtures for components where we are delivering a complete turn key measurement, inspection and reporting service. We also use this knowledge to design and supply fixtures for clients who do not have in-house design and manufacture capabilities.
GD&T and PMI
We understand and employ geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) to drawing definition. This has advantages over conventional dimensioning when defining the relationship between mating parts, providing uniform interpretation and cost effective assembly.
Additionally model based definition is an efficient method of communicating design intent. We primarily use Siemens NX and the industry standard product and manufacturing information (PMI) tool within this 3D CAD tool allows us to convey information such as GD&T, surface finish and material specifications directly to the manufacturer and shorten the design cycle.
Specialist software and file types
Our team works with a number of specialist software suites, most notably Siemens NX (.Prt), which is a widely used cutting-edge CAD software, often the required platform for many of our Aerospace clients.
We are also able to complete design work in the following, providing a range of formatting options for export to: SolidWorks (X_t), Catia V5 (.Catpart), Pro Engineer (.prt ), Rhino (3dm), AutoCAD (dwg/dxf), and Open Formats (.IGES / .Step / JT Open/ 3D PDF).
FEA for verification
The design team at Physical Digital is able to complete Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for fixtures that we have designed and manufactured for our clients as part of a complete measurement project. The FEA can be used for verification of the part and the reports can be provided to our clients where required.