Episode 41: How to Design a Part From The Ground Up
There’s a difference between designing a part to be machined, and designing a part and then trying to machine it.
In Ian’s experience, these 4 considerations are absolutely necessary before you begin the part design processes.
Here are 4 tips to consider before you start designing a part.
1. Material selection: Are you selecting a practical material for the application? Is it really necessary to use an exotic material? Select a material based off of the needs of your part, like strength, corrosion and wear resistance.
2. Stock size and material availability: Make sure the size exists and you can actually obtain it. One of the worst things is getting deep into a design project, passing approvals etc. and the material you selected isn’t an option. Select nominal sizes and as close to the size of the final part as possible. The more material you will have to remove is that you’re selling your spindle time. The more you have to work with the sizing the more you’ll have to sell the part for and the less competitive you’ll be. Research the material and sizing availability before you get into the part design process.
3. Workholding and tooling availability: Check this out BEFORE you design your part! How are you going to hold the part? How many parts do you have to make? Is it worth developing a fixture for it? Make sure your ideas for programming your design are actually possible with the tooling you have available and that you can accomplish the part with conventional, off the shelf tooling.
4. Finally, design the part! Design it specifically to your tooling and to your workholding. Develop the part to be machined as opposed to developing a part and then trying to machine it. Are you a machinist who designs parts? What are the steps you take and considerations you make when designing a part?
Are you a machinist who designs parts? What are the steps you take and considerations you make when designing a part?