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The Manufacturing Laminate Creation Utility

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Fibersim supports the development of composite structures from design all the way through to the manufacturing stage. One important tool for bridging the traditional gap between design engineers and manufacturing engineers is the Manufacturing Laminate Creation utility. The goal of this post is to provide a brief summary of the benefits of using this utility to organize your manufacturing data, and to explain some specific user options.


The Manufacturing Laminate Creation utility allows users to generate and organize manufacturing data early in the development process, concurrent to the design engineering phase. A completely separate data set is created specifically for manufacturing engineers to splice layers or plies, develop flat patterns, generate laser projection data, and produce the required data for other necessary downstream applications.

The utility includes an updating mechanism that allows changes to the design data set to propagate to the manufacturing model. This allows the two sets to stay in sync and paves the way for true concurrent engineering.


Creating an Assembly or Product First

The Manufacturing Laminate Creation utility can be run in a single model, but in order to separate the data sets into individual CAD part files, we recommend creating an assembly or product. First, the design part containing the Fibersim data can be assembled. A new manufacturing part can then be created in the assembly by copying the laminate surface from the design part. Alternatively, an existing manufacturing part can be assembled that already contains a slightly altered surface to account for spring back deformation that takes place during the curing process.


We will begin with the design part below as an example. This is the net or as-assembled shape of the final part, and it comprises a complete ACEE design, including un-spliced layers.


In our example, we would like to have separate part files for the design and manufacturing data sets, so we go ahead and assemble the design model into an assembly or product. We would also like to take spring back into consideration, so instead of simply copying the laminate surface into a new component part, we are going to create a separate part file manually and model a slightly warped surface. The image below shows the assembly structure with the design part (grey) and the manufacturing part (tan) assembled simultaneously.


The Manufacturing Laminate object can be created in any document (the design part, the manufacturing part, or the assembly), but we recommend you use either the design or manufacturing part. That way, the assembly file can be deleted without worry. If a data update is required, a new assembly can be created on the fly to give the process a context in which to run.

The figure below shows the Manufacturing Laminate Creation form. Here, users can specify the source Engineering Laminate and Rosette from the design part and the target Manufacturing Laminate and Rosette (which need to be created prior to running the utility) in the manufacturing part.


After running the utility for the first time, work can not only commence on the manufacturing data set (splicing, developing flat patterns, etc.), but work can also continue on the design data set. Changes and additions to the manufacturing data set will not affect the design data, as it is only associative one-way, but if changes are made to the design data set, the utility can be run again to push those changes to the manufacturing data set.

Any combination of the “Delete Existing Components” and “Delete Obsolete Components” options can be used. Checking “Delete Existing Components” tells Fibersim to wipe out ALL the currently existing objects in the manufacturing part before generating the new updated data set. This includes data from a previous run of the utility and any new objects created by the user. Checking “Delete Obsolete Components” means that if any layers or plies were deleted in the design data set, the manufacturing counterparts are essentially obsolete and will, therefore, be deleted.

Finally, to account for any expected spring back effect during the curing process, Siemens developed a surface in the manufacturing part that has a slight warp along the fringes. The spring back surface must overlap the design surface over the majority of their domains, whether the surfaces were developed in the same part or assembled coincidentally in an assembly or product context. If a first stage region is used, then these corresponding areas on the surfaces should coincide perfectly.

On the spring back tab of the Manufacturing Laminate Creation form, users must specify an Engineering Simulation Boundary and a spring back Simulation Boundary. These two curves must be on their respective laminates (design and manufacturing), and must be outside the laminate net boundaries on each laminate. These curves are used to determine the domain on each surface for performing the transfer. Essentially, a producibility simulation within the Simulation Boundaries is run on both surfaces that allow the design plies’ 2D flat patterns to be mapped to the 3D spring back surface.


If you have any further questions regarding the use of the Manufacturing Laminate Creation utility, or the development of a concurrent manufacturing data set in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Siemens PLM GTAC Product Support team.