Current stamping and die making simulation tools for manufacturing sheet metal parts only provide incremental improvements over existing methodologies. Stamping and die making techniques have evolved over many years from traditional legacy processes. They rely heavily on manual die geometry creation by an expert user. The tools mirror the trial-and-error process that involves creating the die face from an input CAD file through a series of preparation steps such as hole filling, building a blank holder, and a series of addendum surfaces from profiles that connect the blank holder to the part. These pieces are finally stitched together to build up the die face geometry or surface that is just right for further validation and eventually for manufacturing. The process is purely geometry-based and relies heavily on historic geometry rules. Stamping and die making simulations to assess formability are treated as separate tasks. The geometry must be prepared for meshing and simulation by healing gaps and errors that are introduced in the die face creation. This iterative process decreases the overall productivity of a manufacturing process where there could be opportunities for achieving better quality and decrease wastage of material during production. A fundamentally new, out-of-the-box, holistic view is required that combines virtual design, feasibility and validation.
CADNexus in collaboration with ESI R&D has developed technology which enables a new paradigm to perform the entire creation of the die face in one automated sweep. The new paradigm is based on a single draped die face surface whose configuration is controlled by physics-based metrologies to check manufacturing feasibility and finally validate the surface quality required for manufacturing systems. Providing intuitive control of quality, smoothness, and speed of operations minimizes the need for user intervention.