Modeler makes things happen in half the time

Sept. 16, 2004
Eifel Mold and Engineering says it now designs products in parallel with production tooling

The Chrysler PT Cruiser tuner kit was delivered in 12 weeks along with molds. This is about 50% faster than usual for a project of this sort.

After an initial design, clients and stylists can see a virtual model. Icem Surf renders and quickly generates highlights on the model to let stylists understand, change, and approve a design.

Eifel Mold and Engineering says it now designs products in parallel with production tooling. The result: Complex projects get completed in about half the time once needed. The company dubs its procedures Simultaneous Product Design and Manufacturing (SPDM). It involves surface modeling, analysis, and visualization capabilities in software called Icem Surf from Icem Inc., Livonia, Mich. ( Also used are other CAD tools, high-speed milling, and a hefty dose of manufacturing expertise.

"Prior to Icem Surf, changes to a design could create unexpected errors in surfaces, such as bumps, waves, or gaps, which must be avoided when building molds," says Tim Hay, senior design engineer at the company. "Icem Surf helps us avoid these."

A recent project for the Fraiser, Mich., company ( was a tuner kit for Chrysler's PT Cruiser. The project required front and rear extensions and rocker panels, with aluminum tooling manufactured on approval of the design. Eifel was asked to deliver in 12 weeks rather than the more customary 24.

Engineers there made a whitelight optical scan of the car, incorporating the tuner kit as clay model extensions. They then downloaded point-cloud data derived from the scan directly into Icem Surf. "The scan gives an accurate 3D representation of the vehicle, letting us precisely locate attachment points. Modeling directly onto the scan increased-accuracy and validity of the design," says Hay. The software made it possible to change geometry and do a dynamic analysis of the digital surface model.

Sponsored Recommendations

From concept to consumption: Optimizing success in food and beverage

April 9, 2024
Identifying opportunities and solutions for plant floor optimization has never been easier. Download our visual guide to quickly and efficiently pinpoint areas for operational...

A closer look at modern design considerations for food and beverage

April 9, 2024
With new and changing safety and hygiene regulations at top of mind, its easy to understand how other crucial aspects of machine design can get pushed aside. Our whitepaper explores...

Cybersecurity and the Medical Manufacturing Industry

April 9, 2024
Learn about medical manufacturing cybersecurity risks, costs, and threats as well as effective cybersecurity strategies and essential solutions.

Condition Monitoring for Energy and Utilities Assets

April 9, 2024
Condition monitoring is an essential element of asset management in the energy and utilities industry. The American oil and gas, water and wastewater, and electrical grid sectors...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!