Virtual and Real Forming of Sheet Metal - A Classroom Scenario

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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings


This paper is concerned with the philosophy behind development of a new course Computer Simulation of Metal Forming Processes at Kettering University (formerly, GMI Engineering & Management Institute) in Flint, Michigan. Kettering University has a unique undergraduate program that requires all students to go through a 5-year co-op experience beginning in the first year and a required fifth year thesis. In talking to several co-op company advisors and based on advising several fifth year thesis students for the past two years at Kettering University, it is becoming apparent that validation of virtual forming outcomes of intricate and complex sheet metal parts with real forming is rapidly gaining importance. This is particularly true in the early stages of product and process design, because of the high cost and time associated with real forming using hard tooling. Students working in this or similar virtual product and process design areas need to be trained in order to meet the demands of such industries. In a class room environment, however, the use of virtual forming is enhanced by demonstrating that the virtual process provides solutions very nearly identical to the real process. In order for the students to have instant feedback of virtual forming technology, real forming by use of hard tooling is necessary and crucial for their proper understanding of the forming process itself. It is believed that no other school offers a course coupling at the undergraduate level that combines both virtual and real forming. The ultimate goal of this course coupling is to bridge this gap. Initially, however, product and process design in the area of sheet metal forming is addressed.





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