Original Date: 04/01/1993
Revision Date: 01/19/2007
Best Practice : Electronic Development Fixture
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) effectively uses an Electronic Development Fixture (EDF), a three-dimensional digital model which includes data such as weight, thermal, strength, and logistics used by production engineers in the development of Space Station for NASA. Design and manufacturing disciplines, as well as customers, have access to the latest digital product model and concurrently work to ensure that the model is accurate and complete.
By adopting a digital approach to modeling, costly mistakes are avoided resulting in reduced development time. The Unigraphics-based CAD/CAM/CAE system allows users to electronically investigate fit, form, function and interference detection. This is the primary tool for analysis, tool and support equipment design, wire harness and fluid tube development, and direct hand-off to the computer aided manufacturing processes. Tubing and wire harness drawings are produced automatically from EDF centerline routing data. The database is also used to facilitate assembly instructions, illustrated assembly and maintenance aids, factory layout, and part packaging. Parts manufacturing is automated by generating NC code from solid models that reside in the system.
Once Space Station is complete, NASA can use this model for logistics support, training, modifications and technological enhancements. Other industries can benefit by concurrently using CAD/CAM resources to reduce cost and product development time.
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