Could you give me some hot topic ideas in computer aided design and computer aided manufaturing for doing a PhD project? I would suggest a complex device (anything from a watch to an engine) where tolerances and interaction between parts is a big part of success. Talking tolerances and so on, much of the cost of manufacturing results from having to achieve certain tolerances for assembly, not function. I think the uptake of extrusions in vehicle structures has been poor in part due to an apparent inability to get them into a useable tolerance envelope. Things in the auto industry are often disappointingly fashion driven and to a certain degree aluminium was yesterdays fashion. Unlike many CAD-CAM problems (that are just nice to have resolved) this one is real and disturbing.
CAD models of steel structures built for industrial projects may be as big as 800 members (columns, beams, braces).

Yes, they do translate; however, the result of these 'translations' is not valuable, not workable for the CAM recipient. Products and materials used in mechanical assembly, and non-destructive test procedures to detect problems. The information contained on this site is by users for users and is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute advice.
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There are certain technologies that would have to be developed the would underpin a modular design, but that would be a huge enabler to changing the global automotive paradigm that we are presently burdened with. If you could model something like that and then animate it to see if all tolerances are correct and nothing bangs against something else, that would be truly great.

This is a typical engineering problem that a combination of process modelling to guide (among other things) die design and creating a tolerant design and assembly system could address.
It's still a very interesting material and far from fulfilling its potential in this field. In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois). Because of the financial implications I'm sure the subject has attracted attention but there's always room for novel thinking. Though, there I'm talking about CAD-CAE translations, the 'Geometry Differences' with CAM would be the same (or similar').

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