Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Yiming (Kevin) Rong, Advisor




"Fixtures form an important factor in traditional and modern flexible manufacturing systems, since fixture design directly affects manufacturing quality and productivity. Hence, it is necessary to evaluate quality of fixture design. The fixturing accessibility refers to machining feature accessibility and loading /unloading accessibility. The development of Computer Aided Fixture Design (CAFD) has simplified this task. Fixture design activities include setup planning, fixture planning and fixture configuration design. Fixture design verification comes next. Fixturing accessibility using Computer Aided Fixture Design is part of the verification process and has not received much attention till date. Machining feature accessibility analysis involves the evaluation of possible interference between fixture components and the cutting tool, which moves with pre-programmed tool path, while the loading and unloading accessibility relates to the ease with which the operator attaches/detaches the workpiece from the surrounding manufacturing environment. This research has three main focuses. The first focus is to evaluate machining feature accessibility, by integrating fixture designs in SolidWorks and the NC programming in Esprit. The main goals are evaluation of fixture design for any kind of interference between tool/workpiece/fixtures and enable Esprit to indicate interference, if any. The next step is to modify the fixture design accordingly and thus, finally obtain an interference free fixture design by reiteration. The second and third focuses deal with analysis of loading and unloading accessibility. A simulation based approach is applied to evaluate loading/unloading paths for different workpiece-fixture setups and checking interference in a dynamic mode. Then the third focus is to develop analysis method and criteria of comparisons of fixturing accessibility in different fixture designs. Thus, this research establishes methods of analysis for accessibilities in fixture design. Also, the guidelines for good fixture design will prove to be of great use to both, the beginners as well as the experienced fixture designers in this field. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Accessibility, CAM, CAD, Integration, Fixture Design, Jigs and fixtures, Computer-aided design, Flexible manufacturing systems, CAD/CAM systems, Computer integrated manufacturing systems