KU Leuven

Design for Manufacturing: Intelligent CAD support assuring ease of manufacture

2024-06-30 (Europe/Brussels)
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As part of the Mechanical Engineering Department of KU Leuven, the Manufacturing Processes and Systems Division focuses on the development of innovative manufacturing processes for versatile production. The research groups in this division typically work in close collaboration with machine tool builders and CAD/CAM system developers, often in the context of long term structural collaboration agreements. The targeted research will tap into the expertise covered by multiple research groups, thus providing access to expert knowledge with respect to different process categories.


Designers developing their product ideas in a CAD environment often lack active knowledge of the manufacturing processes that will ultimately be used to produce the parts they conceive. In this research project the development of a realtime design support functionality is envisaged. The targeted CAD embedded assistance tool will not only verify the design for the geometric and technological limitations of manufacturing processes, but also can provide advise to designers on part features that may make the production more difficult to execute and that are thus economically less favourable.  For this purpose extensive use will be made of different types of information sources: both explicit knowledge concerning manufacturing rules and good practices for different process categories, and experimental production data gathered in industrial production environments. These data will be used to extract the required information on the difficulty to actually produce features of an envisaged part geometry. Substantial time is reserved for building the necessary databases in close collaboration with a number of industrial partners. Advanced machine learning algorithms will be used to extract knowledge from these datasets containing productivity related information.  For this purpose intensive collaboration with AI experts is an essential part of the project.  Processes that will be covered within the scope of the project are laser cutting, milling, bending, die based manufacturing and welding, but generic method development is targeted that should allow extending the scope of the envisaged CAD design support system to a broader set of process categories.  

Multiple full scholarships are available to support this research: researchers will thus be able to specialise in specific process categories,  but will work in parallel with colleagues focusing on complementary branches of the process taxonomy tree in a multidisciplinary team.


The envisaged candidate will have a Mechanical/Manufacturing engineering profile with strong Computer Science interest or vice versa.  Candidates should have distinguished themselves during their under graduate and  graduate studies and have the ambition to obtain a doctoral degree.
The ideal candidate will have a solid background in manufacturing processes, a strong interest in design for manufacturing, an active knowledge of CAD systems and preferably also of STL based geometric modelling systems. Affinity with AI techniques, such as expert systems and machine learning algorithms, forms an asset, as is possible experience with geometric reasoning algorithms. Programming skills and some fluency in the use of development tools like Python are highly desirable.
A profound interest in and solid background knowledge of one or more of the listed process categories is required to guarantee a fast learning curve in the targeted research.  The candidates selected for these vacancies will work closely together with IT specialists and graphical programmers developing feature extraction techniques as an interface between the emerging CAD models and the targeted manufacturability verification modules.


Multiple full PhD scholarships are available to support this research.  The candidates will work in a team of three research partner organizations and will intensively collaborate with colleagues focusing on complementary process categories and with industrial partners providing operational data from commercial production activities.  The industrial relevance of the research work will be assured by interaction with a number of industrial end-users of the envisaged functionality.

More information



For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Joost Duflou, tel.: +32 16 32 28 45, mail: joost.duflou@kuleuven.be.

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Informatie over de vacature

Design for Manufacturing: Intelligent CAD support assuring ease of manufacture
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
2024-06-30 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-06-30 23:59 (CET)
Soort functie
Baan opslaan

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Over de werkgever

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

De pagina van de werkgever bekijken