Development of a Demonstrator in the Aerospace Industry for Visualization of 3D Work Instructions

University essay from Linköpings universitet/MaskinkonstruktionLinköpings universitet/Tekniska fakulteten; Linköpings universitet/MaskinkonstruktionLinköpings universitet/Tekniska fakulteten


This master thesis was performed at the business area of Aeronautics at Saab AB in collaboration with Linköping University during the spring of 2015.

In a complex product development environment, having knowledge about different processes is advantageous for efficiency. Model Based Definition (MBD) is a product development process where a 3D-model is the main source of information and the same 3D-model is applied all the way from design to production. In assembly, the operator follows work instructions where the 3D-model, and its requirements, is visualized. The model is always updated to the latest version and no 2D-drawings are needed. Saab applied MBD during the development of the new generation of the fighter aircraft JAS 39 Gripen. This change, from previously 2D to 3D, has caused that both internal and external people have minor knowledge about the new developing process of MBD.

The purpose of the thesis was to develop a demonstrator acting as an educational environment to share knowledge about the MBD-process and the 3D work instructions. New methods and processes could be tested and evaluated in the demonstrator before implementing into the real product development process.

By following and developing an interdependent and iterative product development process, this work has visualized the MBD-process. Designing and developing a demonstrator, using the same tools as in the real product development process, accomplished this. This thesis has developed a demonstrator that includes the main components of a physical model with corresponding 3D work instructions and a conceptual layout. A physical Lego model of Gripen provides a flexible and interesting way of sharing knowledge to the user who interacts with the demonstrator. The 3D work instructions were created in a way so that the user can assemble and interact with the same expressions and terms in order to get an understanding about how they are used. The educational aspect is important where simplifications and additional notes to the instructions help to get a better understanding. Depending on who the user is, different levels of preparations are needed. The recognition factor is important to a user with experience of MBD; it needs to be able to understand how different terms and requirements are used in the development process.

The future work is about setting up the demonstrator and conduct usability tests to evaluate, modify and implement more details. Using a demonstrator in this purpose can be helpful for evaluating different techniques, methods or systems and reduce the errors in the product development process. It can also encourage people to a new enjoyable way of learning.

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