Design optimization algorithms have traditionally focused on lowering weight and improving structural performance. Although cost is a vital factor in every emerging design, existing tools lack key features and capabilities in optimizing designs for minimum product cost at acceptable performance levels. This paper presents a novel methodology for developing a decision support tool for designers based on manufacturing cost. The approach focuses on exploiting the advantages offered by combining parametric CAD, Finite element analysis, feature based cost estimation and optimization techniques within a single automated system. This methodology is then applied in optimizing the geometry for minimum manufacturing cost of an engine mounting link from a Rolls-Royce civil aircraft engine.

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