The importance and foundation for conceptual-level design of integral snap-fit assemblies was first pointed out by Bonenberger at General Motors. Based on that work, a design methodology is presented to identify and address important issues at the conceptual-level in a systematic way and generate alternative attachment concepts. The methodology starts by exploring the design space to generate as many concepts as possible. Alternative concepts are generated by considering variation in interface geometry, assembly procedure, snap-fit features, and options for fully constraining all parts in the assembly. At the last step, alternatives are evaluated by using a quantitative tool, and the “best” attachment concept is selected based on design objectives for a particular application. Applying the design methodology to case studies confirms that it is a useful design aid for efficiently generating, evaluating, or simply checking attachment concepts.

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