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In the past, any interest in BMFS technology was restricted to a small number of experts in research or academia. Recently, however, BMF simulators have become essential even to small-sized companies that manufacture critical automotive parts. User friendliness is therefore of great importance, as many users are not proficient in the theory of plasticity or numerical approaches to mechanics, even though they are experts in the field of BMF process design. AFDEX provides the recommended initial default values for any process when users enter fundamental process information, such as problem type, number of stages, material type, machine type, die geometries, and the like. AFDEX also provides powerful computer graphics support, as shown in the figure. AFDEX can, of course, be linked to any CAD system via the DXF file format in 2D and the STL format in 3D.
Ease of use is one of the essential requirements as far as it is an intelligent metal forming simulator. In developing AFDEX, we incorporated advices from related industries, and thus our pre- and post-processors are believed to be very user friendly. Experience convinces us that one or two days are sufficient for process design engineers to learn how to use the simulators if they are proficient at utilizing CAD software. A user manual is not essential, as AFDEX can be learned heuristically by interfacing with the pre- and post-processors. Of course, AFDEX provides various ways for specialized users to modify the default values and newly define professional constants.