Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Matthew C. Frank


The decisions made during the design process have a significant impact on the manufacturing of a part. Besides technical and functional requirements, designers also weigh in the effects that design geometry, material, and specifications will have on energy consumption. Since most of a part’s sustainability impact is defined during the design process, it is important that engineers consider sustainability throughout the design process. Existing tools that assess the sustainability of designs do not consider the geometric complexity of designs and provide little guidance for engineers to improve designs.

Based on the notion that more complex designs will require more resources to manufacture, this thesis proposes a new approach to assess energy consumption at the manufacturing stage. The overarching purpose of this thesis is to propose the framework for a tool that can guide engineers to more sustainable designs. A new sustainability assessment tool should analyze the complexity of design geometries (i.e. CAD files) in order to predict their energy consumption during manufacturing.

Since the first step to develop a tool was to study the major geometric factors that influence a part’s manufacturing energy consumption, this thesis presents a paper on the effect that design geometry has on energy consumption during CNC machining. This study found that up to 98% of the variability in energy consumption during the machining of a part can be predicted using its geometric characteristics. In fact, the design’s length, reachability score, and bounding volume explain up to 75% of the variability in energy consumption. It was also found that semi-finishing and ball milling operations account for more than three-quarters of the total energy consumption during machining.

The findings from the study can be used to predict the relative manufacturing energy consumption given the geometry of a component. This can be further refined to develop a tool that can guide engineers to more sustainable designs. The model presented in this thesis can be used as a stepping-stone for the development of a tool that can analyze design geometry from a CAD file, provide feedback to design engineers, and guide them to more sustainable designs. Based on the findings of this study, the tool should use an assessment model that takes into account geometric characteristics such as surface area, dimensions, and reachability, in addition to final part volume and volume removed.


Copyright Owner

Alicia M. Guzman Gutierrez



File Format


File Size

59 pages