One of aPriori’s unique differentiators is the system’s ability to calculate detailed cost estimates using nearly any major 3D CAD model as a primary input to the calculation.
aPriori can run concurrently with the CAD application or as a standalone application where the user simply opens the CAD model from within aPriori when they are ready to perform a cost assessment. In either configuration, aPriori automatically evaluates the currently active model (part or assembly) for geometry, tolerances, surface finish, material and relevant parameters. From this information, aPriori can determine the Geometric Cost Drivers (GCDs) – that is, those aspects of the product’s design that drive costs. Representative GCDs are a product’s size, shape, complexity, number of holes, number of bends, thickness, profile, tolerances and roughness of surfaces, etc. aPriori automatically and continuously evaluates the CAD model looking for GCDs.
These GCDs are evaluated in a physics-based model of the applicable manufacturing process (e.g., machining, casting, injection molding, etc.) in combination with other (non-geometric) cost drivers such as manufacturing cost accounting methods, processes, facilities and production parameters. Your manufacturing facilities or those of your suppliers are represented by Virtual Production Environments (VPEs).
aPriori determines the lowest cost manufacturing method for the part or assembly and provides that feedback in real time back to the designer.
The aPriori cost ticker is a compact, real-time display that provides designers a visual summary of material, labor, direct overhead, period overhead and amortized tooling costs.
In addition, the user can open the full aPriori Client to understand the elements of the design that drive cost (for example, an undercut in an injection molded part might require an additional side core in the tooling).
For specific details on the latest CAD versions supported, please refer to the Customer Support/Documentation page and look for the System Requirements document.