DFM(Direct Functional Modeling™)とは何か?
Direct Functional Modeling™

DFM(Direct Functional Modeling™)とは、「ユーザーが求める機能から逆算してプロダクトの形状を決定する」ための設計アルゴリズム群を総称したものになります。DFMでは1)メタマテリアル単位構造の自動生成アルゴリズム、および2)抽出されたメタマテリアル単位構造を外形形状への割当てアルゴリズムの2つを活用することで、通常のプロダクト開発では困難な、「機能から形状を逆算する」というプロセスを実現します。

DFM (Direct Functional Modeling™) is a generic term for a group of design algorithms that determine the shape of a product by calculating backwards from the properties required by the user. DFM has two strands of algorithms: 1) an algorithm for automatically generating metamaterial unit structures, and 2) an algorithm for assigning the extracted metamaterial unit structures to external shapes, in order to achieve the process of calculating shapes backward from functions, which is difficult in ordinary product development.

Process of DFM

Automatically Generate Unit Structures


Metamaterial unit structures, called lattices or compliant mechanisms, have physical properties such as rigidity as the unit structure. the DFM generates a large number of metamaterial unit structures in advance and analyzes their functions.

Assign Selected Structure to External Shape


Users can automatically assign the appropriate metamaterial unit structure in each cell to achieve the properties that users want in the macro shape.

DFM's Value Proposition
DFM's Value Proposition

Values That DFM Brings


DFM can be used to add a variety of properties that are difficult to achieve in conventional manufacturing. For example, DFM is able to add some properties to absorb vibration/noise to components that were conventionally thought of as simple rigid bodies, and to realize integrated and precise behavior for moving parts that would otherwise be out of alignment.

Examples of DFM’s Value

Vibration Control


By DFM, we can create some structures that suppress or amplify vibrations in a specific frequency range. These structures can be used for vibration isolation, quieting noise caused by vibration, and preventing resonance and sharpening vibration in haptic devices. These vibration control technologies not only solve the problems of conventional products, but also support the development of new products that incorporate vibration.

Precision And Microscopic Behavior


DFM enables the creation of moving parts such as hinges with the elastic deformation of an integral structure. Such a one-piece structure, which does not require assembly, can achieve more precise behavior than conventional moving parts such as hinges, because there is no "gap" between parts. They can also be applied to control the precise behavior of very small scales that are difficult to assemble, such as MEMS.

High Deformation-Following Ability to The Human Body


It is possible that we add a high deformation-following ability that is difficult to achieve with existing materials. This structure can be used to improve the followability of cushioning materials, cushions, grippers, etc., and to efficiently distribute the load on the human body. Also, by using a structure that deforms only to a specific target shape through DFM, it is possible to add new functions to products that could not be achieved with existing materials, such as promoting correct posture control while fitting the human body.

Expansion of Design Freedom


The integrated functional design of DFM is fundamentally different from the conventional design concept that assumes the processing and assembly of components. DFM design, which is free from existing processing and assembly, not only embeds new functions into products, but also expands the degree of freedom in design, such as modeling complex shapes that were previously difficult to manufacture, while taking manufacturability into consideration.