Three-dimensional packing problems occur in various industrial settings in which miniaturisation trends increase the need for high packing density and fitting of components in small design spaces. Our project 3D-Packing focusses on packaging problems in engineering applications like finding compact machine assemblies and supporting the conceptual layout of vehicles (e.g. in automotive and aerospace industries). Our goal is to support with algorithmic techniques the design of package layouts that meet the functional relationships between the parts and match market needs including cost, safety, comfort, as well as economic and environmental aspects. Integrating computer aided packaging functionalities into modern CAD-systems offers optimized solutions while reducing the time to market.
The Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) has long-term expertise in solving two-dimensional packing problems. The projects OMSI and ROUTING are concerned with optimal layout generation for VLSI chips. This task includes the placement of gates and routing of wires under various technological constraints. In addition, we developed software packages to minimize the amount of wasted material in cutting images for leather and textile industry. This work is done in the NESTING project and forms the basis for our three-dimensional packing activities in mechanical engineering.
To assure the practical relevance of our research activities, we maintain intensive dialogues with industrial partners. On packaging problems in automobile design, we cooperate with the passenger car division of Mercedes-Benz and the research sector of Daimler-Benz.