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DFMA® Resources

Success stories and implementation information that will help you communicate the benefits of DFMA® within your organization, and to quickly bring new users up to speed.

DFMA® Frequently Asked Questions


  • What does DFMA® software do?
  • DFMA® software estimates piece part costs and analyzes product structure to identify opportunities for cost reduction during the earliest stages of design.
  • What industries/products does DFMA® software work best with?
  • DFMA® can be applied to any electro-mechanical product that requires manufacture and assembly of metallic or plastic components. Ignoring any cultural/organizational challenges, there is no evidence that DFMA® is better suited to any particular industry.
  • Is DFA (Design for Assembly) an exercise in Value Engineering?
  • While there are similarities between these two methodologies in that they both involve function and cost, it is intended that total product functionality be static during a Design for Assembly exercise. To achieve cost reduction through Design for Assembly, the use of fewer, multi-functional parts in place of more complicated assemblies is encouraged. Value Engineering differs in that product functionality is analyzed in terms of value delivered by its inclusion in the product. In Design for Assembly, we are only focused on impacting the product's assembly efficiency while maintaining all of the functionality the designer intended.
  • Do you provide training that covers the DFMA® methodology but not the software?
  • No, we do not offer training that does not also include the use of the DFMA® software. Although there are some basic “principles of DFMA” that can be learned, the methodology is data-driven and not practical to perform using hand calculations. DFMA® is not a brain-storming exercise, but a systematic process for generating a superior product design. Due to the necessity of the data, the methodology and the software have co-existed in usage since enterprise software became prominent in the 1980s.
  • Purchase/Licensing

  • How much does the software cost?
  • Due to the wide variety of needs from our customers, we require some information before we can prepare a quote for you. To begin the process, please visit the Contact Us page and fill out the required form. A representative from our organization should reach out to you shortly.
  • What type of software licenses do you sell?
  • We offer floating and node-locked, both of which can be purchased as an annual subscription or perpetual license. A floating license is hosted by the customer on a server they control and has a defined number of simultaneous users. A node-license is locked to a specific computer/machine. Floating licenses provide greater flexibility in that they can be accessed by an unlimited number of different organizational users, only being restricted by the number of concurrent user licenses the organization has purchased. Node-locked licenses allow customers to use the software without a network connection, which is ideal for users who travel frequently.
  • What is included in maintenance for a perpetual license?
  • All updates to the software, including new cost models and data changes are included. We also include technical support, license re-hosting, and general help regarding use of the software. The services provided with a maintenance contract are fully included in the purchase of an annual subscription.
  • Do you offer a trial version of your software?
  • Yes, at our discretion, we offer 30-day trial licenses with full functionality to eligible customers.
  • Do you offer a discount for academic institutions?
  • Yes, we provide discounted pricing for eligible institutions that are interested in providing DFMA® related lab or coursework. Academic licenses are only sold as annual subscriptions. Please submit a Contact Us request to receive pricing information.
  • Software Usage

  • Do you provide training to assist in learning how to use the software?
  • Yes, we offer training hosted at our office in Wakefield, RI, USA and on-site workshops. The training we host is typically conducted over two days, while on-site workshops are usually three-day events. Please refer to the Services page for more information.
  • Is it necessary to have manufacturing expertise to use the DFMA® software?
  • With regards to the DFA Product Simplification component, it is expected that a user who is not very familiar with manufacturing processes should not have any difficulty utilizing the software. In DFM Concurrent Costing® however, it is required that the user has at least some basic knowledge of the process being utilized in their part analysis. While DFM Concurrent Costing® builds a process chart and supplies default assumptions based on manual dimensions or a CAD model, there are often important cost drivers of the design that need to be further accounted for. DFM Concurrent Costing® makes it easy to do this, and the presentation of the cost driver inputs is a helpful learning tool for less experienced users.
  • What manufacturing processes does your software cover?
  • The primary manufacturing cost models contained in DFM Concurrent Costing® are Assembly Fabrication, Automatic Assembly, Blow Molding, Die Casting, Plastic Extrusion, Hot Forging, Injection Molding, Investment Casting, Machining, PCBA, Sand Casting, Sheet Metal, Foam Molding, Thermoforming.
  • Where do you get your cost results data from?
  • A common misconception is that our DFM Concurrent Costing® results must be referencing some form of historical pricing. The reality is that every DFM estimate is made "fresh." That is, every cost result is uniquely based on our knowledge of manufacturing science, which is applied to the geometry parameters the user has provided. The primary output of this effort is a cycle time, which can then be used in combination with other inputs such as material costs and machine/labor rates to provide a cost result. This practice usually provides significant accuracy advantages over historical pricing, and is much less reliant on us tracking market changes over time.
  • Does your software come with data?
  • Yes, in addition to the hard-coded data, there are four types of data libraries included. They are the material, operations, machines and process parameters libraries. We include one of these each for the two manufacturing profiles that are included. The included data provides everything you need to complete a DFA analysis or DFM cost estimate. All of the libraries are stored in XML format, which can be accessed and/or modified by other programs.
  • How often do you update the data libraries used by the software?
  • We evaluate the data libraries for updates several times a year. Our experience has taught us that manufacturing input costs, such as machine rates and operator rates, don’t change as quickly as our customers expect. Other inputs, such as the raw material prices, are typically negotiated at contract rates between the specific customer and their supplier. For organizations that seek to model more dramatic fluctuations, or need to model contract rates, there is substantial customization capability built into the DFMA® software. All of the data is accessible both from within the software and in .XML files that can be modified by other programs.
  • Can the software take advantage of information from 3D CAD models?
  • Yes, an integrated CAD import capability allows the user to use .step, .stp, .stl, or .iges CAD formats in their analysis. These are standard formats that almost every CAD package can export. The amount of information that can be used in an analysis depends on the application or the manufacturing process being analyzed. In DFA Product Simplification, only basic envelope dimensions are useful. In DFM Concurrent Costing®, cost driver information for many processes can be automatically utilized. Other geometry information can be selected directly on the model by the user.
  • Should I expect a supplier quote to match the cost estimate I generate in DFM Concurrent Costing®?
  • Whether a DFM estimate is supposed to “match” the supplier quote is highly subjective. The cost results of DFM Concurrent Costing® are meant to represent the manufacturing cost burden to a supplier. The market forces that determine the actual price that a supplier will charge are different. Generally, it is our expectation that a gap will exist between the DFM estimate and the quote the supplier provides. Assuming a DFM part analysis is consistent with the manufacturing practices employed by the supplier, the estimate is an excellent guide in determining cost reduction potential from engaging in supplier negotiation.
  • Technical

  • What are the system requirements for your software?
  • Please refer to the bottom of our Support Page for PC system requirements.
  • Does your software use a database?
  • No, the software does not have a central database where analysis data is stored. Each analysis is a separate DFA or DFM file that can contain numerous parts or products. The only centralized data storage is in the material, machine, operations, and process parameters libraries. These libraries do not keep track of any user-generated analysis data.
  • Does Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. monitor or have any form of access to user activity/data?
  • No, there is no line of communication between the DFMA® software and Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. We only have access to analysis files or libraries if the user provides them to us as part of a support inquiry. We usually sign NDAs with organizations that request such support.
  • Can DFMA® software be deployed as a cloud application?
  • Yes, the data libraries used by the software and the license server can both be accessed from cloud locations. Additionally, the software can be run in many virtualization environments. Please note that Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. does not currently participate in or provide active support for any such deployment.
  • Does your software work on the macOS?
  • We have not developed a macOS version of DFMA®, but like many Windows-based applications it can be run on Mac OS using virtualization or an emulator.

What is DFMA®?

Learn more about the DFMA methodology and the key definitions and benefits.

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DFMA® Webinars

View videos of all previously conducted webinars

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Case Studies

Customer stories on the use of DFMA® to improve their products and development process.

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DFMA® White Paper for Corporate Management:

How to Use Design for Manufacture and Assembly to Slash Manufacturing Overhead, Make Products Competitive, and Bring New Efficiencies to the Manufacturing Process.

Specifically written for executive management to raise awareness of the business benefits of implementing DFMA® in the product development process.

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DFMA® Executive PowerPoint Presentation

These are hype-free, factual slides which cover issues of interest to top executives. If you are trying to communicate the benefits of DFMA® to your company, use all or any of these slides. They make a compelling case for using DFMA® to improve quality, lower part count, decrease costs, facilitate cross-functional efficiency, and get to market faster--all from an executive management point of view.

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Roundtable Report: The Power of DFMA® to Reduce Operational Costs

Leading manufacturers discuss the extended effects of early design decisions on disciplines and departments at the other end of their organizations. in the survey table, and in the comments from participants, you will learn what they strive to accomplish and what they have measured in savings from factory floor space to end‐of life costs.

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Getting Started with DFMA®

A collection of technical papers representing the most successful approaches to implementing DFMA® presented at the annual International Forum on Design for Manufacture and Assembly.

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Customer Testimonials

Quotations on the use of DFMA® from some of the world's most respected companies.

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DFMA® Forum Papers and Presentations

2019 papers and presentations
2018 papers and presentations
2017 papers and presentations
2016 papers and presentations
2015 papers and presentations
2014 papers and presentations
2013 papers and presentations
2012 papers and presentations

DFMA® brand Software and Services | Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc.