The IPEK Lab - Design for Smart Factory focuses on Sheet Metal research, education, and innovation on developing engineering design-centered digital support for smart factories.

Research Videos

For english version of the videos please use automated subtitles.

Interdisciplinary product development
DesignCampus for engineers - Trumpf & KIT for AI-driven design support



The problem

Even experienced design engineers do not fully exploit the potential of smart factories
The opportunities of manufacturing technologies can only be found in product design.
Designing well is only possible if you understand the details!
We investigate the creative minds of the industry. Access to designer engineers and their design problems is difficult. In order to exploit potential, Design for Smart Factories must be brought into the laboratory.

Our mission

Working together with sheet metal experts from ScaleNC, Optimate and TRUMPF to enable design engineers to fully exploit the high potential of the sheet metal smart factories. 

Current research topics

- Digital design analysis to automatically evaluate assemblies
- Automated design through AI 
- Digital assistance to support design engineers
- Revolutionizing teaching and design by providing design knowledge in line with demand
- iAssist:


Karlsruhe teaching model for product engineering - KaLeP

2 days CAD Sheet Metal workshop
Model library for product engineering

Research Publications

Evaluation of the ACAP analysis method for process-based validation of textual and graphical design methods
AI-Based knowledge extraction for automatic design proposals using design-related patterns
Implementing innovative gaze analytic methods in design for manufacturing : a study on eye movements in exploiting design guidelines
Identifying Opportunistic Methods in Design for Manufacturing: An Experimental Study on Successful Approaches on the Manufacturability and Manufacturing Effort of Design Outcome
Challenges Faced by Design Engineers when Considering Manufacturing in Design – An Interview Study
Restrictive and Opportunistic Method in Design for Manufacturing
Sustainability Analysing and Comparing Tool in Design for Manufacturing


Trumpf Sheet metal part design
Optimate: Sheet metal part optimization in seconds
ScaleNC: Programming the Smart Factory


Design for Smart Factory