Development of collaborative design environment with heterogenous CAD systems
Date of Issue2007
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This research extends the field of collaborative CAD from one specific CAD system to multiple CAD systems and makes efforts to develop a collaborative design environment to support a set of heterogeneous CAD systems such that a product can be co-modeled simultaneously among a team of designers at geographically distributed locations. Four major issues are identified in developing a prototype system. They are: 1) feature-level interoperability; 2) network load and CAD data representation; 3) synchronization and consistency; and 4) concurrency. An operation-based solution is proposed to deal with these issues. Within the solution, a novel approach that uses operation as the basic transmission data unit to address feature-level interoperability is proposed. Based on the solution, the architecture of a collaborative system is proposed and detailed functional modules in this architecture are explained. An administrator/controller mechanism to improve efficiency and stableness is employed in the proposed system. The preliminary prototype system is developed based on two commercial CAD systems, Unigraphics and SolidWorks. A nearly real-time collaborative design has been realized. The experimental results from the prototype system have shown the feasibility of the novel method, which addresses feature-level interoperability and realizes dynamic high-level CAD data sharing/exchange among different CAD systems.
Nanyang Technological University