Approach for a Modular Knowledge-Based CAD Modeling Process
The globalization of the markets, increasing complexity and diversification of products as well as product and process innovations as central factors of business competition have forced companies to create new strategies of product development. The growing number of interdisciplinary interdependencies in the past years led to parallelized process steps instead of the traditionally sequential proceeding in the design process. 3D CAD modeling is affected by this as well. This paper points out the possibility of standardization in the modeling phase in consideration of calculation results and conceptual design activities. The introduced approach is based on user defined features (UDFs) as knowledge carrier, whereas these UDFs have full control over the model setup, initialized by a few input parameters. That kind of implementation of knowledge in the 3D CAD model secures the compliance with company specific rules and guidelines for subsequent processes and enables product and process standardization. In addition to the relief for the designing engineer of time consuming routine jobs, the presented approach offers the possibility to fall back on processed know-how to determine violations of design regulations and compliances with product specifications. Furthermore, the rule based compliance with industry standards assures process reliability. In consideration of company specific model properties, the augmentation of UDFs with knowledge additionally provides all information required regarding the shape, function and manufacturing of the product for all phases of the product life cycle. By means of an exemplary realization of the illustrated concept this paper makes the approach accessible to the reader. Finally the paper will be concluded with prospects in future challenges of the automation of the product development process.
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