Real-Time Collaborative Design With Heterogeneous CAD Systems Based on Neutral Modeling Commands

[+] Author and Article Information
Min Li1

State Key Lab of CAD&CG, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, P.R. Chinalimin@nus.edu.sg

Shuming Gao2

State Key Lab of CAD&CG, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310027, P.R. Chinasmgao@cad.zju.edu.cn

Charlie C. Wang

Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, P.R. Chinacwang@acae.cuhk.edu.hk


Present address: Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Dr. 1, Singapore 117576, Singapore.


Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng. 7(2), 113-125 (Sep 06, 2006) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2720880 History: Received June 27, 2005; Revised September 06, 2006

This paper presents an integration-based solution for developing a real-time collaborative design (co-design) platform on heterogeneous computer-aided design (CAD) systems. Different from the visualization-based approaches, the product models are allowed to be constructed and modified from various sites together in the proposed collaborative design platform. Our approach is based on a mechanism for the translation between system modeling operations (SMOs) and neutral modeling commands (NMCs). Every operation given by a user on one site is translated into a NMC and transmitted to all the other sites through the network, and then the received NMC is converted into corresponding SMOs on every other site, instantaneously. Since only the commands but not the product data are transferred, the data size under transmission is greatly reduced, so that a real-time synchronization can be achieved with a standard network bandwidth. In addition, by developing system-dependent SMONMC translators on different client CAD systems, users on different sites could join the collaboration by using their familiar CAD systems; this is the benefit that cannot be offered by the homogeneous co-design systems. The prototype implementation proves that our approach works well for integrating various current popular commercial CAD systems into a real-time collaborative design platform.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Structure of the proposed collaborative design environment

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Figure 2

Structure of a client-side add-on application

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Figure 3

Peer-to-peer topology versus client/server topology: (a) peer-to-peer and (b) client/server

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Figure 4

Union of parametric feature modeling operations

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Figure 5

Example union of parameters for extrusion

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Figure 6

General UML class diagram of NMCs

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Figure 7

Hierarchical tree of the identified NMCs used in the paper

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Figure 8

Translation between SMOs and NMCs

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Figure 9

NMC-based design history concept for associating affected portions of heterogeneous product models

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Figure 10

An example for illustrating the association mechanism of SMO-group, the SMO execution and dissemination path among heterogeneous CAD systems, and the NMC traversing and matching path in the NMC-based design history

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Figure 11

UML class diagram of CompositedFeature

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Figure 12

Example 1: Collaborative modeling of a bracket model using SOLIDWORKS , AUTODESK MDT , and PRO/ENGINEER

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Figure 13

Example 2: Collaborative modification of a real mechanical part using SOLIDWORKS and AUTODESK MDT

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Figure 14

Example 3: Collaborative assembly of a mechanical structure using SOLIDWORKS and PRO/ENGINEER

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Figure 15

An example for a biextrusion NMC in XML format

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Figure 16

Average computing times on SOLIDWORKS and MDT

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Figure 17

The size comparison of data sets between NMCs in XML format and other offline schemes




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