Abstract

This paper addresses CAD representation suitable for intelligent programs that evaluate life-cycle concerns. Design for net shape manufacturing serves as a vehicle for our discussion. We argue that feature-based design alone could lead to an unmanageable number of predefined features and tagged data in order to accommodate the different perspectives of the design engineer, tooling engineer, and process engineer. The paper proposes a compromise between full scope feature-based design and pure geometry as the recommended form of design representation. This mode requires methods or formulae to infer information needed for evaluation. There are two types of methods important in manufacturability evaluation: 1) macroscopic search of problems in the entire design, and 2) microscopic evaluation of a local form feature. We illustrate our ideas with two working systems.

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