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Modular Product Configuration: An Automatic Tool for Eliciting Design Knowledge From Parametric CAD Models

[+] Author Affiliations
Roberto Raffaeli, Paolo Cicconi, Maura Mengoni, Michele Germani

Polytechnic University of Marche, Ancona, Italy

Paper No. DETC2010-28242, pp. 207-218; 12 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: 36th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 15–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4409-0 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3881-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The offer of tailored products is a key factor to satisfy specific customer needs in the current competitive market. Modular products can easily support customization in a short time. Design process, in this case, can be regarded as a configuration task where solution is achieved through the combination of modules in overall product architecture. In this scenario efficient configuration design tools are evermore important. Although many tools have been already proposed in literature, they need further investigation to be applicable in real industrial practice, because of the high efforts required to implement system and the lack of flexibility in products updating. This work describes an approach to overcome drawbacks and to introduce a product independent configuration system which can be useful in designing recurrent product modules. To manage configuration from the designer perspective, the approach is based on Configurable Virtual Prototypes (CVP). In particular, the definition of geometrical models is analyzed providing a tool for eliciting and reusing knowledge introduced by parametric template CAD models. Semantic rules are used to recognize parts parameterization and assembly mating constraints. The approach is exemplified through a case study.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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