WWW-Based Collaborative System for Integrated Design and Manufacturing


In today's competitive business environment, a product development is the result of a team effort involving a multi-disciplinary group of designers, manufacturers, even supplier and customer representatives. Effective collaboration among various groups is impor tant for reducing cost and product development time. Hence, the aim of our study is to develop a WWW-based collaborative system for integrated design and manufacturing. The proposed system is composed of three modules—collaboration, design, and manufacturing. This paper focuses on its collaboration module and the design module. Its manufacturing module is discussed in References [1] and [2]. The collaboration module is WWW-based platform-independent and provides a virtual collaborative environment for a part designer to perform on-line communication with customers and manufacturers via the Internet. All participants in the collaborative environment can view, and manipulate the solid model of the design part as well as discuss their concerns on-line interactively. The design module utilizes the design by features approach to construct a part. Traditional design by features systems restrict the designer to a fixed set of pre defined features provided by the system vendor. The proposed design module includes an extension mechanism for designers to create user-defined features and an evaluation mechanism for designers to perform manufacturability evaluation. The design module is able to generate a very complicated user-defined feature and to provide feedback concerning potential manufacturing problems in the early design stage. Both proposed modules have been implemented on a Sun workstation using the ACIS geometric modeler, C++, and JAVA.


Computer Science

Keywords and Phrases

WWW-Based Collaboration; Manufacturability Evaluation; User-Defined Features

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 1999 SAGE Publications, All rights reserved.