Enhancing Virtual Product Representations for Advanced Design Repository Systems


This paper describes the transformation of an existing set of heterogeneous product knowledge into a coherent design repository that supports product design knowledge archival and web-based search, display, and design model and tool generation. Guided by design theory, existing product information was analyzed and compared against desired outputs to ascertain what information management structure was needed to produce design resources pertinent to the design process. Several test products were catalogued to determine what information was essential without being redundant in representation. This set allowed for the creation of a novel single point of entry application for product information and the development of a relational database for design knowledge archival. Web services were then implemented to support design knowledge retrieval through search, browse, and real-time design tool generation. Further explored in this paper are the fundamental enabling technologies of the design repository system. Additionally, repository-generated design tools are scrutinized alongside human-generated design tools for validation. Through this process researchers have been able to improve the way in which artifact data are gathered, archived, distributed and used.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Advanced Design Repository Systems; Virtual Product Representations

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005