Achieving Reconfigurable CAD/CAPP Integration by Reasoning from Shape Producing Capabilities

Daniel M. Gaines, Fernando Castano, Caroline C. Hayes

This paper presents MEDIATOR, a feature recognition system which is designed to be maintainable and extensible to families of related manufacturing processes. A problem in many feature recognition systems is that they are difficult to maintain. One of the reasons may be because they depend on use of a library of feature-types which are difficult to update when the manufacturing processes change due to changes in the manufacturing equipment. The approach taken by MEDIATOR is based on the idea that the properties of the manufacturing equipment are what enable manufacturable shapes to be produced in a part. ME-DIATOR’s method for identifying features uses a description of the manufacturing equipment to simultaneously identify manufacturable volumes (i.e. features) and methods for mamtfacturing those volumes. Maintenance of the system is simplified because only the description of the equipment needs to be updated in order to update the features identified by the system.

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