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FlexiCAD: an architecture for integrated product modeling and manufacture by features

Feature-based CAD has emerged as a potential solution to the CAD-CAM integration problem. One of the most critical problems in the conversion of conventional 3-D CAD to feature-based CAD is feature extraction in the 3-D domain-a topic of research for the past decade. With feature technology giving rise to other newer fields like rapid prototyping and automated process planning, there is a need to provide solutions to interim industry problems like legacy data. In this paper the authors describe FlexiCAD, an architecture with the following features. (i) It allows designers to model in any one of the several forms of representations (2-D or 3-D wireframe, CSG, etc.) and yet have their design output in the feature based format, (ii) Legacy designs in 2-D can be converted to features. (iii) Feature mapping from design to manufacturing features can be accomplished. The flexible architecture comprises FlexiCAD software that will run concurrently with other conventional CAD systems or feature-based modeling systems.


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