Interactive GT Code Management for Mechanical Part Similarity Search and Cost Prediction
Computer-Aided Design and Applications
This paper reports the results of a PDM and CAD plug-in implementation for semiautomatic and real-time similar component search in mechanical field. The approach exploits a string based component description similar to the well-known methodology, called Group Technology (GT), in order to check interactively feature similarity over a PDM database. The GT code contains component geometric data and manufacturing information. The software developed is suitable for encoding 2D and 3D parts. A guided
... 3D parts. A guided GUI returning the GT code has been implemented for 2D drafts. For 3D parts, instead, the encoding procedure is completely integrated in the modelling CAD interface and the code is calculated incrementally feature by feature. So the part similarity assessment is interactive: the designer may visualize similar parts stored in the PDM and decide whether changing singular feature or using a retrieved (similar) part. Several case studies described in the paper demonstrate GUI usage, search algorithm and results. With PDM correctly configured, results are very good since the GT coding, the part retrieval and the quoting are really interactive.