Content-Based Assembly Search: A Step Towards Assembly Reuse
Ram D. Sriram, A S. Deshmukh, A G. Banerjee, Satyandra K. Gupta
The increased use of CAD systems by product development organizations has resulted in the creation of large databases of assemblies. This explosion of assembly data is likely to continue in the future. In many situations, text-based search alone may not be sufficient to search for assemblies and it may be desirable to search for assemblies based on the content of the assembly models. The ability to perform content-based searches on these databases is expected to help the designers in the following two ways. First, it can facilitate reuse of existing assembly designs, thereby reducing the design time. Second, a lot of useful design for manufacturing and assembly knowledge is implicitly embedded in existing assemblies. Therefore a capability to locate existing assemblies and examine them can be used as a learning tool by designers to learn from the existing assembly designs. This paper describes a system for performing content-based searches on assembly databases. We identify templates for comprehensive search definitions and describe algorithms to perform content-based searches for mechanical assemblies. We also illustrate capabilities of our system through several examples.