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Variant Design for Mechanical Artifacts - A State of the Art Survey



James E. Fowler


Variant design refers to the techniques of adapting existing design specifications to satisfy new design goals and constraints. A survey of approaches supporting variant design is presented. Capabilities used in current commercial computer aided design systems are discussed along with approaches used in recent research efforts. Information standards applicable to variant design are identified as well. Barriers to variant design in current systems are identified and ideas are presented for augmentation of current systems to support variant design.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5356
Report Number


analogical reasoning, CAD, case-based design, computer aided design, design knowledge, design research, STEP


Fowler, J. (1993), Variant Design for Mechanical Artifacts - A State of the Art Survey, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created January 1, 1993, Updated November 10, 2018