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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 68
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper V.3

Container Spaces and Functional Features for Top-Down 3D Layout Design

A. Csabai, I. Stroud and P.C. Xirouchakis

L.I.C.P. Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A. Csabai, I. Stroud, P.C. Xirouchakis, "Container Spaces and Functional Features for Top-Down 3D Layout Design", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Developments in Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 69-75, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.68.5.3
During the conceptual phase of product design, rapid generation of the rough assembly description and capture of the product layout should be supported. This work introduces a top-down approach for creating the product layout and facilitating subsequent detailed design. For this purpose design spaces are introduced. These design spaces represent the conceptual boundary of the components as well as references for defining relationships between the functional parts of the assembly. These functional units can be connected together by means of interface features and constraints. Once the design spaces and the relationships have been set up correctly the task of refining the components geometrically can be distributed and done in parallel. This concurrent work is controlled with access rights and well-defined responsibility areas. Since the layout and the component level are strictly delimited, kinematic analysis as well as layout modifications can be done at any stage of the product design without any explicit information about the geometry of the components. The presented top-down method, called 3D Layout Modeller (3DLM), facilitates capturing the human intention of the constructional design by providing tools and methods for doing this in a natural manner. This means that the design process starts with the overall definition of the functional behaviour of the product and the detailed description of the components remains for the design refinement stages ("minimum commitment modelling"). Since there must be well defined connections between the components, the project can be separated into different tasks. It is possible that a task can also be further divided, which indicates the hierarchical nature of the method.

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