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Proceedings of CAD'14, 2014, 1-3
Automated Conflict Avoidance in Multi-user CAD
Abstract. Today’s commercial Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems are single user modeling and design environments. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for e-Design, Brigham Young University (BYU) site is currently developing multi-user CAD tools which enable teams of users to simultaneously create, modify and view the same CAD part. This effort leverages commercial CAD system APIs to build plug-ins which extend existing CAD tool functionality to become multi-user. This allows teams of users to concurrently contribute to the design of a part in real time, enhancing collaboration and enabling a parallel work environment within the CAD system. Interferences that occur when multiple users edit the same part or assembly are one of the central problems encountered in the development of simultaneous multi-user collaborative CAD. Varying simultaneous edits of the same or dependent geometric parameters may cause conflicts to arise within the model. When various users simultaneously input different values for the same feature, a feature/self conflict occurs and the distributed multi-user CAD system becomes inconsistent. For example, simultaneous editing the same height value, without conflict management, can result in a value of 10 mm on one user’s workstation and a conflicting value of 2 mm on a second user’s workstation.
Keywords. Collaborative design, concurrent engineering, multi-user CAD, CAE