REU Students Present Summer Research at REU Poster Session

August 1, 2012 in Home Slideshow

Casey Baker and Ryan Szeto presented their summer research at the campus-wide UMass Amherst REU Poster Session on Friday, July 27th. While Baker explored the semantic capabilities of current Product Lifecycle Management tools, Szeto extended the suite of features covered by a Computer-aided Design interoperability tool. Their project abstracts can be seen below.

Semantic Awareness in Product Lifecycle Management Systems

Large enterprises turn to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems to organize product development and to reduce time to market. Semantic awareness has the potential to enrich PLM systems, yet semantic functionality has not gone mainstream. The goal of this research was to discover the barriers to and opportunities for adopting semantic functionality. A case study was preformed with a widely used PLM system (PTC’s Windchill), in which the PLM system was used to help with the design and fabrication of a product. Windchill’s functionality and limitations were observed as the product was realized. It was observed that simple and intuitive features trump cluttered or complex ones. Additionally, users are more likely to use a simple feature which can easily be understood rather than a confusing or obscure feature, no matter how great the potential gain. These findings suggest that usability is crucial to new software features in general, but especially to the adoption of new semantic functionality in PLM systems.

Feature-Based CAD Interoperability- Ryan Szeto


Accurate and efficient feature data exchange between computer-aided design (CAD) systems is critical in collaborative engineering environments. This research applies concepts of computer science to an engineering problem; specifically, it explores the advantages of a programming language approach to the exchange of feature information between commercial CAD systems. In our approach, feature-based representations of CAD models correspond to programs or abstract syntax trees (ASTs) in the language modeling the CAD systems. Previously, a software tool was created to convert some 2D features from a Pro/Engineer part file to a SolidWorks part file through intermediary open XML representations. This summer, the functionality of this tool was extended by completely converting additional 2D features such as arcs, constraints, and angle dimensions. Additionally, work was done toward implementing a converter from SolidWorks to Pro/E.

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