Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (ME)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Summers, Joshua D.

Committee Member

Fadel , Georges M.

Committee Member

Malloy , Brian

Abstract

This research presents a feature recognition algorithm for the automated identification of duplicate geometries in the CAD assembly. The duplicate geometry is one of the seven indicators of the lazy parts mass reduction method. The lazy parts method is a light weight engineering method that is used for analyzing parts with the mass reduction potential. The duplicate geometry is defined as any geometries lying equal to or within the threshold distance with the user-defined orientation between them and have the percentage similarity that is equal to or greater than the threshold value. The feature recognition system developed in this research for the identification of duplicate geometries is also extended to retrieve the weighted bipartite graph of part connections for the assembly time estimation. The weighted bipartite graph is used as input for the part connectivity based assembly time estimation method.
The SolidWorks API software development kit is used in this research to develop a feature recognition system in SolidWorks CAD software package using C++ programming language. The feature recognition system built in the SolidWorks CAD software uses a combination of topology and geometric data for the evaluation of duplicate geometry. The measurement of distances between the sampling points strategy is used for the duplicate geometry feature recognition. The feature recognition algorithm has three phases of evaluation: first, is the evaluation for threshold distance condition of parts in the CAD assembly. Second, the part pairs that have satisfied the threshold distance condition are evaluated for the orientation condition. The threshold distance and orientation are the necessary but not the sufficient conditions for duplicate geometries. In the third phase, the geometries that have satisfied orientation condition are evaluated for the percentage similarity condition. The geometries that satisfy the percentage similarity condition are highlighted in order to help designers review the results of the duplicate geometry analysis.
The test cases are used to validate the algorithm against the requirements list. The test cases are designed to check the performance of the algorithm for the evaluation of the threshold distance, orientation, and percentage similarity condition. The results indicate that the duplicate geometry algorithm is able to successfully conduct all the three phases of evaluation. The algorithm is independent of the geometric type and is able to analyze planar, cylindrical, conical, spherical, freeform, and toroidal shapes. The number of sampling points generated on the faces of parts for the orientation and percentage similarity evaluation has the significant effect on the analysis time. The worst case complexity of the algorithm is the big O (nC2x m12 x m22x p4), where
n = the number of parts in the assembly
m1 = the number of faces in the parts that meet the threshold distance condition
m2 = the number of faces that meet the orientation condition
p = the number of sampling points on the face
The duplicate geometry feature recognition approach is used to demonstrate the applicability in the extraction of assembly relations for the part connectivity based assembly time estimation method. The algorithm is also able to extract part connectivity information for the patterns. Further research is required to automate the identification of other laziness indicators in order to make the lazy parts method a completely automated tool. With regards to the complete automation of part connectivity based assembly time estimation method, the duplicate geometry feature recognition system needs integration with the algorithm for the computation of bipartite graph of part connections for the prediction of assembly time.

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