Notes and Ideas

  • features move between parts and assemblies
  • able to make references and/or condense references from a feature and apply to other features
  • able to make assembly constraints become design constraints i.e. to drive geometry
  • references can be copied and or referred to at the part level as well as the assembly level (i.e. skeletons for parts)
  • geometry engine - all internal representations stored as exact numbers - rational numbers for the most part (and for ALL user entered values). derived numbers are stored as exact real numbers, rational or irrational (e.g. pi and sqrt(2)). use a CAS here? the numbers are expanded/computed to float/double when necessary (such as for display or to calculate mass properties).
  • UI -> GUI <-> Geometry Display -> Geometry Engine <- Modules (better name needed) <-> UI
    • "Modules" is no good... something like "features" or "operations"?
  • Certain parameters should NOT have default values, they should instead be "undefined" or "not specified." e.g. density, modulus, units, surface rougness
  • REQUIRED: extremely reliable dependency checking. A DAG structure appears to be ideal for a Dependency Graph.
  • REQUIRED: extremely FAST regeneration (ties in to dependency checking, 'cause you don't need to regen what hasn't changed)
  • Any circular references need to be FLAGGED IMMEDIATELY at creation, and specified CLEARLY, and before any changes are finalized
  • features can be stored seperately, sort of like Pro/Engineer "skeleton" parts
  • design hierarchy:
    1. project
    2. assemblies
    3. parts
    4. features
  • parts and assemblies can have several states
    • possibly:
      • in design
      • semi-finalized
      • released
    • special handling for different states, e.g. "read only" or "warn on change", external references allowed or no references allowed
  • checking/analysis includes concepts such as "minimum part thickness"
  • entities retain references to how they were constructed and retain history/references to other entities used in construction
  • "released" part and assembly dimensions are converted to "nominal" values (i.e. no longer exact numbers) according to drawing dimension scheme
  • robust pattern generation, not exclusively for hole patterns, but also for tiles and other patterns
    • can be based on a sketch of holes
    • might be based off of an array of points
  • some sort of "universal" import/export needed (STEP, IGES, DXF?)
  • the ability to merge parts with similar features, so a pair of parts based on the same part can be reconciled and features copied to/from each other
  • Dimensions and Constraints
    • during design, constraints drive the geometry and dimensions take up the slack
    • during release, constraints are frozen/no longer appear at the part level, and the part is driven entirely from dimensions
  • snap to dimension values such as 1/8 inch or .01mm. apply at release?
  • sketcher can be 2d and 3d
    • similar to CADDS explicit mode
    • need checks for open/closed boundaries
    • checks for self-intersections

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