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Board 85 : CADcompare™: A Web-based Application that Compares PDF CAD Drawings

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engineering Design Graphics Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

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Paper Authors


Lukas W. DiBeneditto Purdue University, New Albany Orcid 16x16

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Lukas W. DiBeneditto is an Undergraduate Research Assistant of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic New Albany. He received his Associates of Arts in Communications from Jefferson Community and Technical College and is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA). He is the lead software developer for CADcompare, a web-based application designed to decrease grading times and increase the accuracy of engineering CAD drawings. CADcompare can compare multiple student files to a grading key automatically, it highlights easily missed differences, and utilizes PDF CAD drawing files which most CAD software can generate. He aspires to help people with biomedical engineering in the development and research of orthopedic and robotic prostheses.

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Rustin Webster Purdue University, New Albany

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Dr. Rustin Webster is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, Dr. Webster worked in the Department of Defense field and specialized in mechanical design, research and development, and business development. He studied at Murray State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham where his research was on immersive virtual learning environments for educational training purposes. Furthermore, Dr. Webster has received various professional certifications from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, SOLIDWORKS, the Project Management Institute, and NACE International.

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This work in progress describes the development of a web application titled CADcompare™, which automatically compares, displays, and highlights differences in Portable Document Format (PDF) files of computer-aided design (CAD) drawings and is specifically designed to compare multiple student files to an instructor's grading key. CADcompare augments the grading process of technical and engineering CAD drawings by highlighting differences that can be easily missed by a human grader, such as incorrect line type(s), color(s), or double lines (i.e., lines on top of each other). Some CAD software has built-in comparison tools, however, none of the comparison tools accept PDF files to compare, are web-based applications, or can compare multiple student files at once like CADcompare can. Grading engineering CAD drawings with accuracy and fairness can take a lot of time, the intended use of CADcompare is to act as a grading tool to help instructors grade faster, more accurately, and without unintended bias. Spring 2017, a Windows® based proof of concept version of CADcompare installed on a personal computer showcased the strengths of the software. CADcompare was able to compare multiple student drawings to the grading key much faster than previously used methods. Outcomes from user testing prompted the current development of a web-based version. This paper offers general details on how CADcompare compares PDF files, market analysis, the work in progress, and a planned research study comparing grading times with and without CADcompare in an introductory engineering graphics course.

DiBeneditto, L. W., & Webster, R. (2018, June), Board 85 : CADcompare™: A Web-based Application that Compares PDF CAD Drawings Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30121

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