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Cad Training Using Interactive Computer Sessions

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.132.1 - 3.132.6



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Paper Authors

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Ronald Whitwam

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James Ridge

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Amy Dickinson

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Jorge Rodriguez

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1547

CAD Training Using Interactive Computer Sessions

Jorge Rodriguez, James Ridge, Amy Dickinson, and Ronald Whitwam Western Michigan University / Steelcase, Inc.


This project addresses the need to train CAD users on proper modeling methodology. New CAD software empowers designers with the flexibility of parametric or variational design. These feature-based parametric modeling packages allow modification of a solid model by changing its dimensional parameters; however, incorrect modeling methodology may cause failure in the design stage. Failures occur when modified dimensions cause a conflict within the geometry of the model. An option being used is to train designers on capturing the Design Intent of a system through proven techniques in the modeling process. This training is based on interactive computer sessions that guide the designer and allow him/her to explore what-if scenarios. This project sought to identify proven techniques in the modeling process for capturing the Design Intent of mechanical systems. The familiar components of a bicycle provided a basis for exploration. Pro/Enginner™ software was used in this study. Nine lessons were created and tested by professionals. Beta testing was conducted at Steelcase-Chair Division with positive feedback from novice and advanced CAD users.


Within the past two decades, the advent of computer technology has enabled hundreds of disciplines to expand their horizons. Computer Aided Design (CAD) has progressed to a level (2) that permits solid modeling of systems as complex as the human knee . Design tools such as parametric modeling, used by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC)’s Pro/Engineer integrated manufacturing software, enable engineering teams to rapidly create and analyze models. Parametrics provides the ability to modify an existing model by changing its dimensions, and represents the key to feature driven representation and design. However, the flexibility permitted by parametrics presents an array of new problematic issues, such as conflicting geometry or unattached features.

The concept of Design Intent represents a primary issue of parametric modeling. Design Intent addresses the need for preliminary study before adding features because geometric relationships within the model must be preserved(5). Critical problems may arise if an engineer creates a solid model without taking into account the importance of Design Intent. Without proper forethought, construction of a solid model can reach a critical stage where parametric manipulation is no longer possible. When this occurs, subsequent changes may cause an internal failure of the associated geometry. Prevention of failures, and maximum design flexibility, reflect the goals of Capturing Design Intent. PTC’s Pro/Engineer (Pro/E) is probably the most efficient integrated software package today which is capable of generating solid models(7). Design Intent is a concept which requires the engineer to study a part before attempting to create the model on Pro/E. The

Whitwam, R., & Ridge, J., & Dickinson, A., & Rodriguez, J. (1998, June), Cad Training Using Interactive Computer Sessions Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--6951

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