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Development Of A Collaborative Multi User Engineering Design Graphics Collaboration Tool

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Multimedia and Product Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.403.1 - 7.403.8



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Paper Authors

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Michael Goldenberg

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Carlos Morales

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Development of a collaborative multi-user engineering design graphics collaboration tool Carlos R. Morales, Michael Goldenberg Purdue University

Abstract The ability to collaboratively work on engineering graphics is of a great advantage. This paper details the development of a multi-user multimedia tool specifically designed to enhance collaboration in the engineering design graphics arena. The system provides users with the capabilities to collaboratively explore 3D environments, video- teleconference, and share applications files.

The system provides a centralized application that combines traditional CD-ROM multimedia tools with web tools to provide a media-rich collaborative environment. Specifically, the system is built around Macromedia Director and Microsoft’s Active Server Pages. Macromedia’s Shockwave Multi-user server is used as a conduit for synchronous communications, and ASP pages are used for the storage and administration of shared spaces. Microsoft’s Media Services and Active-X components are used to enhance the collaborative capabilities of the system.

The system also address on-site collaboration through the integration of an intelligent mechanism capable of identifying users accessing the system from wireless PDA’s and delivering alternate content through IEEE 802.11b Wireless LAN.

Introduction As the complexity of projects increases, the need for collaboration tools has increased. Not only do workers need the ability to collaborate on their actual designs, but also on the project-management issues that accompany any large scale design endeavor. Most developers of engineering design software have answered this problem by providing some degree of collaborative tools within their packages. It is not uncommon to find an array of collaborative tools in today’s major engineering design packages. A quick survey of the toolsets available in packages such as CATIA, ProEngineer, SolidEdge/SolidWorks, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop, etc. reveals a wide range of features ranging from web-viewer to project-management [1,2,3,4].

The major weakness with these collaborative tools is that most offer a large degree of option for their specific vendor’s tool, but little or no support for other vendors' software. These packages work great when two or more workers will be collaborating on a project using software from the same vendor or from vendors “preferred” by the software of their

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Goldenberg, M., & Morales, C. (2002, June), Development Of A Collaborative Multi User Engineering Design Graphics Collaboration Tool Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10864

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