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Impact Of Product Data Management (Pdm) Trends On Engineering Graphics Instruction

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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

3.316.1 - 3.316.5

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Eric N. Wiebe

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

Session 1438

Impact of Product Data Management (PDM) trends on Engineering Graphics Instruction

Eric N. Wiebe North Carolina State University

Abstract The use of 3-D Computer-aided Design (CAD) systems in engineering design and manufacturing has popularized the concept of the virtual product database. Product Data Management (PDM) and similar computer-based information management tools have increasingly been implemented to help manage this product database. Just as 3-D modeling is becoming an important component of the engineering graphics curriculum, PDM concepts should also be addressed. This paper outlines how 3-D modeling and related graphics activities in the classroom need to be reconceptualized. Specific concepts and exercises for use in graphics courses to help introduce students to PDM are outlined.

Introduction Engineering graphics, being a curriculum closely tied to technology, has been considerably influenced by the rapid changes in computer graphics software. Though the principles based in geometry have not changed, the vehicle used for teaching these principles and the context in which they are placed. In order to assure that future engineers and technologists possess the abilities to apply these principles in the workplace and their future studies, it is important that the curriculum in engineering graphics represents both the tools and practices which are being used in industry and research. This paper outlines the current revolution in manufacturing and design information management and how the engineering graphics curriculum might respond to it.

Engineering graphics technology is currently undergoing changes much more profound than the movement to 2-dimensional (2-D) CAD in the 1980’s. Though there has been some utilization of 3-dimensional (3-D) modeling software since the early 1990’s 1, 2, the technology was still being used primarily as a vehicle for the static documentation of individual parts. For example, review of the original syllabus of North Carolina State’s solid modeling course (circa 1989) shows that one third the semester was spent working with 2D projections derived from 3-D models 3. Only in later iterations of the course was more emphasis put on other uses for the geometric model. The software being employed in these types of courses were largely constructive-solid geometry (CSG) or boundary representation (B-rep) modelers capable of creating static models from geometric primitives and/or profile sweeps.

The rise of parametric/variational (constraint)-based modelers such as Pro/ENGINEER™, SolidWorks™, I-DEAS™, and Mechanical Desktop™ has caused a shift in thinking towards the potential of the geometric model as a dynamic database 4, 5. In these modelers, the desire to

Wiebe, E. N. (1998, June), Impact Of Product Data Management (Pdm) Trends On Engineering Graphics Instruction Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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