The goal of this SGER is to explore the feasibility of a web-based CAD search engine to allow the designer to efficiently find qualified prospects for contract manufacturing in real time from a pool of globally distributed contract manufacturers. This would require a search system that will allow OEM companies to search for and qualify potential contractors through coded CAD data in addition to current text searches, allowing product shape to be mathematically converted into searchable code.
The exploratory research will determine the feasibility of converting the description of a product's shape from its Boundary Model Representation (B-Rep) as represented by the theory of solid modeling into a boundary value problem as governed by field theory. The tasks include determining if a code or "fingerprint" of a mechanical product shape can be mapped through electrostatic field analysis. In order to have significant broader impact on the potential industrial applications in purchasing and production planning, this mapping must be an efficient and secure method for CAD data coding and classification