Selection of a new computer aided design system: experiences from an evaluation project at CERN

This work has been carried out at CERN and all examples used refer to the present situation at CERN concerning their use of CAD system. CERN are currently evaluating their use of CAD systems in order to develop future strategies as far as CAD is concerned. The project was started as a result of the development of CERN’s main 3D CAD system stopping.

CERN is a large organisation and carries out much research and design in collaboration with other companies and organisations around the world. The demands on the CAD systems used at CERN are significant. Some examples of the CAD systems requirements are:

Reliable import and export of designs between different CAD programs.
That designers should be able to work in parallel on the same design.
Several different kinds of users, including temporary or casual CAD users should be able to use powerful 3D CAD.
The ability to handle large assemblies with 10’s of thousands of parts.

The strategy in this work was to first investigate how the CAD system should be used as far as working methodologies and interaction with other CAx/PDM systems was concerned. After this, requirements were specified and evaluation of CAD systems can be carried out.
The emphasis in this work has been to stress requirements to organise and manage data, and support possibilities to work in parallel according to the principles of concurrent engineering. Another important area that has been discussed is how data from the old system can be migrated to the new system.

A large part of this thesis work has been to develop the benchmark method with which to test CAD programs against the user’s needs. The resulting method’s objective is to test and compare different CAD programs against one common test specification.

The work describes the complete process from project start to the implementation of a new CAD system.

Author: Friman, Per-Olof; Wikner, Jakob

Source: LuleƄ University of Technology

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