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A Tenbusch, K-H Grote

Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg,
Mechanical Engineering Dept.
Institut fuer Maschinenkonstruktion / Konstruktionstechnik
Universitaetsplatz 2, D-39106 Magdeburg / Germany
phone: +49 (0)391 67-11299 fax: -12 595

Customers demand high-quality state-of-the-art consumer products today. Individual characteristics in ergonomics and design are possible attributes of these kind of products. Competitors are coerced to realize new product ideas very fast. This leads to short product cycles with an as short as possible developmental period.

Several powerful technologies for capturing, processing and realizing free form surfaces (e.g. 3D-digitising, surface reconstruction, rapid prototyping) are used. There are, however, some coherent problems. Because the equipment and the know how are distributed on several departments or external service bureaus the new technologies and the included potentialities are often unknown to possible users. On the other hand some technologies require other technologies, which leads to process chains (e.g. RP requires normally CAD modelling). As a result of these two phenomenons potentialities remain unused or the organisation of suitable process chains takes too long and the results of the process chains are often not up to date.

There are some approaches to description of process chains but there is no quick-and-easy to use decision help yet for search for and selection of a suitable process chain. The aim of the described project is a WWW based tool for specification of the given task, search for a group of proper process chains and evaluation of these groups. Technical aspects (CAD interfaces, file formats, digitising devices) of process chains during the product development are emphasis of this approach. No special know how about technologies like 3D Digitising or Rapid Prototyping should be needed for application. The possibilities of the WWW support wide access and verification of the program concept. Free access is possible at