Engineering companies are sociotechnical systems in which engineers, designers, analysts, etc. use an array of software tools to follow prescribed product-development processes. The purpose of these amalgamated systems is to develop new products as quickly as possible while maintaining quality and meeting customer and market demands. Researchers at Brigham Young University have shortened engineering design cycle times through the development and use of multiengineer synchronous (MES) CAD tools. Other research teams have shortened design cycle-times by extending seamless interoperability across heterogeneous design tools and domains. Seamless multi-engineer synchronous heterogeneous (MESH) CAD environments is the focus of this dissertation. An architecture that supports both MES collaboration and interoperability is defined, tested for robustness, and proposed as the start of a new standard for interoperability. An N-tiered architecture with four layers is used. These layers are data storage, server communication, business logic, and client. Perhaps the most critical part of the architecture is the new neutral parametric database (NPDB) standard which can generically store associative CAD geometry from heterogeneous CAD systems. A practical application has been developed using the architecture which demonstrates design and modeling interoperability between Siemens NX, PTC's Creo, and Dassault Systemes CATIA CAD applications; Interoperability between Siemens' NX and Dassault Systemes' CATIA are specifically outlined in this dissertation. The 2D point, 2D line, 2D arc, 2D circle, 2D spline, 3D point, extrude, and revolve features have been developed. Complex models have successfully been modeled and exchanged in real time across heterogeneous CAD clients and have validated this approach for MESH CAD collaboration.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Multi-user CAD, Heterogeneous CAD