Network theoretic depictions and metrics for collections of 3D CAD models

Frank Mill, Esme Anderson, Andrew Sherlock, Jonathan Corney, Duncan Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Characterizing large collections of 3D CAD models is useful for describing the context of many manufacturing related problems, especially those connected with classifying parts. These problems are analogous to many classification problems where complex relationships exist between members of a population under study. Many graph theoretic based techniques have been developed to analyse such complex networks and most recently a number of specific methods have become useful for describing social networks. These have seen application in areas related to so called small world problems and in various web related networks for purchasing goods or simple social interactions. Investigated in this paper is the use of these techniques in studying collections of parts in a manufacturing context. A database of 250 part models in native CAD and BRep formats, suitable for researchers in this field, is presented. Additionally, methods are described, using graph and network theory, that can help analyse such collections of parts and the results presented with the ability to search through such collections in mind.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer-Aided Design
Publication statusIn preparation - 2013


  • PLM, PDM, CAD, Feature Recognition, network theory, graph theory, social networks

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