Standard Features and Their Impact on 3D Engineering Graphics
The prevalence of feature-based 3D modeling in industry has necessitated the accumulation and maintenance of standard feature libraries. Currently, firms who use standard features to design parts are storing and utilizing these libraries through their existing product data management (PDM) systems. Standard features have enabled companies to regulate the way key features are defined across all models and revisions, while helping to speed up the modeling process, but the new features also come with limitations. These advantages and disadvantages can become crucial for a firm trying to make its product lifecycle run more smoothly. This paper will detail how a leading PDM package manages 3D geometry, how a standard feature interacts within a 3D part file, and how those conditions affect the way standard feature libraries are stored in a PDM system. It will also describe some of the general obstacles to storing this conceptual information, and make recommendations on how to define standard features more effectively, and how we can best prepare students facing these challenges upon entering the workforce.