Part and Assembly Search Based on Similarity and 3D Shape Attributes

Main Participants: Satyandra K. Gupta, Antonio Cardone, Mukul Karnik, and Abhijit Deshmukh

Sponsors: This project is being sponsored by the Naval Surface Warfare Center at Indian Head, Maryland and the Center for Energetic Concepts Development at the University of Maryland.

Keywords: Shape Similarity, Shape Search, Part Retrieval, and Assembly Retrieval


Intuitively, if two products are similar, it is possible to reuse information about one product to derive corresponding information about the other one. There are many possible applications where reuse of information can be of significant value. Representative examples include part-family formation, redesign suggestion generation, supplier selection, cost estimation, tooling design, machine selection, stock selection, and design reuse. Representative examples are illustrated below:
Most users currently browse CAD models manually to locate similar parts. This is a very time consuming step and slows down the decision making process. Most product development engineers spend a lot of time searching for information. A search tool that can help in locating parts and assemblies having similar application-specific features will help in cutting down that time significantly and allow engineers to spend more time on creative aspect of their jobs. By improving decision making in design and planning functions, the shape similarity based search tool is expected to play an important role in reducing costs and reducing the time-to-market.

Technical Approach

The search tool locates existing parts similar to the new part based on some geometric attributes. It creates signatures for each of the parts in the database and stores the signatures along with the solid model of the part. A signature is a list of geometric attributes that describe the part and depends on the application. These pre-computed signatures reduce the time required for comparison and, thus, improve the speed of comparison. The search tool then uses the signatures to compare the signature of the query part with each of the signatures of the database parts to determine if the parts are similar.

We have developed two different techniques for performing search.
Advantages of our method include:

Related Publications

The following papers provide more details on the above-described techniques.
Some of these papers are available at the publications section of the website.


For additional information and to obtain copies of the above papers please contact:

Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research
2135 Martin Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, Md-20742
Phone: 301-405-5306
FAX: 301-314-9477