Extended 3D annotations as a new mechanism to explicitly communicate geometric design intent and increase CAD model reusability Academic Article uri icon


  • A successful implementation of the Model-Based Enterprise concept (MBE) requires maximizing the potential benefits of annotated 3D models. The foundations of the MBE model are established by digital product definition data practices, which are currently regulated by standards such as ASME Y14.41-2003 and ISO 16792:2006. At the center of the MBE concept is the notion of CAD model reusability, which relies on the idea that 3D CAD models can be reused both throughout the entire product lifecycle and as a starting point for future development of new products. In this context, a critical aspect of CAD model reuse is the proper identification and understanding of the geometric design intent that is usually expressed implicitly within the CAD model. In this work, we present a method to communicate geometric design intent explicitly by overloading and extending the scope of the current annotation instruments available in the MBE approach. We propose a new broader type of model annotation that we call "extended annotation", where design information is represented both internally within the 3D model and externally, on a separate repository. This structure naturally demands additional mechanisms to support the interaction of users with the information. In order to manage the information stored in these extended annotations effectively, we implemented an annotation manager that automatically synchronizes the dual representation of the annotations. To reduce the visual clutter in the 3D model, the software provides powerful filtering, editing, and visualization capabilities, giving users complete control of the information stored in the model. Finally, a study was conducted with 60 participants to evaluate the performance of the proposed model and the usability of the annotation manager. Results show a statistically significant benefit of using the extended annotation system, suggesting the use of this model as a valuable approach to improve design intent communication. 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Computer-Aided Design

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Camba, J., Contero, M., Johnson, M., & Company, P.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Camba, Jorge||Contero, Manuel||Johnson, Michael||Company, Pedro

publication date

  • December 2014