Assembly modeling as an extension of feature-based design

Jami J. Shah, Mary T. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


The advantages and limitations of procedural and declarative approaches for product modeling are discussed. Concepts are developed for modeling all levels of product relations with a uniform set of structures and relationships. It is shown that five basic structures, Part-of, Structuring relation, Degrees of freedom, Motion limits, and Fit can be used to define relationships between assemblies, parts, features, feature volume primitives, and evaluated boundaries. Generic relations which facilitate constraint specification between target and reference entities are also presented. Methods for the derivation of the location of an assembly unit from high level constraint specifications, such as mating conditions, and techniques for determining the degrees of freedom, motion limits, and assemblability are required. This can be done by uni-directional parameter derivation in the procedural approach, or by symbolic geometric reasoning or numerical equation solution in the declarative approach. The former is less expensive, easy to implement, avoids conflicts, but leads to combinatorial explosion. The latter is general, flexible, decouples constraint specification from validation, but is expensive, and may require conflict resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-237
Number of pages20
JournalResearch in Engineering Design
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 1993


  • Assembly modeling
  • CAD
  • Feature-based design
  • Geometric modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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