April 12, 2012
Reuses multiple part models to shorten design time by
Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.
Fujitsu Research and Development Center Co., Ltd.
Kawasaki, Japan, April 12, 2012 - Fujitsu
Laboratories Limited and Fujitsu Research and Development
Center Co., Ltd. have developed a technology for retrieving
partially similar models from stored 3D CAD models.
In the manufacturing industry, for example, new parts
designed using CAD models are not designed from scratch. By
retrieving and reusing models with similar shapes from the
existing models which incorporate prior design know-how,
companies are able to shorten design time. Until now, while
global shape retrieval has been possible, the inability to
retrieve and reuse partially similar shapes has posed a
challenge. With Fujitsu Laboratory's newly developed
technology, 3D CAD models are automatically segmented into
distinctive part models, such as protruding parts. Even if
the orientation, size or position of the segmented parts
differ, as long as the shapes are similar, they are
determined to be similar, and can therefore be retrieved.
Because the new technology enables retrieved part models to
be reused in combination with multiple other parts, design
time can be shortened by 90% compared to designing from the
ground up. This, in turn, helps to reduce design costs and
enhance a product's competitiveness by quickly bringing
it to market.
In order to quickly develop competitive products and
rapidly bring them to market, companies in industries such
as manufacturing need to shorten product design time by
reusing existing 3D CAD models which incorporate prior
design know-how, rather than designing models from the
ground up. To achieve this target, technology that can
efficiently retrieve reusable 3D CAD models is required.
Existing 3D CAD model retrieval technology can perform
text-based retrieval using part names and other keywords,
as well as global shape retrieval (Figure 1) that retrieves
3D CAD models from the global shape.
As can be seen with the tab example in figure 3, there is
currently a need to shorten design time by reusing 3D CAD
models with partially similar shapes. At the same time,
because global shape retrieval employs the global shape of
each model, the inability to retrieve 3D CAD models with
partially similar shapes has posed a challenge.
Newly Developed Technology
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that can
retrieve models with partially similar shapes from stored
3D CAD models. Because the new technology enables retrieved
part models to be extracted and reused in combination with
multiple other parts, design time can be shortened by 90%
compared to designing from the ground up.
Key features of the technology are as follows:
1. Automatically segments each 3D CAD model into
distinctive parts, such as protruding shapes
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technique that
analyzes the elements composing a 3D CAD model, including
the positional relationship between different surfaces, and
automatically segments the model into distinctive parts
that are suitable for later retrieval, such as protruding
shapes. Furthermore, the company has developed a technology
that automatically extracts shape features, such as concave
and convex surfaces, from the segmented parts, and compares
them to the shape features of the search key. As a result,
even if the orientation, size or position of the models is
different, as long as the shapes are similar, they can be
determined to be similar. As part of the system's
initial pre-processing (Step 1 in Figure 2), 3D CAD models
stored in the database are segmented into part models
through automatic segmentation process. After the designer
specifies a shape to be used as a search key, similar parts
are retrieved from the segmented models using global shape
retrieval technology (Step 2 in Figure 2).
2. Retrieval via interactive interface
The designer-specified search key and 3D CAD models with
partially similar shapes can be viewed together in a
virtual 3D space (Figure 3). In addition, the system allows
for efficient retrieval through color-coded highlighting of
the similar parts.
This newly developed technology makes it possible to
efficiently retrieve 3D CAD models containing shapes that
are similar to a specified search key from a massive 3D CAD
model database. With the new technology, 10,000 3D CAD
models were automatically segmented into approximately
100,000 parts, and the 3D CAD models containing similar
shapes to a specified search key could be retrieved in
roughly three seconds, making it practical for real-world
use. With the new technology, retrieved part models can be
reused in combination with multiple other parts, for
instance, making it possible to efficiently design new
parts. As a result, the time required to design a part can
be shortened by 90% compared to conventional technology. In
addition, the new technology enables increased reusability
of standard parts, making it possible to lower
Going forward, Fujitsu Limited will pursue the
commercialization of the new technology, and plans to
incorporate it into Fujitsu's PLEMIA general design
information management system before the end of FY2012.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and
communication technology (ICT) company offering a full
range of technology products, solutions and services. Over
170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100
countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to
shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu
Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.5
trillion yen (US$55 billion) for the fiscal year ended
March 31, 2011. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.
About Fujitsu Laboratories
Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu
Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier
research centers in the world. With a global network of
laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe,
the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied
research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer
Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced
Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.
About Fujitsu Research and Development Center
Established in 1998, Fujitsu Research and Development
Center Co., Ltd. is a wholly owned R&D center of Fujitsu
Limited, located in Beijing. The center's research
areas cover the major business fields of the Fujitsu Group,
including information processing, telecommunications,
semiconductors, and software and services.For more
information, please visit: http://cn.fujitsu.com/frdc/.
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owners. Information provided in this press release is
accurate at time of publication and is subject to change
without advance notice.