Conceptual Understanding and Prototyping (CUP)

My main undergraduate research project while a member of the Geometric and Intelligent Computing Laboratory at Drexel University, was CUP, a 3D conceptual modeling system for assembly design. At the time, many tools existed to support computer-aided design in engineering disciplines during mature stages of the design process only. The conceptual design phase, which focuses on not the geometry but the structure, behavior and function of an artifact, however, can often determine a large percentage of the overall cost of the product, as many fundamental decisions are made during this stage. CAD tools available often forced designers to make detailed geometry or layout decisions without allowing a means for markup of an artifact’s structure, function and behavior. CUP was designed as a tool to allow engineers to capture the design intent inherent in the conceptual design process.

We published a definitive journal paper on the CUP system:

  • Anthony, L., Regli, W.C., John, J.E., and Lombeyda, S.V. 2001. An Approach to Capturing Structure, Behavior and Function of Artifacts in CAD. Transactions of the ASME, the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2001, p.186-192. [camera copy] [DOI link]

A downloadable Java version of the software is still available here. CUP has since been extended into a secure, multi-user collaborative conceptual design environment called MUG, now ended as well.

last revised 04/24/2012

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