ANNACON: Annotation with Constraints to Support Design
The use of constraint-based and optimization techniques have proven valuable throughout the design process. Environments for such techniques are becoming available as stand alone and add-on packages for CAE environments. Most preliminary design layouts are performed on CAD environments; such environments also provide the designer with the mechanism to enrich such models with additional information, namely, annotation. This paper presents an approach that allows the designer to annotate the model with the design constraints, including its goals, relationships and bounds. These can then be used as the design evolves. To model solutions, that firstly, monitor and satisfy the constraints, and then present the opportunity to find an optimal solution. The context of this research is mechanism synthesis and machine system improvement. Therefore the constraints mainly dictate the geometric, topological and kinematics properties of a given design. The approach is demonstrated with the synthesis of a transfer mechanism in a production line.