Action research into the use of parametric associative CAD systems in an industrial context
This paper reports the first stages from a research programme into the application of parametric associative CAD systems adopting the Design Research Methodology (DRM) according to Blessing. The focus of this paper is to present the results of the descriptive study which has been accomplished to identify the challenges, problems and weaknesses involved in the use of the systems in the automotive design process. After a short introduction the result of a literature survey on the field of parametric associative CAD design systems is presented, including an evaluation of reviewed papers and research from different aspects. The review is followed by presentation of the results of a questionnaire and interview study of engineers working in the automotive industry. This study demonstrates that engineers have significant difficulty in identifying and structuring the parameters and associative relationships used in parametric associative CAD, especially in distributed design tasks. The review and the empirical study demonstrate the necessity of generic integrated approaches to working with parametric associative CAD systems.