The Graphical ‘Google’ for Engineering Drawings

Sep 21, 2004

Applied Search Technology Ltd (AST) of Aston University in Birmingham, UK has announced the launch of its new software CADFind Sketch and Search – the first commercial design retrieval system in the world that can find 2D engineering drawings from a sketch.

The new software could save manufacturing companies thousands of pounds in part design by allowing the user to search, retrieve and use geometrically similar parts from their database, based on a customer drawing or a simple sketch.

“In practice, this means that engineers can find those existing parts easily and efficiently, even when the company may have hundreds of thousands of parts on its books,” said Dr. Doug Love, AST’s Research Director. “Sketching out the desired part aligns with the way an engineer thinks and avoids all the problems of interpretation that are a feature of current text-based database systems.”

CADFind can also handle all types of mechanical parts and thus avoids the waste and inefficiency of having a number of different databases for different types of part. It also offers retrieval accuracy of 95% for the most basic drawing with search speeds of around 4000 parts per second on a standard PC. Plus, there are also plans to add a 3D graphical search system to the software.

“Many researchers have concentrated on 3D graphical search systems but this approach ignores the fact that the majority of older part designs are held in the form of traditional 2D drawings. CADFind can deal with 2D engineering drawings now and will offer 3D support in the near future.”

CADFind is the result of many years of research into part retrieval and classification and the system has been tested on genuine engineering databases of over 20,000 drawings. Applied Search Technology Ltd was formed in 2004 by Doug Love, Jeff Barton and Neville Holmes as a ‘start-up’ through Aston University’s Business Partnership Unit. It is currently based in Aston Science Park on the University campus.

A workable demonstration programme of CADFind is available to download at www.SketchAndSearch.com .

Explore further: GoGlove wearable aims to control life's soundtracks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Searching for global water and food solutions

Nov 05, 2014

As world population continues to grow, so does the need for water and food. It would be easy if the fix were laying down more pipes and cultivating more crops. But it's not that simple. The global climate is becoming unevenly ...

Next for DARPA: 'Autocomplete' for programmers

Nov 05, 2014

Writing computer programs could become as easy as searching the Internet. A Rice University-led team of software experts has launched an $11 million effort to create a sophisticated tool called PLINY that ...

Google's streaming music service adds mood to mix

Oct 21, 2014

Google's music-subscription service will try to anticipate its listeners' mood swings as it amplifies its competition with Pandora, Spotify and other popular services that play tunes over the Internet.

Recommended for you

Shedding light on solar power

3 hours ago

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

4 hours ago

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

EU Parliament votes to break up Google

5 hours ago

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google Thursday in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.