Reuse of CAD model is important for manufacturing companies where similar products are produced. If existing CAD models have design information related to the design of a new product, their reuse saves costs and reduces time of product design. Since design documents generated in the early design stage contain product specifications and design directions for new product design, they can be used as input queries to retrieve existing CAD models. In this paper, we propose an approach to retrieving CAD models with design documents. A major challenge of the proposed approach was reduction of semantic gap between design documents and CAD models because design documents generated in the early design stage contain abstract design descriptions, while CAD models contain detailed design descriptions. In order to reduce the semantic gap between CAD models and design documents, we adopt semantic processing and rule processing. During the semantic processing, semantic representations are generated from the text in CAD models and text in design documents using a domain ontology and shallow natural language processing (NLP). Hidden design information is extracted from CAD models and design documents based on rule processing. The experimental results show that the proposed approach can outperform the keyword-based approach which does not overcome semantic gap.
CAD model retrieval, Semantic representation, Rule processing, Domain ontology, Design document, Reverse-Engineering