Sketch and search

Aston Business School’s Dr. Doug Love has developed a unique software package that allows engineers to ‘sketch and search’ for existing parts so that they might be re-used in a new design.

‘CADFind Sketch & Search’, as the package is called, is claimed to be the first commercial design retrieval system in the world that can find 2D engineering drawings from a sketch. Uniquely, it works for any kind of mechanical engineering component.

CADFind comes in two parts: the Master version that is used to maintain the parts catalogues and a Client program that can be used by anyone who needs to search or browse those catalogues.

At least one Master is needed for every installation but any number of Clients can be used. The Client version of the standard system is freely available and can be distributed without restriction. The Master version can be purchased on-line and a licence is needed for each PC that the system will be used on.

The result of many years of university research into part retrieval and classification, the system has been tested on genuine engineering databases of over 20,000 drawings.

Retrieval accuracy exceeds 98% for high quality drawings and 95% even from a basic sketch with search speeds of around 4000 parts per second on a standard PC.

The software offers huge potential savings by reducing design, manufacturing, distribution and after-sales costs through part re-use.

With the help of Aston University’s business partnership unit, Dr. Love has set up a company for the commercialisation of the software.

For information visit his website <link>here=http://www.sketchandsearch.com</link>.

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