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This thesis investigates the application of ActiveX technology to customise mid range solid modelling software, with a view to exploring the benefits small to medium sized manufacturing companies can experience from its successful implementation. A custom application intended to automate solid modelling software was developed that optimises the product design process and also generates the necessary manufacturing information, including working drawings, for precision air handling units. This was successfully accomplished through research and by integrating Computer Aided Design (CAD) with a custom application using ActiveX technology. A variety of CAD products and associated technologies i.e. solid modelling kernels, were researched in order to investigate which product was most suitable to select. The products were assessed on functionality with heavy emphasis also placed on the potential increases in efficiency and productivity after customisation. A requirement of this research was to find a mid range modelling system that could be programmed to automate the entire design and modelling process. The system chosen was ‘ Solid Edge@ from EDS PLM solutions. Extensive research was carried out on ActiveX and Data Access technology. ActiveX technology was used to gain access to the Solid Edge and customise it, while Data Access was the technology used to access a database and apply previously stored information to solid models in order to automatically format their characteristics and dimensions. By successfully integrating ActiveX and Data Access technology with CAD it was possible to undertake a case study which involved redesigning and instigating a new design solution for a manufacturer of precision air-handling units. The case study provided the requisite framework to further develop and test the custom application and to expand on the research project objectives. The case study proved that by successfully implementing the custom application the time required for designing products as well as producing the necessary manufacturing information was radically decreased thus improving productivity, efficiency and also reducing the time to market for the companies products.
Moynihan, S. (2005). The application of advanced solid modelling techniques to the design of precision air handling units for manufacture. Masters dissertation. Technological University Dublin. doi:10.21427/D7VK63