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Knowledge, Graphs & 3D CAD Systems - David Bigelow @ GraphConnect Chicago 2013


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Global Design and Manufacturing Companies spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror relative to their product design and configuration requirements in order to determine what NOT to do in …

Global Design and Manufacturing Companies spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror relative to their product design and configuration requirements in order to determine what NOT to do in the future. A lot of time and money is spent tracking information related to design validation, testing and warranty data. Understanding history is important, it often repeats and the bad decisions of the past needs to be avoided.

But, what about the GOOD decisions that have been made, those are just as, if not more important to a design and configuration process! Where do those get stored?! How are they measured?! Most importantly, HOW ARE THEY ENFORCED?! Specifically, how do you help someone in a company make the RIGHT decisions, not just be fearful of repeating a BAD one?!

This is a complex problem for any Design, Engineering or IT Department. That problem gets even more complex when you are required to incorporate a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) systems into the mix. If 3D parts and assemblies do not physically connect together properly, or are never supposed to work logically together based on the customer application, you will lose business. The solution is to rethink the approach to how a company not only captures knowledge about failures, but also start to capture successes. The ultimate goal is to help design and engineering staff make the right decisions first, to guide them through valid relations and requirements with ease so they are never distracted by bad decisions - or forced to address a potentially bad decision before it is made.

This is where graph databases are poised to address a very complex problem in a simple and easy to understand way. There are two problems that come up from this:
1) how to document the relationships, rules, dependencies and logic in the graph structure, and
2) how to guide/navigate different role-specific-users through that process safely/accurately.

This presentation will cover the real-world complexities of defining, validating, documenting and enforcing mechanical 3D CAD product configuration rules and structures. Demonstrations of how different roles within the company (e.g. configuration manager, engineer, sales, etc.) can interface with the same graph database using multiple interfaces (e.g. thick client, thin and web) to be interactively guided to a proper solution the first time.

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  • 1. Innovate. Share. Connect.Chicago June 12-13Knowledge, Graphs & 3D CAD SystemsKnowledge, Graphs & 3D CAD SystemsDavid Bigelow - Simplified Logic, Inc.David Bigelow - Simplified Logic, Inc.
  • 2. Graphs
  • 3. Image Source: neosigma.herokuapp.comExample: neo4j & sigma.jsRelationships are Cool...(But, are hard to get your head around)
  • 4. Image Source: Max DeMarziVisualization HAS gotten better...(for simple cases)
  • 5. But still has a LOOOOOONG way to go...(Huh?! Is this useful to the average person who is not a social or criminal scientist!?)Image Source:
  • 6. Most Visualization looks exclusively in the PAST!(The future starts by staring into the rear-view mirror?!)Closeness of Data Points?Clustering?Connection Counts?Overall Ranking?Correlation?Causation?Trending?Where used? Degree of Centrality?
  • 7. Historical Data drivesfuture decisions,policies,and agendas!BUT, it is typicallynot actionablein a timely manner.(The “Big Data” Problem!?)History is important!(ok... duh!)
  • 8. character credit: - “underwear gnomes”There has been an extreme focus oncollecting and controlling data...(ummm.... “Phase 2” is like really important!)
  • 9. You want to do amazing things?!Figure out that “Phase 2” part out! (quickly)graphic credit: - “underwear gnomes”
  • 10. 3D CAD Systems
  • 11. CAD Systems and Types(user-centric approach to execution)Wireframe Surfaces SolidsParametricModelers10mm17mmVariationalModelersDirectModelers(pull)
  • 12. Parametric Systems(hierarchical relationships)ProductData ManagerDrawingsAXCDPartsAQRSTUVWAssembliesABCAZDEF ACBDEFXFilesPointers & Relationships
  • 13. Feature RelationshipsAQRSTUVWBuildOrder ParentChildPart Features & Operations
  • 14. AQRSTUVWBuildOrderPart Features & OperationsStructuraland / orGeometricDependentRelationshipsRelationshipsNOTE: This is Painful for Users!Multiple Paths / Frustrationsto the SAME Geometric Results!
  • 15. Part Design Automation(graphs can help navigate data, but not great for automating)Feature Instructions aretypically defined to a smallreference.The Resulting Geometryoften is more complicatedthan the instructions used tocreate it.
  • 16. S4S5S2S1S3S6Sub-Geometry Relationships(Solid / Volume = Closed Loop Relationships)(Surfaces & Edges)e3 e1e2e4e5e5e6e6e7e8e9e9e10e10e11e12e7e8e12=3D Cube
  • 17. Graph-Based Extraction(Define Boundary Conditions and Seed Reference)BoundaryBoundarySeedExtractedGeometry
  • 18. ABCAZDEFAssembliesPartsFeatureUser-Specific ApproachItem Choices...Mated To,Aligned To,Selected References,etc...Assembly Relationships(business logic IN the CAD system!)NOTE: This is Painful for Users!ALSO - Painful for Corporation(data management!)
  • 19. ABCAZDEFComponent “C”w/ Assembly Referencesto Assembly “E”and Sub-Component “B”Sub-Assembly “F”Assembled toComponent “C”Assembly RelationshipsNOTE: ALL relationships must beunderstood by the product datamanagement system!
  • 20. THIS is a BIG PROBLEM!EXPENSIVE, COMPLEX &PROPRIETARYData Management SystemsMultiple Use-Cases for theSAME DATA(Manufacturing, Vendors, Customer, Publishing, ERP, etc.)Sharing & UsingInformationwith others is PAINFUL!Embedded CAD RelationshipsACAZDEFB
  • 21. Breaking thoseInternal RelationshipsNOTthis easy...ACAZDEFBResult:YEARS of baddecisions persist!
  • 22. Autonomy is CRUCIAL!AQRSTUVWBuildOrderUn-Avoidable(user / user pain)Part DesignABCAZDEFTypical(user / user / corp pain)Assembly DesignABCAZDEFWell-Planned(flexible / enforceable)Assembly Design
  • 23. Design Alternatives?!Product DesignA1 A2 A3 A4B1 B2C1 C2 C3 C4 C5E1 E2 E3F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6A1 A2 A3 A4Z1 Z2Design AlternativesABCAZDEF
  • 24. “Choices” are a Problem...(Should you just let anyone put anything together?!)Image Source: The Matrix Reloaded
  • 25. Just becauseyou can...Doesn’t meanyou SHOULD!
  • 26. Graphs &Business Logic
  • 27. Imagine youproduce this...
  • 28. 0˚ 30˚45˚60˚-30˚0˚30˚45˚60˚0˚30˚60˚ 90˚ 115˚0˚30˚60˚90˚115˚
  • 29. Product Data Managers“manage” the Data...But this is NOT how it should beused.
  • 30. A DecisionFramework!What ismissing?
  • 31. This is a “Decision Framework”3-Ring Binders!Excel Worksheets!+BUT... NOT VERY USEFUL!
  • 32. Human “mobility” is a BIG problem...Typically, the “data” stays...(PDM, PLM, Excel Worksheets, Paper Notebooks, etc.)I am out’a here!Promo!The “new people” in a job are a huge variable...Newbie!(aggressiveness, competence, courage, communication skills, real-world experience vs. book smarts,etc...)
  • 33. Internal MemosWarranty InfoTest Datasource: ibm.comsource: spacesaver.comDesign StandardsCustomer FeedbackCompetitive AnalysisProduct Design & Configuration KnowledgeComes from MANY Sources
  • 34. Different Sources, DifferentDatabases, Different Users,Different Applications, DifferentUse Cases, Different Customers,Different Needs, Different LifeCycles, Different Security,Different Sources, DifferentDatabases, Different Users,Different Applications, DifferentUse Cases, Different Customers,Different Needs, Different LifeCycles, Different Security,This is where most I.T. Departmentsseriously struggle!
  • 35. Let Purpose-Built Solutions Work!You can build an amazing Decision Framework from this...But, information arrives and changes at different times...Your NEW“Decision Structure”
  • 36. Your NEW“Decision Structure”ServicesServicesServices ServicesServicesThe Graph does NOT need “everything”...Connect them via “services” to...“Translate”, “Relate” and “Guide” the Business Process!
  • 37. Different Roles- Engineering- Manufacturing- Purchasing- Customer- Partners-Vendor- etc.DifferentTargets- Region- Market- Cost- Market- Application- etc.
  • 38. Interfaces! Role-SpecificDecisionStructures- Engineering- Manufacturing- Purchasing- Customer- Partners- Vendor- etc.
  • 39. 0˚ 30˚45˚60˚-30˚0˚30˚45˚60˚0˚30˚60˚ 90˚ 115˚0˚30˚60˚90˚115˚
  • 40. Engineering CustomersPartnersVendorsApp SupportManufacturing
  • 41. DEMO
  • 42. IndustryOpportunities...
  • 43. A lot of companies are sold a “vision”“Heeeey....Just put everything ina single bucket!”
  • 44. The Core Problem...Customers Expect... Vendors Supply...A small piece of advice... ALWAYS ASK:“Who” is the cutter and “who” is the dough?!
  • 45. CRAP!CRAP!
  • 46. Welcome to the NEW Variable...
  • 47. THANKYOU! : Engineering & : Cloud : A New Project :)David Bigelow, PresidentSimplified Logic, : Investor