To increase the capabilities and intelligence of CAD/CAM systems, a feature based modeling environment, integrated with a knowledge based environment, is under development utilizing a commercial CAD system. This environment allows designers to model parts with features, and provides high-level part models to support geometric reasoning in manufacturing assessment and related functions. Two fundamental issues have been considered: (1) What kind of information is required to specify a part and to support reasoning about the part in a wide variety of applications?, and (2) How can the results serve the geometric reasoning needs of the various engineering applications which need geometric information about the part? This paper will discuss the information required for defining net shaped parts (parts to be manufactured by net shape processes), a framework for a feature based modeling environment, the procedures for feature based design, and the construction of high-level (semantic) pan models suitable for geometric reasoning in a knowledge based environment.

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