A challenge in effective sharing of product information in collaborative design is the lack of explicit and compatible semantics in the product digital content. Substantial difficulties arise in understanding and interpreting the intended meaning of product data across collaborating design teams and applications. This paper presents a method to capture design semantics with product models for more consistent representation, understanding and interpretation of data semantics to support heterogeneous information sharing. The method incorporates the STEP based interoperability standard, ontology engineering, and object-oriented product modeling to capture and share the semantically interoperable product information. It focuses on: modeling of product data with additional semantics in object-based representations; extension of STEP with supplementary design information; domain ontology development; and semantics-driven schema mapping. A software prototype has been implemented to validate the method and tested with case studies.

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