Cutter/workpiece engagement (CWE) extraction is an important problem in process modeling. One approach is to use a B-rep solid modeler to perform the calculations. However, this can have a high computational overhead especially for complicated workpieces. This paper presents a multi-agent system for B-rep based CWE extraction that allows distributed processing of the modeling steps over the Internet. The CWE calculation utilizes distributed agents for performing swept volume and removal volume construction in addition to the extraction of the CWE geometry itself. These distributed agents provide the capability to perform many of the calculations in parallel. The proposed methodology thus makes the best use of available, distributed computing resources leading to greatly improved efficiency in the CWE calculations. If agents are available to perform these calculations using other non-B-rep approaches the proposed framework facilitates their integration. This paper presents the architecture of the framework. This requires a specification of each agent in the framework. The mechanisms adopted for the three primary agent actions, task scheduling, master agent selection and results passing are presented. Interaction protocols are provided to explain how agents cooperate with each other to achieve parallel computation. Finally a prototype implementation and an example are given to show the effectiveness and efficiency of the system.

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