This paper presents new techniques for integrating haptic interface with mainstream CAD systems. Haptic interface, by providing force feedback in human-computer interaction, can improve the working efficiency of CAD/CAM (Computer-aided Design and Manufacturing) systems in a unique way. Compared to the test beds and prototypes in the past research, the new techniques would allow the user to directly touch and manipulate native 3D CAD models in mainstream CAD/CAM systems with force/touch feedback. Contrary to the common thoughts among the research community, the presented techniques eliminate time- and resource-consuming pre-processing or duplication of the CAD models data, such as conversion to volumetric models or triangulated mesh models. It would allow the CAD/CAM user to evaluate or assembly the CAD models with force/touch feedback, and meanwhile modify the design without having to resort to other geometry representation method or systems. By integrating haptic interface directly with mainstream CAD systems, the powerful built-in functions of CAD systems can be leveraged and enhanced to realize more agile 3D CAD design and evaluation, which will eventually lead to a more competitive design and manufacturing industry. This research would open up a new direction of haptic application research in CAD/CAM area. The presented techniques can be used in tasks such as digital mockup, virtual assembly, virtual prototyping, computer-aided product design and manufacturing.

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