The paper presents a flexible and lightweight fast prototyping approach for marine crane concept design based on WebGL. The goal is to develop a user-friendly tool that facilitates the communication between designers, system engineers and customers during the early product and system design stage. In this study, we focus on the design of the mechanical parts of the crane in addition with the actuation systems, typically the hydraulic power systems. The degrees of freedom, main geometric dimensions of the crane links and joints, and the configurations of the actuators can be evaluated according to the requirements of workspace, load capacity, etc. The implementation and user interface of the designer tool are developed based on the application of WebGL. In this way, it also enables remote communications between departments in different locations over the web. The development of the parameterization and visualization tool will bring in the customer directly into the product and system design process, thus to improve the work efficacy and reduce the overall time and cost. The results from the designer tool also provide primary information and data for later design processes and simulations in the virtual prototyping environment.

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