An integrated multi-user system for synchronous design and analysis improves collaboration and concurrent engineering across multiple engineering disciplines. This approach allows all members of a multidisciplinary team (i.e., a team made up of designers and structural analysts) to access the same shared model over a computer network and synchronously contribute to the model in real-time. Data for both design and analysis are directly based on the same mathematical representation of the geometry, eliminating the need for model translation between disciplines. All data are stored on a central server which allows simultaneous access by multiple users. Each user views and operates on the model in a way specific to his or her discipline. Updates to the shared model are seen in real-time. This system enables an enhanced parallel product development workflow, since users from multiple disciplines can simultaneously contribute to the same engineering model. A simple implementation of an integrated multi-user design and analysis system was developed to demonstrate this method. Preliminary results from two experiments suggest a reduction in the amount of time required to perform design and analysis operations when compared with traditional, single-user approaches. Future research is suggested.

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