The lightweight representation of three-dimensional computer-aided design (3D CAD) models has drawn much attention from researchers as its usefulness in collaborative product development is vast. Existing approaches are mostly based on feature depression or mesh-based simplification. In this article, a new approach for 3D CAD lightweight representation based on combining triangular mesh representation and boundary representation (B-rep) is proposed. The corresponding data structure as well as the conversion method from original data given in B-rep was developed. Considered as an essential application in collaborative product development, a case study on the visualization process of large-scale assembly models represented in the proposed lightweight representation was also conducted. The validation of the approach was performed via experiments with 3D CAD models in SAT format and by benchmarking with the conventional all-faceted approach with the same level of mesh resolution.

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