A deterrent to practical use of many feature extraction systems is that they are difficult to maintain, either because they depend on the use of a library of feature-types which must be updated when the underlying manufacturing resources change (e.g. tools and fixtures), or they rely on the use of task-specific post processors, which must also be updated. For such systems to become practical, it must be easy for a user to update the system to match the current resources. This paper presents MEDIATOR (Maintainable, Extensible Design and manufacturing Integration Architecture and TranslatOR). MEDIATOR is a resource adaptive feature extraction and early process planning system for 3-axis milling. A resource adaptive system is one that changes its behavior as the manufacturing resources in a shop change. MEDIATOR allows users to select from a standard set of tools and fixtures, and automatically identifies any changes in the features that result. It attains its resource adaptive behavior by blurring the line between feature extraction and process planning; descriptions of the manufacturing resources are used to directly identify manufacturable areas of the part. A non-programmer can easily update MEDIATOR by selecting different shop resources.

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