A new feature recognition method is presented that generates volumetric feature representations from conventional boundary representations of mechanical parts. Recognition is accomplished by decomposing the known total feature volume of a part into a set of smaller volumes through analytic face extension. The decomposed volumes are combined to generate an initial set of features. Alternative sets of features are generated by maintaining and evaluating information on intersections of the initial feature set. The capabilities of the method are demonstrated through both a hypothetical and a real world design example. The method’s ability to locate features despite interactions with other features, and its ability to generate alternative sets of features, distinguishes it from existing recognition techniques.

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