With the advancements of 3D modeling software, the use of CAD in design has become a standard practice. In recent years development in computer hardware and improvements in user friendliness of the CAD software has allowed designers to quickly and easily modify the CAD models. This modification capability allows CAD to be an integral part of the design process. Due to the increase in global competition, companies have become increasingly interested in fast and efficient design processes. One way to achieve improved efficiency is through better collaboration among designers working in common or similar projects and disciplines. A large design problem often requires specialized knowledge from several fields. Collaboration among the designers from these fields will ensure efficient design. Interaction among the designers can prevent redesign of similar components/subsystems, which requires the ability to share their designs. With the increase of collaboration, designers can now get access to large databases of 3D CAD models. But the challenge lies in search capabilities to identify common models from a large database. These considerations suggest that in the near future a challenge in 3D CAD industry will be how to find models of similar components and products. This paper presents an approach and its implementation to measure the similarity among a number of CAD models. The approach is based on the extraction and organization of information from the CAD models, which is followed by the suitable selection of commonality index and calculation of the commonality among a set of CAD models. A set of Vacuum cleaners are modeled and then compared to demonstrate the application of the approach.

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