A concept for the initial stage of the mechanical design and its implementation in the computer-aided design (CAD) are presented. The process of decision making in design is: (1) determining an outline of the whole assembly using a 2-dimensional model that is easy to operate; (2) checking the outline using a 3-dimensional model in which it is easy to identify the spatial relationships; (3) determining details of its sub-assemblies or their components using the 2-dimensional model; and (4) checking the details using the 3-dimensional model. The CAD system must provide consistent relationships through all the steps. For that, following functions are implemented in our prototype system: (1) a 2D and 3D integrated model for consistency between 2- and 3-dimensional shapes, (2) a hierarchical assembly model with dimensional constraints for consistency within an assembly and their components, and (3) a check on constraints for consistency between shapes and designers’ intentions. As a result, the system can provide an environment well fitted to the designers’ decision making process.

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