Product design needs great team efforts from multi-disciplinary participants, even external partners, for collaborative problem solving. Design conflicts within and between functional teams do occur in such a collaborative design process. Detection and resolution of design conflicts through design conformance checking therefore becomes a critical activity in the joint design problem solving. This paper presents the development of a J2EE application prototype to support the STEP-based design conformance checking. A STEP-compliant information model has been specified to represent 3D CAD objects and other design information, while a knowledge representation model been proposed to describe design rules and constraints. The STEP objects and rule objects are managed and processed by the enterprise Java beans of a J2EE application server, which continuously applies the rule objects to the STEP objects and finally draws a conclusion for the design conformance checking. Application scenarios are discussed in the paper to illustrate the effectiveness of both the STEP/rule objects modeling approaches and the prototype system for support of the design compliance checking in distributed environment.

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