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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Keywords: Manufacturing, Design, Patents
Applicant: Eagle Engineering of America, Inc., USAPatent number: US6,295,513Publication date: 25 September 2001Title: Network-based system for the manufacture of parts with a virtual collaborative environment for design, development, and fabricator selection
A network-based, interactive system capable of receiving specification and other information to enable engineering design for a product is presented. The engineering design is represented by an electronic three-dimensional model, which can be used to develop and evaluate the product in a collaborative, virtual environment and so substantially reduces geographic, business and format boundaries. The system comprises a central server to maintain the engineering data in a common which is accessible by authorized team members through a graphical user interface that is substantially platform independent to reduce or eliminate the necessity for specialized hardware and software. Additionally, the system identifies qualified fabricators for manufacturing a part design based on fabricator capability information stored in a global registry database substantially maintained by the fabricators themselves, and conducting a virtual bidding process, whereby electronic representations of three-dimensional model and specification data are provided by the central server. The central server further supports the bidding process by providing quasi real time audio, video and graphics, and the contracts negotiation and formalization steps.