Observations from supplementing the traditional design process via Internet-based collaboration tools

Srinivas Nidamarthi, Robert H. Allen, Ram D. Sriram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We report on our observations about supporting, via the Internet, the design and manufacture of an atomic artefact transport system (ATS) by a team of geographically separated physicists, designers and fabricators. To supplement the design process, we have deployed two Internet-based approaches. In our first approach, we have used a client- and server-based suite of tools with facilities for design activities and design rationale capture. In the second method, we implemented virtual reality modelling language (VRML) as a communication and visualization medium for evaluation of detailed designs and assembly sequences. In each approach, we observed changes in the design process as a result of incorporating collaborative technology. These changes include being able to capture design rationale and exchange ideas analogously to traditional methods, and being able to simulate the assembly sequence in the iterative design phase. Our data support the view that collaborative technologies will supplement, rather than supplant, traditional design processes. We conclude that collaborative environments can be effective in helping teams overcome the problems associated with conflicting schedules, heterogeneous computing environments and data, and can be effective in facilitating consensusbased decision-making necessary for collaborative design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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