Towards a Virtual Prototyping Environment
The paper will show and discuss the impacts and opportunities of a Virtual Prototyping Environment. The ability to rapidly prototype a proposed design in a Virtual Environment is becoming a key contributor towards fulfilling the business requirements embodied in a short time-to-market, in cost-effective and high quality manufacturing, and in easy support and maintenance. The major goal of the proposed Virtual Prototyping Environment is the integration of existing technologies in CAD modeling, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, User Interface design, knowledge-based reasoning, process management and documentation, and virtual reality to offer a distributed desktop, computer-based environment to support the concurrent engineering method as it is applied to the product development process. The paper gives hints to the underlying product data model and the related organization in the data management system. In addition, it describes the first realized prototype and the resulting experien ces.