A hybrid feature extraction algorithm for extracting cavity features for machining applications is presented. The algorithm operates on both a feature-based solid model of a part and its corresponding boundary representation solid model. Information available from both part representations is used, offering a more robust and efficient solution for some of the critical limitations of current feature extraction algorithms, such as verification of completeness, computation of cavity volumes, and maintenance of design information.

The hybrid feature extraction algorithm combines the strengths of feature-based design and feature extraction approaches to linking design and manufacturing. Starting with a feature-based model of a part consisting of volumetric design features combined with a stock shape using set operations, the algorithm transforms this model into a feature model containing only machinable cavity features. The transformation involves computations on both the set theoretic feature model and its corresponding boundary representation solid model, and deals with the complexities of feature-feature intersections and protrusions. By combining the higher-level product information contained in the design feature model with the topological and geometric information in the boundary representation model, the algorithm supplements traditional boundary representation extraction with non-geometric product information, enabling the verification of completeness, and significantly aiding the computation of the appropriate feature volumes.

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