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Q: What is Knowledge-Based Automated Design?


Knowledge-Based Automated Design (KBAD) is a paradigm that involves automating tasks involving geometry, engineering, configuration, drawing production, costing, etc. KBAD applications incorporate all the necessary design information to produce automated outputs. A KBAD application is driven by rules such as codes and standards, engineering calculations, data base information, manufacturing requirements, or simple designer preference. KBAD is typically used to quickly develop customized designs and arrangements for engineered products. The output of a typical KBAD system can include 3D models, 2D General Arrangement and Fabrication drawings, Process and P&ID drawings, Bills of Material, Cost and Schedules. Input to a KBAD application is typically through a Windows type GUI.

KBAD applications are normally custom written for each user. In that regard, VTS employs AutoDeskís Mechanical Desktop together with VTS Express™, a custom application developed by VTS written in Visual Basic®, and/or Intent™ knowledge-based software by Engineering Intent.

Q: How can Knowledge-Based Automated Design help my business?


Knowledge-Based Automated Design will drastically increase your productivity by allowing you to provide design-to-order products and systems at a fraction of the time it would take to perform the work manually. KBAD also minimizes human error since the design rules and arrangement constraints are built into the system. Other benefits of KBAD include the ability to:

  • Quickly optimize components and assemblies.
  • Perform fast and easy "what if" explorations.
  • Respond quickly and accurately to proposal requests.
  • Quickly generate 3D models, detailed drawings, estimates, bill of materials, etc., anywhere, even at a customerís site.
  • Generate photorealistic renderings of your product whether or not the product has ever been built.
Q: Is Knowledge-Based Automated Design expensive?


Knowledge-Based Automated Design systems are typically custom configured to your requirements. Obviously the cost for each system will vary depending on the complexity of your product and desired user interface, the number of rules that need to be included in the KBAD application, and the complexity of the output desired. Simple systems can cost as little as $10,000, while extremely complex systems can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, a properly configured KBAD system is a high value product that can often pay for itself in just one job. In addition, a KBAD system can change the way you do work. Imagine the benefits of being able to produce fabrication drawings during the proposal phase of a project, quickly respond to changes in a specification, or to quickly modify the design of a product or system in response to unknown field conditions. From this perspective, the cost of a KBAD system is quite low.

Got a question about Knowledge-Based Automated Design, VTS Express™, Intent!™, or 3D Computer Animation. Please feel free to submit all your inquiries to

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