We are running an Editability Study of CAD models. This study aims to inform further work on CAD models Design Intent and Editability. If you are interested in taking part please leave us your details and we will get back to you.


In our paper INVESTIGATING AND CHARACTERISING VARIABILITY IN CAD MODELLING AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT ON EDITABILITY: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY (in press)[1], We introduced the concept of Editability contextualizing the idea of usability discussed by Nielsen in his book[2].

CAD Model Editability: How a CAD model can be edited in order to be used/reused in the design workflow by users with effectiveness, efficiency.

Similarly to usability Editability can be measured in a range of ways analysed by Nielsen in his Usability Engineering book. We devised a study in order to explore how sketch-density (expressed as the ratio between active sketches and active features). Active objects in a CAD model are non-suppressed design objects which cannot be removed without changing the current design.

This Editability study aims to record user interaction with different CAD files, which were constructed following different procedures. Inspecting the user interaction with the models, it is possible to quantify their editability. Users will be given a series of already designed CAD files with their respective CAD drawings. The CAD drawings for each part contains a list of edits which must be carried out the correspondent part.

Throughout the experiment, a Fusion 360 Add-In will be used to record some aspects of the user progress within the Fusion 360 modelling environment.

The Task

You will be given a set of CAD models and you will have to apply some edits on each of them (e.g. changing the depth of a slot, radius of a through-hole…). Instructions will be provided in the form of drawings. Throughout the task, your actions will be monitored by a Fusion 360 addin recording the information related to the commands invoked in the Autodesk software. Additionally, you will be required to record your process using the Autodesk application: ScreenCast.


Participants should have some familiarity reading engineering drawings and with the Fusion 360 design environment.


If you want to ask questions before signing up for the study, follow this LINK

[1] P. Rosso, B. Hicks, J. Gopsill, S. Burgess, Investigating and CharacterisingVariability in CAD Modelling and its Potential Impact on Editability: AnExploratory Study, Computer-Aided Design and Applications (in press)
[2] Nielsen, J.: Usability engineering. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco;, 1993. ISBN 0125184069.http://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-052029-2.50009-7
[3] Gopsill, J.; Snider, C.; Shi, L.; Hicks, B.: Computer-aided design user interaction as a sensor for monitoring engineers and the engineering design process. In D. Marjanovi; M. torga; N. Pavkovi; N. Bojeti;S. kec, eds., DS 84: Proceedings of the DESIGN 2016 14th International Design Conference, vol. 1 of DESIGN – HUMAN BEHAVIOUR AND DESIGN, 1707–1718. Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Croatia, 2016