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Web based collaboration for furniture design: Survey and the structure of a collaborative working environment

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This paper investigates the demands of Web-based collaboration in the furniture industry by analyzing results obtained from primary surveys. A collaborative work environment (CWE) is then proposed to meet the demands. The CWE allows geographically dispersed team members to collaborate over the Internet to conduct a total furniture design process. The structure of the CWE is presented. Various resources including design data, product simulation models, materials, marketing information and client's requirements etc. are integrated into the CWE and shared with all the participants of the total design process.