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Intelligent agents can enable the integration of preliminary design with manufacturing planning software systems. These agents execute in a computer-based collaborative environment called a "multi-agent platform." A prototype agent platform supporting the integration of preliminary design and manufacturing planning has been developed at NIST. These agents have access to a knowledge base that is implemented by rules, generated by mapping design information to process and resource selections. The rules are derived from an analysis of design factors that influence process and resource planning, such as product material, form, shape complexity, features, dimension, tolerance, surface condition, and production volume. Process planning agents provide process planners with information regarding selection of preliminary manufacturing processes, determining manufacturing resources, and constructing feedback information to product designers. The agent platform enables information exchange among agents based on the integrated object model. The main purposes of developing such a platform are to support product preliminary design, optimize product form and structure, and reduce manufacturing cost in the early design process.