What is your product master?
Is it a paper drawing? A digital drawing? a 3D model?
No matter what it is today, it’s likely that, in the future, it’s going to be a 3D model.
According to NIST, there are some big advantages of using a 3D model as master:
- Faster design revisions
- Build and test components and assemblies in a virtual
- environment (do-overs are no problem)
- Infinite viewpoints and exploded views of assemblies
- Direct to rapid prototyping
- Direct to engineering analysis (stress, thermal,
- interference fit, tolerance stack-up, etc.)
- Reduced manufacturing lead time and cost
- Automated generation and update of drawings (when
- drawings are needed)
- Generation of technical manuals directly from model data
- Costing, materials acquisition, marketing, training…
One gotcha in going this route is that your 3D master may be used with different applications, which could make mistakes in interpreting it.
Let’s say you’re importing your 3D model from Pro/E into SolidWorks. Think there is any chance that the importer could introduce errors?
Or, maybe your CAD software goes through a generational change. Is it possible that your carefully constructed 3D models might be misinterpreted by the new generation software? It’s happened before. Like, with the change from CATIA V4 to V5.
Could such a thing happen again? How about when Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp introduces its new SolidWorks V6 generation products?
To be fair, I want to give the SolidWorks programmers all the credit possible for making sure that they’ve dealt with compatibility problems between the V1 generation of SolidWorks, and the V6 generation. But, even with all that credit, I have to fall back to this simple concept: Trust but Verify.
Next Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT , I’m hosting a free webinar with Capvidia, to talk about data verification in SolidWorks.
Capvidia is going to be talking about how their CompareWorks program can diagnose the geometry you import into SolidWorks and show where there are differences and/or give you the assurance it is correct. And how you can use it to establish a documented, traceable procedure in your company workflow.
If you’re a SolidWorks user, and you work with imported geometry, or you’re concerned about how to handle compatibility between your existing version of SolidWorks and the upcoming SolidWorks V6 generation, I think you’ll find this webinar to be really interesting.
Filed Under: 3D CAD World, Rapid prototyping