Re-Use Your CAD
Jennifer Herron is the owner of Action Engineering, a company that specializes in the promotion, process development, and standardization of a 3D CAD Model-Based Environment. Her career has been spent creating and building complex hardware systems for the aerospace and defense industry, her … More »
June 6th, 2016 by Jennifer Herron
// the creation and use of cross-domain, common digital surrogates of a materiel system to allow dynamic, contemporaneous assessment of the system’s current and future capabilities to inform decisions in the Capability Planning and Analysis, Preliminary Design, Detailed Design, Manufacturing, Testing, and Sustainment acquisition phases
Source: Kraft, E. (2013). Expanding the Digital Thread to Impact Total Ownership Cost [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from: http://www.nist.gov/el/msid/upload/1Kraft_DigitalThread.pdf
Digital Thread isn’t just a marketing term. It’s real, it’s here, it’s tangible. What we’re missing are measurable results of the technology. You know, that stuff that will make your case to upper management. That nasty term… ROI.
The Digital Thread: Stitching Together the Next Industrial Revolution
Government and commercial entities gathered at the MBE Summit in April 2016 to discuss the digital thread and Model-Based Engineering. This annual event is hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The purpose of the MBE Summit is to identify challenges, research, implementation issues, and lessons learned in manufacturing and quality assurance where a digital 3D model of the product serves as the authoritative information source for all activities in the product’s lifecycle.
My overall impressions from MBE Summit week
I captured a few high-level tips of the MBE trade from the collective presenting minds.
What is the biggest bang for your MBD buck?
Convincing upper management about MBE
And finally, my impressions from the MBE Capabilities Workshop
Immediately following the MBE Summit, a one-day “Measurement Science for MBE Capabilities” workshop was held to evaluate the latest release of the MBE Capabilities Index and gather industry input for a guidebook that NIST is developing to help organizations assess their MBE capabilities, determine actions to take based on the assessment results, and outline a minimum set of requirements to be considered a model-based enterprise.
My impressions from the workshop:
AIAG brought their graphical interpretation of the MBE Capabilities Index. This is an improvement in the understanding of the evolution of MBD. See the wall chart here: http://www.aiag.org/products/products-list/product-details?ProductCode=D-38
One day we’ll look back on these notes and realize just how far we’ve come on our MBD journey. For now, calculate your ROI to pitch your case for MBD to upper management.
MBE Summit 2016 presentations can be found here: http://www.nist.gov/el/msid/mbe2016presentations.cfm
Find out more about the Digital Thread for Smart Manufacturing here: http://www.nist.gov/el/msid/syseng/dtsm.cfm
April 13th, 2016 by Jennifer Herron
Attempting MBE without Standard Parts in your Tool Box is just STUPID!
What is meant by “certified standard parts library”?
No, silly. Throw out your old paper catalogs. We’re talking an electronic catalog (or directory, if you will) from which an organization can download and reuse standard industry parts. For simplicity’s sake, think nuts, bolts, and washers. Your favorite rocket scientist has better things to do than dimension off-the-shelf bolts for the propulsion system.
October 19th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron
We are operating at a stage in design and manufacturing where 3D models are used for direct tooling, or used to generate injection molds, but still need to be supplemented by 2D drawings for PMI (dimensions, tolerances and notes). In addition to creating extra work, 2D drawings are fundamentally flawed because the interpretation is limited to 2D, rather than real hardware which is 3D.
We see in 3D, We Should Document in 3D
I realize we have grown accustom to 2D drawings in the workplace, but these orthographic projections of 3D data are limiting both in creation of un-ambiguous product definition and will castrate the performance of high-tech manufacturing processes, such as Additive Manufacturing (AM).
So… what is on the engineering horizon, and how can you step out of the 2D inertia spiral of death (a little Halloween humor for you)?
September 4th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron
Fall sparks memories of school days for me. Remember cracking open a new textbook, turning to a crisp page of your composition notebook, and advancing the lead in your mechanical pencil (OK, maybe it was your iPad)? You gazed in rapt anticipation to the front of the classroom as the professor launched into a course lecture and you were a sponge soaking up every morsel of information. Education is powerful.
Recharge your skill sets again this Fall: register to attend one or more of the many congresses, conferences, and exchanges that will kick your core knowledge of 3D/MBD/MBE up several notches.
While not a complete syllabus, here are some of the continuing education topics slated for discussion that intrigue me:
3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress
Washington DC (Dulles)
July 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron
Creating a Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) with Model-Based Engineering (also MBE) is no small task. When executed well, there is clearly a tangible benefit for small and large companies as well as government organizations.
By the way, there are at least three independent definitions for the three-letter-acronym (TLA) of MBE; here is my take on each of those definitions.
February 15th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron
Now at home in sunny Denver, CO after attending SOLIDWORKS World in sunny Phoenix, AZ held February 8-12, 2015, I reflect on the week.
There were cookies, coffee, countless training and educational sessions, cute 2-wheeled jumping robots to drive, a mini 4-rotor helicopter to fly, methods for controlling a 3D model with just your hand in front of a 3D camera, and 1 very funny theoretical physicist. But coursing through every day in SOLIDWORKS World was a pulse focused on Model-Based Definition (MBD), and the newly released MBD Module from SOLIDWORKS.
Released on Thursday (February 12, 2015), SOLIDWORK’s new MBD Module (add-in with a cost of approximately $2,000) is a method to save presentation views, use a format-type template and translate your 3D SOLIDWORKS model into a 3D PDF. Which means, keeping the good stuff on the drawing and adding in the capability to rotate, zoom, pan, section and inspect from your product from all directions along side its geometric dimensions and tolerances (GD&T or PMI).
If you have an assembly, it will capture different configurations, all to be viewed, rotated and manipulated inside a single viewable and lightweight digital file. A 3D PDF is a great container to hold pertinent TDP (Technical Data Package) information that defines all the information needed to manufacture, or just communicate your product design. It can be used for both parts and assemblies.
January 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Herron
J.B. Herron Presenting at SolidWorks World 2015
Do you use 2D flat drawings to communicate your product designs? Does it make sense to hand over a 3D model to your manufacturer? Do you know how to take advantage of the SolidWorks software suite to enable your organization to leap into a model-centric product definition world?
Do you need more educational support on MBD and MBE and how it might affect your design world? This is a great place to ruminate on the topic, and ask specific questions from someone who has used the tools in her own designs, and also has a big picture strategic view of MBE.
On Wednesday February 11th, 2015 1:30-2:30 at the Phoenix Convention Center, Jennifer Herron will be sharing the vision on Model-Based Definition (MBD) and CAD Re-use within the SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM software suite.
December 30th, 2014 by Jennifer Herron
There is a-lot of technology out there to create and utilize your CAD models. But how DO YOU use it?
If 2015 is the year you will get down to the business of improving your design process by finally achieving your return on investment (ROI) from your CAD tools, then kick-off your efforts with new courses from Action Engineering.
Offered late in January, these Live interactive workshops, immerse the members of your organization in understanding all the trials and tribulations of leveraging CAD models to improving your design to manufacture process.
Come and focus on the process, rather than anyone particular CAD tool, and walk away with a plan to set your vision of model-based processes into play.
November 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Herron
Are you thinking of increasing your use of your 3D solid models? Do you know what’s different about documenting your product efficiently with a 3D model, rather than with a 3D drawing? It doesn’t mean you don’t have to provide manufacturing details that define the way your product design is communicated, but creating an MBD model, can save you time.
It’s true that MBD standards are still evolving that define the 3D MBD model, but it doesn’t mean you have to wait for them.
Get ahead! Learn more about MBD and MBE now.
Check-out the Re-Use Your CAD training series. The first course is FREE and can be accessed on demand from the web. As your needs and level of MBD model implementation increase, more detailed webinars and live face-to-face, human-being to human-being contact is well worth your bang for the buck.
Definitely rely on your CAD software providers and resellers to provide pick and click training, but getting non-biased, user-based assistance is critical to successful MBE implementation.
Action Engineering offers MBD and MBE Training and how to define MBD models. Here is a summary of the courses.
November 4th, 2014 by Jennifer Herron
Is this your current design workflow?
Design products using 3D CAD, then create 2D drawings, release those drawings, share the drawings with other departments and the supply chain… Why do we work the way we do? Why do we model parts and assemblies in 3D, and then create 2D drawings, and use them through the rest of the product lifecycle? Why do we use 2D drawings as the master authority when we create the product in 3D? Why do we work today like we did more than 50 years ago? Have you been spending time trying to make this process work, or maybe just make it work at all…? Isn’t there a better way?