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Jennifer Herron
Jennifer Herron
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 »

SOLIDWORKS World 2015: Focus on MBD

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.

The 3D PDF 3D model-viewing format is called a PRC (ISO 14739-1), but because a 3D PDF can have attachments, you can also embed a STEP file inside that PDF, or any other file format that your organization needs.

Here are the three take-a-ways that I gleaned from this week.

1. MBD (Model-Based Definition) is just a piece of the larger Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) puzzle.

Puzzle showing the different pieces of the MBE (Geometry, MBD, PDM, TDP, ReUse Your CAD, Translate & Verify, Validate).

MBD is just a piece of the MBE puzzle.

2. Product data should be published for human consumption and in a software consumable format (dynamic parts lists / BOMs and semantic 3D annotations).

3. SOLIDWORKS is bringing MBD closer to the everyday CAD designer by making 3D annotations and publishing 3D PDFs more affordable by using SOLIDWORKS.

 The theoretical physicist Michio Kaku said:

The losers are the middle men” and

“You are free to ignore everything I said today, but you are also free to go bankrupt.”

Oh yes, and, if you use eDrawings internal to your organization, then use it even more with 3D associative DimXpert annotations. Annotations are displayed in eDrawings. Plus check out what Blake Reeves (a SOLIDWORKS developer) played around with. This is a visionary way to inspect your part (Immersive Manufacturing & Inspection), by projecting the PMI directly onto the actual part you are inspecting. Genius!

PMI (3D Annotations) from DimXpert displayed on a 3D printed part in real-time.

PMI projected onto a 3D printed part.

As always, SOLIDWORKS is focused on usability, a key to success for Model-Based Engineering (MBE).

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