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 Re-Use Your CAD

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Neutral, Native, Inter-operable CAD? Is it time to get down to business?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

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.

MBD Models? Need to know more?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

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.


MBD Modeling in SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

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?


Design Assurance – CAD 3D Modeling Handbook

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Are you involved in Design Quality Assurance at your organization? Have you read this book? If not, I encourage you to do so.

Have you already read it? Please write a review. REVIEW HERE

Learn how to create, deliver, and re-use CAD models in compliance with model-based standards. Provides CAD format agnostic techniques for compliance with ASME Y14.41 and MIL-STD-31000A Model-Based Definition (MBD) and Technical Data Packages (TDP). The handbook provides 3D model protocols that enable Model-Based Engineering and Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) that will save time, reduce risk and improve products.

Do you need to educate CAD Designers, Checkers, CAD/PLM Administrators, CAD Super-users and their Managers on how to create 3D models that are used downstream for direct manufacture, technical publications and customer deliverables. Using CAD best practice and modeling rules from relevant MBD and MBE standards, this straightforward handbook will move your organization forward into using, re-using and reaping the benefits of CAD.

  • Provides CAD format agnostic techniques, while still creating in Native CAD, for compliance with ASME Y14.41 and MIL-STD-31000A.

GET for your Kindle, Nook or iPad HERE
Still like paper books, purchase the paper copy HERE


3D PDFs are cool, but do they do it all?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Anark Core™ 4.3.2 debuted last week at GPDIS 2014 Conference in Phoenix Az., hosted by Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Parker Aerospace.

Having used Anark’s Core product to publish MBD data sets into 3D PDFs, I have to admit that after careful setup, it is a nice “push-button” publishing solution. Integrating with PDM/PLM systems certainly fills in a few more pieces of the MBE puzzle.

Take a look at the assembly capability and the associative parts list using SolidWorks and Anark Core to generate the 3D PDF data set for landing gear.


MBE Organization Spruces-up it’s Website

Monday, June 16th, 2014

MIL-STD-31000A is released, but now the creators are focused on pushing out the message of MBE. Vendors are developing great presentations that circulate around how their software products support MBE. And now, the original Model-Based Enterprise creators, have put together a slick new website. This information is all software tool agnostic.


New website launched to increase understanding and compliance with MBE standards.

Download MIL-STD-31000A here


Native CAD to Neutral TDP Workflow

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Generally, you create your model using a Native CAD software tool (SolidWorks, Inventor, NX, Catia, Creo). You may have the challenge that in order to share your data with a customer or manufacturer you must convert it into a “neutral” format.

What method do you use?

Native CAD to Neutral CAD Workflow


A neutral CAD format is informally known as a digital file format that is readily viewable on a variety of computer desk and mobile platforms without spending a large sum of money. A cost of “free” makes it even more “neutral” — as in the case with Adobe Reader.


Print your thoughts! If a 3D printer were in a forest, would it still produce great hardware?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) is game changing technology to not only manufacturing, but also to design. However, it must be backed by product definition methods that support this unique manufacturing method.

I hadn’t hear this term before — Design-Driven Manufacturing —

I have not decided if the term is catchy enough to evoke the correct concept, but it does describe a concept that I have been discussing for years, which is that the advent of 3D printing prototyping (and now the capability to directly manufacture products) has allowed us, designers, to print our thoughts.


Neutral CAD Files have benefits (Part 2) – 3D PDF and STEP

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Neutral CAD files are great, but remember the source of that neutral file.

The most common and ubiquitous file format used to communicate product design and manufacturing requirements is to generate a 2D pdf from the native CAD drawing. Consider that this communication method generates a digital file that is a neutral derivative of the 2D Native CAD drawing, which is a derivative of the 3D CAD model.

Derivative: Data duplicated or extracted from the original. A copy of a derivative is also a derivative. (ASME Y14.41 (R2012), 3.11)

A “neutral” 2D PDF drawing is actually a 2nd derivative of the Native CAD model.

Most likely your organization is already using some form of neutral files already, what makes it more interesting and data rich, is adding in the third dimension to your product definition.


Neutral CAD Files Have Benefits (Part 1)

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

3D CAD and model-based ideas are fostered by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).

Let’s start with defining a Neutral CAD File. A neutral CAD file is a CAD format, generally governed by a commercial, government or international standard and is “open source”. Many can write it, and many can read it. It is not a CAD specific, proprietary format.

Now, also bear in mind, that a Neutral CAD File, is generally a derivative of the Native CAD format. Meaning it is a copy of the original file. Consider how that derivative file is used downstream in the product development lifecycle, and what relationship, if any, it has back to the originating source data.

This is where I make YOU work. Which is the master? Do you have a feedback loop to the source design data? Do you need to feedback to the source data?


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