Technology is ready for MBD, and so is SOLIDWORKS. Model-Based Definition (MBD) is the ASME Y14 series method for defining a product using its 3D model geometry as the basic dimensions in conjunction with the digitally associated 3D annotations as the geometric tolerance definition. Additional related Model-Based “X” exist (representing functional areas such as: Systems Engineering, Manufacturing, and Quality), but MBD births the product as it moves into downstream lifecycle processes.
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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.
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.
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?
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.
Neutral CAD files are great, but remember the source of that neutral file.
Derivative: Data duplicated or extracted from the original. A copy of a derivative is also a derivative. (ASME Y14.41 (R2012), 3.11)
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.
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?