Design Intent is Pivotal in 3D CAD Design for Manufacturing

Jul 21, 2016 -- With 2D drawings still in the race, 3D models have taken over. Building products and components manufacturers, furniture manufacturers, fabricated metal and alloy manufacturers and many more; may now expect product definition, geometric dimensions, tolerances (GD&T), datum features etc. visually highlighted on the 3D model of their products.

Manufactured products from airplanes and automobiles to kitchen appliances and sport equipments are increasingly becoming – complex and sophisticated. New and ever evolving strategies in product design and manufacturing are mandatory in order to accommodate this complexity, while at the same time, empowering companies to lower their manufacturing cost in order to deliver equality products. Most of the product design and manufacturing firms need a collaborative design environment, where irrespective of the design changes made, information is always available up to date across the product model.

Considering all these requirements, one service provider who has been making the rounds in the search results on the internet is Hi-TechEngineering. They are an experienced and expert 3d CAD modeling service providers in India, equipped with latest software technology such as SolidWorks, Autodesk, Solid Edge and many more alike, and aptly deliver downstream communication. It includes product and manufacturing information, fondly known as PMI, including tolerances, dimensions, and special annotations directly within the model itself.

One more aspect that was really impressive about was their design support services provided to furniture manufacturers & industrial and automotive parts manufacturers in Europe and USA, & all at the same time. They worked as a single source of information keeping all the stakeholders fully informed. And their 3D models served as a master data, portraying the design intent better than any 2D CAD drawing.

Not limiting their services to a particular segment, they ventured out in avenues such as:

  • Industrial product design for semiconductor tools and equipment
  • Custom machine design for material handling equipments
  • Conceptualization across prototyping product development for electronic products
  • Manufacturing tools or factory automation equipment
  • High speed rotating equipment
  • Engineering analysis including structural / thermal / fluids (FEM / FEA / CFD)

Benefits of 3D modeling for design and manufacturing:

  • More accurate interpretation of designs leading to reduced errors across the manufacturing lifecycle
  • Drastically reduces the time required to manually update an entire series of drawings for design change
  • Enhances the product quality with help of “virtual” inspection process even before the manufacturing begins
  • Speeds manufacturing time because fewer, if any, manufactured prototypes are required

Adding up the PMI information is one of the aspects of 3D modeling, enhancing its potential:

  • More comprehensive upfront analysis is possible
  • Dimensions can be checked, as well as tolerances
  • Suitability of the manufacturing process can be confirmed
  • Costs can be more easily calculated prior to start of manufacturing

Design to Cost

DTC (Design-To-Cost) approach to manufacturing is fast becoming famous as it provides the ability to calculate accurate costs prior to manufacturing. It is a systematic approach to control cost of product development and manufacturing. The basic idea here is that costs are designed “into the product” from the stage of concept inception & design.

Making informed and right decisions during concept and design stage, helps in avoiding unnecessary costs during the manufacturing process. This also means that cost now becomes the design parameter, equally important as a geometric dimension, tolerance or any other traditional PMI.

Empowered Design

Design engineers can now pay extensive attention to the details, as 3D CAD modeling brings unparalleled sophistication to basic design functions. Engineers now can let their imagination soar, coming up with unique ideas that might have gone unnoticed, as they now can try various design and manufacturing solutions within the virtual model.

3D CAD modeling techniques have gained immense popularity, and have become more sophisticated. This has made the manufacturing process and the manufacturers reach a stage where making design intent to be a part of the conception of every new product design – mandatory.


Design intent enables a perfect representation of the component that empowers future revisions and changes of one of the section within the model to be coordinated and interpreted across the design process so that the engineers can see the results of the change in the overall design and not just a basic shape change in one of the sections. Designers are required to consider the consequences of any change they make, it would not be an exaggeration to say that design and manufacturing, hand in hand, will make noticeable strides going forward.

About Author:

Kashyap Vyas is an Engineer at Hi-Tech Engineering Services and holds a Master’s degree in Thermal Engineering with several research papers to his credit. He covers CAD and CAE topics for the engineering industry. His contributions are primarily focused on encouraging manufacturers and suppliers to adopt virtual product development tools to build efficient products with reduced time-to-market.

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