These articles are for the upper and engineering management professional that may have a bit of hands on CAD management experience, the academics in the engineering schools since the engineer now has taken on the responsibilities of the draftsman, the PLM guru, MBE expert and the independent engineering consultant.
After pondering on engineering's problem with 3D CAD for 17 years, I have finally found the source of the problem. It is industrial/mechanical engineering management. It is not the PLM Guru's or the lack of effective training for the new 3D CAD engineers. Engineering management, for what ever reason, have allowed CAD to be ineffectively integrated into the engineering process and removed from their control.
They have allowed those that have virtually no applicable engineering knowledge or experience to replace them as leaders. They allowed the elimination of drafting and their documentation responsibilities without any plan on how to replace them. Changing the name to Engineering Technologists!
Sadly, there is no way to educate engineering management. I am hoping that someone pays attention to these article and does a study on the engineering process of the past based on the "drawing" and today engineering process based on the "3D Model". I will guarantee the old system was more cost effective and streamlined. Based on workable standards that were established over centuries. Think I am wrong? Take a look at the engineering process standards today, there aren't any.
I have added quite a few article since I post this last. They are denoted with an asterisk. I have gotten a complaint that I should get an index so interest individuals could keep track of what they have read. I am not sure how to make that happen. I never thought I would have so much to say about the industry. I hope you enjoy my new articles. Again, thank for stopping by.
One of the more disturbing developments in the industry is the subscription only option. This is not a viable option to access your CAD system. This makes PTC, Autodesk or Onshape your partner forever, and forever is a long, long time. Let's say you own a company and you have a large amount of engineering information (Intellectual Property). If you sell your company or a product they have to purchase a subscription. With a perpetual system, you just include the license or they can purchase a seat, they don't have to be married to a system forever, that they may not even use. I suggest you do not upgrade to this system. Once you do there is no going back!
You are Not Stuck with Autodesk
It seems that PTC now only offers subscriptions. Sadly, most companies think they are stuck with these programs. It is very easy to move to another system. You just stop at your current system and use it for legacy slowly moving the projects to the new system. There are much more cost effective solutions. We just have to move our document control out of the CAD system. This article show to escape the CAD centric PLM system to easily accessible document management system.
OnShape: The Ultimate Document Control System
I was involved in the very beginning of effective 3D CAD in 1982. It was Computervision CADDS 4 which was one of the first to stabilized on a functional user interface which lasted for a decade.
Please read through the following articles and you can see how 3D CAD progressed from being based on mainframe computers, down to workstations and finally the PC. We started with wireframe design, then Surfacing and finally Solid modeling. There are a few systems that have all of those features that can coexist in the same design space: This is called Hybrid Modeling.
I have included other articles that show the different solid modeling CAD paradigms that were introduced to industrial/mechanical engineering industry. I also have articles on how 3D CAD systems were adopted in the industry.
Remember as you read these articles that all we did was add the 3D model basically as a pattern. You will see that those with very little experience were put in charge of making the transition from drawings to 3D CAD documentation as the engineering deliverable to manufacturing.
Many of the problems with current 3D CAD is
"Engineering's only product is to deliver concise, complete
The 3D Modeling Paradigm
There were different modeling paradigms. The Pro/e (Creo) paradigm was introduced in 1998 and dangerously only offered one complex design process, which virtually all of the popular programs adopted. This is by far the least flexible design paradigm.
Document Control is now Data Management
This by far was the most devastating change from the drawing based system. It was IT (InfoTech) that took over document control and renamed it to data management and have "tried" to handle it as such. I don't even think they looked at the previous document control process. They developed a PLM system that was based on the Pro/e 3D CAD system. They tried to maintain both internal CAD documents, parts, assemblies and AIDs and deliver the native file as the external engineering documentation which soon became an unworkable chaotic mess with Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid to make it work.
The following article is by far the most bizarre Band-Aids added to make MBD work. The software is now required by all Boeing suppliers. Why? Because the native Catia 5 file cannot be trusted not to be corrupt.
If your company or customers have standardized on the MBE/PMI
system, we can help you access PMI data from Solidworks, Creo, NX and Catia!
If your company or customers have standardized on the MBE/PMI system, we can help you access PMI data from Solidworks, Creo, NX and Catia!
Here are other Viewpoints on the 3D CAD Industry
TECH-NET Engineering Services!
If you are interested in adding professional hybrid modeling capabilities or looking for a new solution to increase your productivity, take some time to download a fully functional 30 day evaluation and play with these packages. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line presentation.