43 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2016 11:40 PM by Paul Salvador

    What's your view on drawings?

    Peter Brinkhuis

      Hi all,

       

      It seems that every company I visit treats 2D drawings differently.

       

      Some create full drawings, some include only minimal dimensions and some just send STEP files to their manufacturers and complain afterwards.

       

      I usually don't really enjoy making drawings, but I clearly see the advantage of creating them. Manufacturers I visited still print every drawing that they receive because they can add notes and transfer information between people and departments.

       

      That's why I was wondering what you, SolidWorks gurus of the universe, consider the best approach in this. I have learned a lot already from the Your best tricks topic, I hope the same will happen here.

       

      To give the topic a little bit of structure, I made a list of questions:

       

      1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
      2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
      3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
      4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
      5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
      6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?
        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
          John Stoltzfus

          Interesting Topic -

           

          Peter Brinkhuis wrote:

          1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
          2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
          3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
          4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
          5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
          6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

           

          1.  Good question - Advantages - We use multiple page drawings, so all our project information is in one place, in one file etc.. Ability to product PDF Files etc.

          2.  Yes we make products from our draiwngs

          3.  Yes I make the drawings of the parts that I Designed

          4.  Both

          5.  No (or very minimal)

          6.  I think eDrawings will finally come to a point to replace other documents in our system..

          • Re: What's your view on drawings?
            Tony Cantrell

            1. Drawings have always been used to convey information. Not everyone can open the model/assy files. Drawings can be saved as PDF so everyone can see them.

             

            2. Yes

             

            3. Yes I design and make the drawings.

             

            4. I have done both, in house by company standards, clients by their standards if available, if not ANSI std.

             

            5. Yes, there will always be holdouts.

             

            6. STEP, MBD

            • Re: What's your view on drawings?
              Ryan McVay
              1. Advantage is that the drawing communicates information to the end user. Disadvantage: Not all end users require the same information!
              2. Yes. We make product specific drawings for the customer (contractor and/or architect) and a drawing pack (20+ sheets) for manufacturing. We do not track individual part numbers for product piece parts we produce. They are all considered raw material. The drawing pack documents what is needed for manufacturing only.
              3. Yes. We make our own drawings. See above.
              4. We produce drawings for both in-house manufacturing and customer.
              5. Yes. 2D outputs will still be required. Just like most users don't like to read everything from a monitor/screen. You also have to realize that most MBD formats are still 2D. Granted you have the ability to view and rotate a model but the "format"/UI is still based on 2D. You have a solid viewing area and then 2D text input areas and in most cases things still get printed off.
              6. This truly depends on what information is required by your end users. Remember the design has to be communicated to be effective.
              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                Chris Saller

                We create drawings for every part and assembly. The machine shop, vendor, and customer, need something to inspect and communicate with.

                STEP/ IGES/ etc, files are not 100% guaranteed to be precise per the part designed. The drawing is needed to be made properly and be inspected. The drawing can be a complete 2D drawing, or a model with MBD. A complete dimensioned part with GD&T is needed to make a complete part. Leaving it up to the machine shop, or vendor, opens up errors.

                In ten years I think drawings will still be around, but most may be moving toward MBD.

                The first time I saw a 3D printer was about 30 years ago. You can see how slow progress has been.

                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                  Christian Chu

                  Just depend up on parts

                  1) we do a lot plastic inject molding so for the 2D we only provide critical dimensions and we also provide step files to vendors for their EDM setup

                  2) Metal part: must be fully dim

                  • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                    Steven Lilly

                    1)  Pros; Conveys information without the risk of translator errors.  Cons: Can be out of date in relation to the model.  Take to much time.  2d prints aren't as clear as 3d model (Not everyone is good at reading prints).

                    2)       We have stopped make assembly drawings.  After much prying I got the boss to put a computer in the build area so the assemblers could work off of eDrawings.  This has saved detailing time and become a big asset to the builders.  No assembly print is as good as 3d model.  Clicking on a part PN, make parts transparent,  rotating to any angle you need.  2d assembly prints should be obsolete. 

                              We are no where near getting rid of 2d detail prints.  Despite 99% of our details going through CNCs only.  The day translators such as step and igs can bring PMI I will do a happy dance.

                    3)  Both

                    4)  Both

                    5)  Only in must have instances.  Automotive is moving away from 2d prints.  We will all follow eventually.

                    6)  Step files need to bring annotations and I would like to see them mark threaded holes somehow.  CAD manufactures need to get over themselves and start working to make data transfer from software to software.  Our biggest customer uses CATIA and we use SolidWorks.  The two softwares are owned by the same company and they can't even do this. 

                      • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                        Peter Brinkhuis

                        I'm intrigued by the decision on ditching assembly drawings. I do agree that they are usually very complex and that a 3D view could be a better way than adding multiple partial cross-sections. If the assembly isn't machined, there are often no tolerances on there as well.

                         

                        I can understand the choice to move away from 2D prints if your company produces complex shaped products like car panels. Trying to dimensions those parts can cost more than it yields.

                         

                        We design machines, built as prototypes or small series. I'm still debating if the simple parts that we often design still require a full drawing or not. You get to tell your story and the design intent, even though any machine shop would produce acceptable results with just a STEP model. But having a project folder (either on paper or digital) with the drawing of every single part is a great way to document though.

                      • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                        Elmar Klammer

                        The model as well as the drawings should always be correct. We do a lot of heavy equipment and sheetmetal design. If modeled correctly, you should have no interference, even at mitered joints. That applies for 1/8" and up thickness where interference causes significant grinding and fitting work. Duct work would be an exception, although I would still model it correctly.

                        Drawings are a must, and they won't go away in your life time. Guaranteed. It's like saying, spell check can replace handwriting.

                        Any part that needs to be fabricated, manufactured, checked, installed or needs to be documented (i.e. archiving). will need a drawing. How you organize is company specific. No right or wrong way however there is always a economic way to do things. That is up to you to measure and depends on how organized you are and how skilled your work force is.

                        Each part gets a drawing unless its a burnt plate or a straight cut of linear stock. All parts are identified by a dumb part number.

                        Part drawings are mostly single page but can be multipage including dxf's of burn templates or left / right configurations. Weldment bodies are usually multipage drawings. We use assembly drawings only for assemblies. We never include parts detail views within assembly drawings unless its a reference view and supports clarity.  Knowing how to organize large drawing collections efficiently is the key.

                        We also include manufacturing details into the drawing. Say you have a sheet metal part that needs holes drilled. We add a 1:1 dxf sheet and specify edges that need burning, or replace drilled holes with scribed center marks. All this can be done easily in solidworks drawings.

                        Much faster than exporting dxf's from sheetmetal part files.

                        Hope that helps.

                         

                        P.S. I'm sure there is industries like automobile or aircraft that will minimize drawings due to high levels of automation in production. Remember, make good drawings that show relevant data only is not an easy thing to do. It takes time and effort to become a good detailer, not to mention it requires field experience. I would say that a good paper drawing is most efficient. Emphasizing "good". For every good drawing I have seen 100 bad ones. That's something for another post.

                        Providing laptops and 3D files also requires skills. Some work requires us to document as-build check dimensions. Drawings work well that way.

                         

                        Elmar

                        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                          Patrick Colliflower

                          A topic near to my heart.

                           

                          I work for a job-shop style machine shop, meaning we do contract machine work for various customers from all corners of the industry. With this breadth of customer base comes an equal spread of interfacing technologies, whether it be a napkin sketch, solid model only (MBD-style), or the old-fashioned print (most common). No matter the beginnings, it always ends up the same. We produce a drawing(s) for every component that comes through our doors for a few reasons.

                           

                          1. Advantages:

                          • "Universal language" Everybody speaks prints from our entry-level machine operator, to the accountant, to the high-end metrology grade equipment manufacturing customer.
                          • Easy to distribute/handle. Every office and shop is set up to support paper file exchange, or digital versions thereof (PDF).
                          • Cheap/disposable. Muck, grime, damage, you name it; if it happens, Ctrl+P.

                           

                          Disadvantages:

                          • File management. More files to deal with, both digitally and hard-copy (if people are so archaic). Model, drawing, or two, pdf versions, etc.

                           

                           

                          2. Everything we design in house, or receive from a customer, will get a shop print made. Even if the customer supplies a print as their only resource to convey PMI, we'll re-create the shop print to our standards to be used on the floor. Reducing variables between prints decreases margin for error, and smooths the manufacturing process out. Especially for the new operators who've never seen prints before.

                           

                           

                          3. I do. As the only "draftsman" in house, it is my responsibility. A few machinists use SWx, some quite often, but they are barred from touching the prints. ;-)

                           

                           

                          4. Both, mainly for in house production, but sometimes we need powder coat outside of our capabilities, or some other coating/finish and we'll produce a vendor print detailing just the required information.

                           

                           

                          5. Absolutely. There are some instances/environments where a paper copy is easier to manage. And if MBD takes off as some believe, there will be a lag time of longer than ten years to fully transition.

                           

                           

                          6. Who knows, I don't think it's a system robust enough to handle everything in modern industry. Especially as manufacturing processes are evolving so rapidly.

                          • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                            John Pesaturo
                            1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
                              • The biggest advantage, describing design intent ... probably the biggest disadvantage, cost. Not only in producing said drawings, but with tolerances. Tolerances cost money and a lot of people simply do not understand that fact.
                            2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
                              • Our company makes (MMC) composite castings that compete primarily with stampings and machined housings. We have to generate product drawings to convey the changes as our process will typically require. All drafted walls vs. the straight walls on products which have been machined or stamped.
                            3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
                              • Yes (Along with the design team as well of course)
                            4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
                              • Both (As described within #2)
                            5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
                              • Unfortunately yes. We would absolutely love to go paperless but it's simply too cost prohibitive at this time.
                            6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?
                              • I don't have a great answer for this one. The majority of our work comes through well documented leaving little to be questioned, however the past few years have seen an increase of mammoth proportions of jobs coming in with a 3D model only. Thus leaving a lot of open ended questions and follow up work to try and decipher what is truly critical.
                              • I'm sorry but ... "Produce per ISO Standards and supplied 3D Geometry" does not cut the mustard in my book. Though, this too may be subjective depending on what industry we work for.
                              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                Chris Saller

                                John,

                                You wrote "Tolerances cost money and a lot of people simply do not understand that fact". Without tolerances indicate, it can cost more money. The machinist and inspection need a tolerance. Otherwise, it can be machined to whatever they want. Errors can occur, and rework/scrap comes next.

                                  • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                    John Pesaturo

                                    Chris, I whole heartedly agree. My apologies if my comment came across wrong. Let me elaborate.

                                     

                                    So in the field my company deals with, most products that come to us have been Wire EDM'd (sp?) or machined on some very high end CNC's to such a tolerance that it is simply not possible for us to replicate in our castings. In an effort to meet the customers requirements yet keep our company profitable it is critical that our team understands the costs associated with tolerances.

                                    While it is not typical, we have on occasion had individuals who simply do not follow this train of thought and will design product to ±.0002 per the customer specs. Now while this may be achievable, it's simply not practical for our business. We spend a lot of time up front with our customers to evaluate the need and provide the best form/fit/function part possible within the scope of our process.

                                    So, maybe I should have said ... "Inappropriate tolerances cost us money" lol ...

                                      • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                        Craig Schultz

                                        Too tight of tolerance = more scrap = more money.

                                        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                          Chris Saller

                                          John,

                                          I experience the same thing.

                                          I see drawings with "standard" tolerances of .005, or .0002 on everything. Too many people don't understand how this affects cost, or fit. More people don't know how to do a tolerance stack-up, or know what it is.

                                          I have had outside machine shops ask us to remove GD&T, or pay a higher price. They don't either know how to understand it, or have the tools/personnel to inspect it.

                                            • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                              John Stoltzfus

                                              To chime in on the Tolerance Costing -

                                               

                                              There are many factors that turn this into more money, Proper Equipment - Qualified People - there's a huge difference in time if you have an old clunker lathe, verses a new CNC machining Center - just for discussion... Agreed with your comments, not a lot of people that understand tolerances, or even know how to check them...

                                                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                  Rick McDonald

                                                  John,

                                                  I fully agree.

                                                  Just want to add that I think the "Qualified People" you mention are the real key!

                                                  I have seen some old cunker machines that are operated (and maintained) by really good experienced, qualified people that can produce a really good result.  I have also seen a good new CNC that is poorly setup and operated do a lousy job.

                                                  Understanding the tool, maintaining it to preform correctly and the design intent of the project are up to the person that controls the machine.

                                                  A good Qualified person will also know when it is time to retire or refurbish the old clunker.

                                        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                          Doug Seibel

                                          Just a quick note with regards to item #5...

                                          While "going paperless" does indeed mean that prints are no longer required, it does not mean that drawings are no longer required.  Just because you no longer need to "print" anything, does not in any way mean that the things you would normally print no longer need to be created.

                                           

                                          So with regards to #5, are you referring to actual paper prints...or are you actually talking about drawings/details/electronic "prints"?

                                            • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                              Peter Brinkhuis

                                              My question was more focused on the 2D views with dimensions. If drawings are made, they will be printed as well. Hell I even print screenshots of my 3D model sometimes to draw changes onto it.

                                               

                                              I just find it kinda weird that we find AutoCAD old fashioned but we find the drawings that we make a must. That means that there's nothing wrong with 2D views, it's just the process of creating them that needed fixing. (That reminds me of a time when I had to create a 3D model from an impossible AutoCAD drawing).

                                                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                  S. Casale

                                                  AutoCAD is antiquated, old fashioned, and highly inefficient.

                                                   

                                                  "I just find it kinda weird that we find AutoCAD old fashioned but we find the drawings that we make a must." The ends are the same, the methods to the ends are far better than a program that can't do .1% of what SolidWorks can. No one wants to think about line weight, or arrowhead size, or if a dimension is a cartoon (overwritten text).

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  The only plus to AutoCAD over SW or any other 3d modeling program is that it handles 100X the line count information in a sketch. (I.e. place a line [inches] from the 0,0,0, to 0,15,0 in SW, Array that bad boy 2048 times... See how long it takes in comparison to AutoCAD).

                                              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                Paul Risley

                                                We are a job shop and I find this conversation very timely, as of late I have seen a lot of posts and articles about MBD.

                                                This has brought up an interesting conversation here in 2 fold.

                                                 

                                                First every project  we build whether it is automated equipment, wel fixtures etc... has a core of print packages that comes out for it.

                                                Main assembly, subs and purchased parts. Each print for individual parts stays with that part until end use where it gets assembled on the machine or whatever it might be. At assembly if there are changes to the part to accomodate something unforeseen(Read as a rev change to a customer part) our shop assemblers have to red line that print with what was changed. At the end of every project we go through all of the prints & validate any changes made, add Rev levels to the components and assemblies as needed and close out the job folder.

                                                That being said without an actual print QC during process and final redlines would be harder to accomplish.

                                                 

                                                The second part of this conversation involves outside applications. We have specific tap drills called out for our parts depending on material and end conditions. In the case of 3/8 tapped holes one of the primary tap drills we use is 5/16. We also use 5/16 dowel holes pretty commonly. If I had a nickel for everytime I hear that either an outsourced part or an internal one made from the parasolid/step/iges file had a dowel hole where there was supposed to be a tapped hole, I could retire and be typing this on my home computer drinking a beer. Alas not to be so, my point on this is the software(Gibbs, Mastercam or whatever) will recognize holes of the same size and even though an operator has a print telling them which holes are what we still have this issue. I have even gone as far as a hole table, which btw was too confusing to understand.

                                                 

                                                So our thoughts on MBD were simple for us, we will rely on the 2D print to convey the critical features of the part, the 3d version is simply a tool to facilitate translation into a machining center more efficiently.

                                                 

                                                On a side note to this we have a customer who provides us PDF drawings with external links to their vaults to access models of parts. It is stated both on the prints themselves and our yearly NDA forms that the models are for reference only, to defer to paper prints with latest rev levels at all times.

                                                 

                                                I see the benefit of MBD very clearly, however much like things that are progressing forward I see the learning curve and application of it being very bumpy.

                                                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                  Rick McDonald

                                                  Peter Brinkhuis wrote:

                                                   

                                                  1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
                                                  2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
                                                  3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
                                                  4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
                                                  5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
                                                  6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                  1.  I like to have the paper because I find that I often have 3 or 4 drawings on my desk that I am looking at, marking up or comparing to the 1 drawing I have on the screen. It is easier to shuffle the papers then look for the files on the computer or having a bunch of open tabs and clicking through then to find what I want.  I also always end up with my #2 pencil, eraser and red markup pencil so I can take notes easily, scribble something in or erase something.

                                                  My desk is cluttered but I can find what I want much faster and easier and I don't have to go into the editing of a file to make a note and then come back out to get back where I was - I just pull out the paper drawing and do a quick scribble - then when I feel I have all my design thoughts down I can edit each drawing and see how it looks

                                                  My biggest disadvantage is that I have to be sure I get rid of the old markups so that I am not editing an old copy. The occasional cluttered desk and pages going into the trash is not a big deal (except to the company owner who complains we use too much paper and toner (no paper in the trash if both sides weren't used).

                                                   

                                                  2. Yes.  We have 4 primary machinists - 3 on CNC and 1 strictly manual machines.  Only one of the CNC machinists will take a solid part and input that into his computer and let the software drive the project.  The other 2 CNC machinists refuse to use the solids (never been trained, slow computers, small screens and old software)(boss won't buy updated software and won't pay for training so they use what they are comfortable with)(but that's another issue).  Because of this, we make a .DWG of every drawing that will be made.  This gets printed and the machinists are given the paper copy that is marked up with quantity and priorities.  They have no automated control or scheduling system.  We are a small company and would have to update software and systems and be able to push e-documents through all phases of the processing and that is currently out of our reach now.

                                                   

                                                  3. Each Engineer (and some tech's) make drawings, either from their own parts or from parts someone else here made.  On a very rare occasion, we get a part from a customer and make the drawings from that.

                                                   

                                                  4. We mostly make drawings for in-house.  When we are overloaded we use outside machine shops to make parts to our drawings (paper and soft copies).  If we make a drawing for a customer, it is not fully detailed - usually only to show overall dimensions and features. The downside is that, because WE know what we expect for tolerances, symmetry, concentricity... we leave a lot of that off our drawings.  If it goes to an outside shop we get unexpected results.  I finally got our company to set tolerance standards years ago,  but we still don't use GD&T.

                                                   

                                                  5. I think we will see 2d for another 30 years.  Until the over 30 crowd, that grew up on board drafting/ designing or 2D drafting, are out of the work force.   Technology is changing but sometimes the old ways have a lot of merit and us old folks still understand and like 2D.

                                                   

                                                  6. I am all for MDB but its not convenient enough yet.  I am also not yet willing to rely on DimXpert and I can't spread a STEP file out on my desk and read the dimensions.  Next step, buy more toner and paper.

                                                  • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                    Glenn Schroeder

                                                    Peter Brinkhuis wrote:

                                                     

                                                    Hi all,

                                                     

                                                    It seems that every company I visit treats 2D drawings differently.

                                                     

                                                    Some create full drawings, some include only minimal dimensions and some just send STEP files to their manufacturers and complain afterwards.

                                                     

                                                    I usually don't really enjoy making drawings, but I clearly see the advantage of creating them. Manufacturers I visited still print every drawing that they receive because they can add notes and transfer information between people and departments.

                                                     

                                                    That's why I was wondering what you, SolidWorks gurus of the universes, consider the best approach in this. I have learned a lot already from the Your best tricks topic, I hope the same will happen here.

                                                     

                                                    To give the topic a little bit of structure, I made a list of questions:

                                                     

                                                    1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
                                                    2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
                                                    3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
                                                    4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
                                                    5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
                                                    6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                     

                                                    Before I get to the numbers questions, I can't imagine creating partial drawings.  Why bother at all?  A drawing should clearly convey all the information needed to accurately build or fabricate the subject of the drawing.

                                                     

                                                    1.  The advantage, as stated above, is that a properly done drawing will clearly convey all information needed.  I don't know of any disadvantages.

                                                    2.  We test (and sometimes design) roadside safety structures, such as bridge rails, guard rails, and signs, and anti-ram structures, such as walls, drop arms, fences, and wedges.

                                                    3.  I create the models and the drawings, and enjoy both.  It warms my heart to send out a preliminary drawing and have it come back without any additions or corrections.  That hasn't happened often enough for me to get used to it.

                                                    4.  Mostly in house, but they'reincluded in the test reports.  Some go to outside vendors for fabrication.

                                                    5.  I don't foresee a time when we won't use drawings.

                                                    6.  ?

                                                    • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                      Peter De Vlieger
                                                      • What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?

                                                      Con : it's a moment in time so have to make sure it's up to date

                                                      Pro : it a document that, when done correctly, is clear and concise  and doesn't need interpretation. If a good drawing can't be understood correctly then it's either not a good drawing or the person in question needs training or in worst case a different line of work.

                                                      • Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?

                                                      yes/yes

                                                      • Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?

                                                      yes

                                                      • Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?

                                                      yes, yes

                                                      • Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?

                                                      yes

                                                      • What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                      While I can see that happen in some fields it won't happen in all fields for all occasions.

                                                      In some fields having something tangible in your hands that doesn't rely on having a charged battery or having to find a sufficient shaded area so to actual see what's on the screen nor having to deal with having to interpret something is still and will be for the foreseeable future the thing.

                                                      While some people may have problems understanding a 2d drawing, rest assured, there are just as many, if not more, people that will have problems truly understanding a 3d.

                                                       

                                                      Besides, if the idea is to fully annotate a 3D then you are not making anything easier nor simplifying the drafting work but only moving tasks for one place to the other and if it's the idea that measurement have to be taken from the model by the end user then instead of 1 person doing one thing one time you pushing it forward to multiple person having to redo the same task and different moments in time. Each time risking somebody doing it wrong.

                                                      Progress?

                                                      • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                        Jason Swackhamer

                                                        Some additions to the above postings:

                                                         

                                                        1. One additional advantage—scale. Doesn't always apply given the size of the part that's being modeled, but if something can fit 1:1 on a drawing, it really helps to see it at scale.

                                                        Another advantage, which I sort of hate to admit to, is that we catch modeling errors in the detailing process.

                                                        2. We use both the  drawings and the underlying models for manufacturing. Sometimes all one, or the other, but usually some combination of the two.

                                                        3. We generally make drawings from the models we produce, but sometimes the drafting is handled by someone other than the modeler.

                                                        4. We create drawings for both in-house and client use.

                                                        5. Yes, 2d drawings will be used in ten years time, but with less actual dimensioning. The trend seems towards a hybrid approach, which is what we use.

                                                        6. See 5.

                                                         

                                                        -Jason S.

                                                        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                          Paul Risley

                                                          After thinking about this last night I have one area that I brought up in another post. With prints coming in house from outside vendors, poorly detailed with a simple note: Use cad to make part. It begs the question: "If the person who designed this part/assembly could not use proper technique to detail a drawing of said project, how can we expect the model to be designed properly?"

                                                          It goes back to quality, I am the first to admit I have made mistakes on projects and like some others on here have said the prints are where you can catch most of them.

                                                          MBD does definitely have it's place, however there are some areas where this would definitely would not be viable. We have a division of our company that solely does Profile form grinding. They cut a profile into a grinding wheel and linearly grind profiles into a part. This is done piece by piece. 1 drawing for a part can have as many as 20 sheets to detail it out. I do not think we could achieve this by MBD.

                                                          • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                            Elmar Klammer

                                                            Just a quick note on drawings versus MDB.

                                                             

                                                            I think the whole question whether MDB or drawing or vice versa is misleading from a cost point of view. You would need to consider all efforts, starting from modeling to drawing to manufacturing in order to see if the overall effort favor's one or the other. In the end saving costs can only apply to the complete effort required to achieve your initial goal. That's forgotten all too often.

                                                             

                                                            The overall consensus on drawing is cost and time effort. It's one thing to have the skill to use the proper symbols and annotations (whether in drawings or MDB) . It's another one to have some one interpret them correctly. Drawings, just like MDB are a base line. Supporting notes and verbal discussions is in most cases necessary. The paper part is mostly for verification, archiving and trouble shooting.

                                                            I am not sure whether MDB is actually faster or less time consuming. I don't have enough experience with it.

                                                             

                                                            Just my 5 cents.

                                                              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                Ryan McVay

                                                                Elmar Klammer Yes, if you plan on implementing a MBD environment you need to have a corporate strategy, full buy-in from all consumers (and good luck getting that from the crotchety manufacturing guys) and an understanding of GD&T (good luck getting people to agree that you are giving them a bonus tolerance in true position frame!).

                                                                 

                                                                It's a very tough sell to a company. It is much easier to continue creating multiple drawings for specific customers- remember this all about communicating design elements and requirements- than it is to educate an entire workforce and customers/vendors that may or may not be willing to learn and utilize something new.

                                                                 

                                                                It take "courage" to move on...as Apple said recently. All the technology is in place to support MBD it has been for many years. It takes courage to implement this strategy and my best advice is to start at the end of the consumer chain and work forward. Start with quality and inspection. Then move to manufacturing and finally to design "drawings".

                                                              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                Chris Saller

                                                                If engineers/designers understood machining practices, it would be more efficient to model a part.

                                                                But, never take for granted a 3D model is correct. Everyone has their own way to model a part; they are not always reliable enough to make the part 'only' from the model.

                                                                If a machinist can make a part only by looking at a drawing, then he/she is a good machinist. If they only want a 3D model file, and not a drawing, look for a second or third quote somewhere else.

                                                                  • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                    Rick McDonald

                                                                    Chris Saller wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    If engineers/designers understood machining practices, it would be more efficient to model a part.

                                                                     

                                                                    This is so true. 

                                                                    I have known a lot of engineers that have never stepped into a machine shop and don't consider the requirements, practices and abilities.  Their designs are so much more complex and costly for the machinist to make then they have to be.

                                                                    I learned a lot of machining basics before I became an engineer and in my current job have learned so much more than I could have imagined about designing for efficient machine-ability.  Our CEO expects all of the engineers and tech's here to be able to jump on a manual machine and be able to make or modify a part (not expected to be done fast or efficient - but the method should be understood). 

                                                                    He has also taught us things like: don't make the inside radius .250 if it is not critical - make it .260 so the machinist will use a .25 end mill for rough cut and then the cleaning pass will make .260 - if a .250 is required the machinist will use the next smaller end mill so they can produce a clean accurate .250 inside radius after the cleaning pass - and the smaller end mill will take longer to remove the material and will wear down faster. 

                                                                    These kind of machine practices are not usually known or understood by engineers if they don't have an understanding / training of machining procedures.

                                                                    We are required to consider the machine-ability of a part before sending it to the shop and the machinists are required to complain to us if we make it harder than it needs to be or if they have a suggestion for a better way for it to be done.  It is a 2 way street and there should be open and appreciated communication between both and both will learn better ways to make efficient parts.

                                                                      • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                        Christian Chu

                                                                        Sound like Swiss engineers - must go thru. the machine shop before becoming an engineer !

                                                                        • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                          Paul Risley

                                                                          Rick,

                                                                          Coming from both disciplines I like your companies approach. As a tool maker there was nothing more frustrating than getting a drawing with multiple pocketed parts with no internal radii. As a machinist we had 2 choices EDM(Sink or cut), or better yet go ask the engineer if those "had" to be sharps. I can remember at least 1 designer I worked with who did it on everything they detailed, and oh yeah elaborate radii on an external feature that proved of no value where a chamfer would have worked just as well.

                                                                          I stand by my philosophy for any interns we get or for that matter seasoned designers. I send them to the floor for @ least a week shadowing 1 or more toolmakers. At the very least they pick up how they put parts in a mill so understanding the relativity of "0,0,0" origin to how they detail and design parts to manufacture them properly.

                                                                          As far as where this goes from here validity of models will always be an issue no matter the company or criteria used. If a designer struggles detailing a part on a 2d drawing converting it to a non drawing world for them will do no favors.

                                                                          How many designers learned by Redlining from a senior draftsman? Pretty hard to do in the model world. I can see the benefit for an internally controlled process, but I doubt I would ever send them off to an external source for any reason.

                                                                            • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                              John Stoltzfus

                                                                              Here I was thrown in the corner and was left with having no CNC operating experience (other than a plasma machine for fabrication), and was needed to program.  I spent a lot of time with the different operators, but there is so much more to learn than just - take your model and program it for the 3 Axis or 5 Axis.  There was nothing more that I wished for then, but to learn the machine, learn the cutters, understanding direction of cut etc.. but to no avail, I was needed to program not operate.  You can only imagine my personal frustration in trying to hit home runs right off, without even seeing little league. 

                                                                               

                                                                              There was nothing better then starting in a fab shop and working right up to Sales and Sales Design for any type of fabrication and equipment.  Then later I never had more fun than selling equipment that was never built & designing it and then building it - shearing, bending, welding, machining and doing the final assembly. 

                                                                                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                                  Rick McDonald

                                                                                  I know the feeling.

                                                                                  I was an outsider looking in when I started.

                                                                                  I learned to understand and respect tools at a very young age. When other kids got their first plastic toy hammer and saw, my father gave me a real hammer and saw (small version).  I quickly learned not to smack my hand with the hammer or run my hand on the saw blade.  It hurt first few times but I learned to use tools as they were intended and what they could and couldn't do.  I was always good mechanically, but then went to College for Aircraft Electronics (as I also liked electronics).  That was all the formal training I ever got.

                                                                                  After college, I worked as an electronics tech and, because I was nosy and wanted to learn more, I used my lunch and break times to go to the machine shop and pick-up what I could.  I eventually got to where I was allowed to help when the MS was busy and I was not.  That progressed through all my later companies and I kept expanding my knowledge.  In my current company (of 16 years), I have been able to understand the CNC operations and how they are programmed (manually and through the software programs). I still don't operate the CNC's but have learned the way they work and how to do it.  I found we have a "MakersPlace" here in town that will do basic training on CNC's for low cost and will probably do that one day.

                                                                          • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                            Eric Blankinship

                                                                            Peter Brinkhuis wrote:

                                                                             

                                                                            Hi all,

                                                                             

                                                                            It seems that every company I visit treats 2D drawings differently.

                                                                             

                                                                            Some create full drawings, some include only minimal dimensions and some just send STEP files to their manufacturers and complain afterwards.

                                                                             

                                                                            I usually don't really enjoy making drawings, but I clearly see the advantage of creating them. Manufacturers I visited still print every drawing that they receive because they can add notes and transfer information between people and departments.

                                                                             

                                                                            That's why I was wondering what you, SolidWorks gurus of the universes, consider the best approach in this. I have learned a lot already from the Your best tricks topic, I hope the same will happen here.

                                                                             

                                                                            To give the topic a little bit of structure, I made a list of questions:

                                                                             

                                                                            1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?
                                                                            2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?
                                                                            3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?
                                                                            4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?
                                                                            5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?
                                                                            6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                                            I generally use Orthographic views

                                                                             

                                                                            But in all seriousness the answer to the questions:

                                                                            1a. Advantages: A lot less cluttered than trying to tolerance a model directly.  Also means that I can make the drawing however I want as a lot of times the best way to model a part is not the best way to dimension a drawing (Smart Dimension>Import Dimensions)

                                                                            1b. Disadvantages: Time Consuming & increased paperwork.  Also unlike 3D sometimes it is trickier to get a good perspective on certain odd features while in 3D it's easier to visualize and measure directly.

                                                                            2. My company uses and produces from drawings although the 3D does play a role.

                                                                            3. I make my own drawings & models

                                                                            4. Both

                                                                            5. Yes unless they find a way to integrate drawings into models better. In it's current state having shown dimensions in the model in all but the simplest parts is a mess & tolerances only seem to be getting tighter as we strive to make everything not sized for humans smaller so just having a general "everything of X size has X tolerance" I don't think will ever cut it.

                                                                            6. Honestly have no answer to this question as I think drawings are here to stay.

                                                                             

                                                                            ~Eric

                                                                            • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                              Peter Brinkhuis

                                                                              Wow I love the responses. I read them all but will probably do that again to soak it all in. It seems there are even more definitions of the term "correct drawing" than I thought

                                                                               

                                                                              The story that the drawing needs to tell is a recurring theme here. It also seems that educating engineers on the workings of a machine shop is still undervalued by employers.

                                                                               

                                                                              I've had this experience a few times: you get sent to a company and you're supposed to make a set of drawings. After you're done you learn there are a lot of company rules and that the lead engineer has his own version of that. Result: you have to redo half of the work because you didn't agree on the language you were to write in.

                                                                               

                                                                              Communication. That summarizes everything I think. Communicating the design intent, the story, the important and unimportant properties. Which sharp edge you really require and which one the shop should decide on. I guess that's why they call it a trade.

                                                                              • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                                S. Casale

                                                                                ANSWERS IN BOLD

                                                                                What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?

                                                                                     Drawings are a legal document many forget that they are also a specification. The benefit of the drawing in this manner is such that upon contract to vendor and customer, even if a model is provided, the spec is the driving force.

                                                                                Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?

                                                                                     Model based maunfacturing is a great idea, although I haven't seen it used fully or very successfully. We do drawings, and sometimes send models. The Drawing is the legal contract.

                                                                                Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?

                                                                                     Even our Director of Engineering does drawings here. Let's not talk about drafting or CAD standards in this post.

                                                                                Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?

                                                                                    Both.

                                                                                Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?

                                                                                See my first answer. In the next 10 years? Yes.    

                                                                                What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                                                Step files? I prefer Parasolid.... dim expert sure needs to become better than 2015 (I haven't used anything later... yet).

                                                                                • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                                  Rick Becker

                                                                                  1. What, in your view, are the main advantages and disadvantages of drawings?

                                                                                  2. Does your company use (make/ produce from) drawings?

                                                                                  3. Do you make the drawings of the parts that you designed, or does someone else do that?

                                                                                  4. Do you create drawings for in-house production or for clients?

                                                                                  5. Do you see 2D drawings being used in ten years time?

                                                                                  6. What would be the next step? STEP models and dimXpert?

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  1. Other than the use of paper and ink, there are no disadvantages in my sector of the manufacturing world.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  2. We are a Contract Job Shop specializing in Progressive Dies and CNC (millers, lathes, WireEDM, Swiss Style) machining. The tool makers, ageing as they all are, wouldn't/couldn't work without prints. Everything we make is from paper prints. Even when we machine a complex 3D/4D/5D parts, I will provide a paper print with enough dimensions/tolerances/specifications to confirm that the model wasn't brought into MasterCam at a scale (this is a problem in the world) and they can confirm, as well as Q.C., that the part is correct.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  3. Soup to nuts, it’s my project.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  4. Both. If a customer contracts with us to build a tool that they will own, and they request drawings, we provide the drawings. You should throw Vendors in this question. At times, we need to sub out certain work. Making prints for our Tool Makers is a very different process that making prints for a vendor.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  5. Yes. In 20 and 30 years also.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  6. Translation between different CAD systems will continue to be a Yuge problem. A fully dimensioned model sent from a customer to a vendor, without the backup of paper, may not completely or correctly translate to a different CAD system. The errors may not show up until the part is assembled or used. DXF and IGES were to be "Universal" translation languages. Close, but not close enough. The way certain elements are handled differently between different kernels today (ACIS, Parasolid, Etc.) is indicative of the problem. I don't know what the next step will be. One giant Mega-CAD system that everyone uses that includes programming for every machine tool in existence? Paper, like a PDF file, is universal and unchanging. The paper drawing that I contract to build will not change or become corrupt (except for that cup of coffee I spilled...).

                                                                                   

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I try to imagine a tablet (computer) of some sort sitting on a Bridgeport as a tool maker squares blocks and drills holes with hot chips, oil, grime and general machining debris everywhere. His hands are oily, greasy and filthy. He is panning and zooming on some electronic device to see each dimension to dial out. I don't imagine all the Bridgeport’s will be replaced by Prototracks and CNCs.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  In certain sectors of manufacturing, there will always be paper unless/until 3D Printing in hardened tool steel, to extremely tight tolerances, becomes a reality. When 3D printing takes over manufacturing is when we can get rid of paper. Maybe.

                                                                                    • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                                      Eric Blankinship

                                                                                      Rick,

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I think even if 3D printers can make things in any material, at the precision level of current machinery, & with the volume output of current machines we will still have drawings. Because:

                                                                                       

                                                                                      • The Part will still need to have specifications for inspection
                                                                                      • Material & Weight of Material needing to be loaded into the 3D Printers
                                                                                      • I imagine the 3D printers still won't be able to assemble various components so assembly drawings won't disappear

                                                                                       

                                                                                      ~Eric

                                                                                    • Re: What's your view on drawings?
                                                                                      Paul Salvador

                                                                                      1.  (pos) I charge a premium to make them.   (neg) I have to make them.

                                                                                      2.  no,.. on request only.

                                                                                      3.  I do.

                                                                                      4.  no, only on request.

                                                                                      5. yes, and it's sad.

                                                                                      6. mbd or STEP pmi  (AP242)