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Use Customer or In-House Print for Master?

Question asked by Keaton Warn on Feb 2, 2017
Latest reply on Feb 2, 2017 by Keaton Warn

After receiving a customer print/sketch/written description, I often have to draw a model up in SolidWorks and make an in-house drawing or set of drawings to be used for the fabrication of the product. Any changes become successive revisions of this in-house SW drawing.


Some people seem to be inclined that the customer provided print/sketch/written description should almost always be the Master drawing and that the in-house SW drawings we use for the actual production should be reference only. This sort of makes sense if the customer gives you a well made print to go off of and gives you an updated one whenever they want to make a change. However, there are problems with this.


• Customers almost never send a good print to begin with; lots of questions have to be asked about what exactly they want and what features need to be changed so that the product can be manufactured. Sometimes all they send is a sloppy freehand sketch of the general idea of what they want. Using the initial customer drawing and any accompanying info, I make the first revision of the in-house drawing that the customer has to sign off on. Here's the problem: Since only the customer can update the revision of the initial drawing/hand sketch they give us for manufacturing, it makes no sense to use their drawing/hand sketch as a master for manufacturing purposes.


• Sometimes, not even a sketch is given. I draw a model up and make a SW drawing based off of what info they are able to give, and then have the customer sign off on it. A "customer drawing is master" system doesn't work well if there's no customer drawing. Someone might counter, "But then our in-house SW drawing will be the master." If the customer or in-house drawing could be the master and the customer info is somehow misplaced or never existed in the first place, it could (and has) caused many hours to be wasted looking for information that might not even be necessary for the production of the current version of the product.


If you can list any other issues with using customer prints as the Master, please let me know so I can add them to the list and be better able to show this is not the way to go. If for some reason this is the way to go, please explain why.