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Downstream Concerns with MBD?

Question asked by Casey Gorman on Jun 24, 2015
Latest reply on Jun 24, 2015 by Anna Wood

@Christopher Sudlik Bob Van DickMike Sveda Anna Wood


I felt that a new heading would be appropriate. The other post originally started as an inquiry to see if others were evaluating SOLIDWORKS MDB. The threads became more about the use of MBD as the deliverable from the designer/engineer to the manufacturer.


Here is what I have come up with as a summary of the comments under the other discussion. Please let me know if I have missed anything. It is being written as a document that will be used in house (at least the start of). Once I have all of the concerns listed, I will follow up with reasoning and possible approaches to address these.


I think it goes without saying, but just to be on the same page:

Each design/engineering/product development group needs to work with their suppliers to see what level of MBD is achievable at this time for the work they do. For some, MBD may not be feasible at this time (or they may choose not to use it at all), for others this may be a easier transition.


Here are the concerns I gleaned from the other post:


Down Stream Consumer Consideration for MBD Use

While we develop our MBD standards and processes we need to
keep the downstream user in mind. If we leave them out of the equation we have
failed. The purpose is to insure that all needed information is provided for
those consumers to complete their work without creating unnecessary challenges.

Some concerns:

  • Why even make the move to an MBD approach?
  • Lack of ease on information retrieval (primarily dimensions). Why bring up a 3D model when a 2D drawing will do?
  • Critical dimensions not noted
  • Why use on simple parts?
  • A 3D PDF without a STEP file has limited usefulness if it doesn’t contain all of the PMI
  • A STEP file (or any 3D file) without a 3D PDF has limited usefulness
  • For smaller shops without monitors available for viewing a 3D PDF/STEP file need a way to know what dimensions are critical for
  • How do we know the STEP file is good?
  • What about a shop that doesn’t use CAM? Or doesn't keep their technology up to date?
  • Adequate views and sections are still needed just as they are in 2 drawings. The use of a tool, in this case MBD, should
    make it easier for all involved not shift work from one person/station to another.


Answers or comments to the above concerns will depend on several factors. Some will be on the level of technology, the quantity
of parts being ordered, frequency of the same parts being ordered.