Great, thanks for the heads up!!
Thanks for the video links. They are very helpful.
I was somewhat disappointed to see that the lesson labelled 'Case Studies' was not showing real case studies, but manufactured ones.
I am interested to know how real customers actually use this process.
I have worked through the first couple of lessons and, to be honest, I think it would take me as long, if not longer, to create my 3D PDF as it would to create a conventional drawing.
There are cases in the lessons that show dimensions that don't appear clear and unequivocal to me. If so, then I need to be just as careful creating the 3D PDF as I would the 2D, so where is the benefit?
I detest creating 2D drawings and look forward to the day when they are no longer necessary. Sadly, SW MBD looks like a new implementation of 2D drawings in a 3D context, without being finished enough to do the whole job. For example, there was a demonstration of how to dimension the angle between two cylindrical features on a camera body. The resulting dimension was left hanging in space, pointing to one of the cylinders, but with no reference to the other one. Crucially, I could see no way to create a reference to the other cylinder, since they were not on the same plane.
Then there are the notes in the 3D PDF, which 'can be edited by anyone'. The last thing I want is for my Product Manufacturing Information to be edited by anybody after it has been released and sent to the manufacturer. Notes, like every other aspect of drawings, 3D PDF's or whatever, need to be locked down.
I can't help thinking that DS would have helped me more if they had developed the horrible 2D drawing package, rather than creating an MBD package that doesn't appear to work either.
I would be very pleased to be proved wrong, with howls of protest from dozens of satisfied users who have ditched 2D drawings and embraced MBD, but it doesn't look likely, I'm afraid.
Or am I just having a cynical afternoon? I hope so, I really do.
I would love to hear your views, whether they agree with mine or not, especially if they don't (as long as you explain why they don't).
I agree with you on 'Case Studies' being a little misleading. What I thought I would see are how others used MBD in use by others. At this point in time though I don't believe there is a lot of MBD user to draw this information from. We are making the move towards MBD so I am spending a bit of time learning MBD methodologies to create our processes. So far I am finding that we are early adopters at this level.
We have sent out a couple of parts using a different MBD/3D PDF publishing software and mold tools are being cut from these files. Capturing the 3D views can take a little time to set up. Does it cut the time in half over a 2D drawing? Not yet, but we are still in the learning phase. It is quicker though. The benefit that we have found is that the 3D PDF helps convey the PMI with less ambiguity.
The comment in the video about being able to edit the notes concerned me slightly. Enough though that I went to the 3D PDF templates that I created to verify that with the type of text field I selected in the template is NOT editable. Basically what I am saying is, depending the text field you select when creating your 3D PDF template decides on whether or not the notes can be changed by someone.
I am a little unclear on your comments regarding the cylindrical/angle dimensions on the camera body. I do recall where it showed the 2 cylindrical bosses being dimensioned, but that was for center-center dimension, on the mold base. Those bosses did have a taper to them due to the part ultimately being an injection molded part. In MBD the dimensions are somewhat in space as they are located where the features are an not necessarily on a flat plane like a 2D drawing. They are set parallel to a plane though such that if you look from that plan it appear like a 2D drawing.
With regards to all of the PMI being supplied in the 3D Model, it can be done at this time with MBD. Where this falls short is not being able to output this information without a go-between (3D PDF) at this time. What is needed is a way to output the 3D file to STEP AP242. At this time SOLIDWORKS does not have it as an option, nor can anyone read it. I hope that change is on the horizon soon.
SW2016 Beta 3
This was the dimension I was referring to.
I can't see how anyone seeing that 3D PDF for the first time would identify what that dimension was referring to, without any possibility for error.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems very ambiguous to me. In a 2D drawing, I would create a staggered section view and dimension to the centre lines.
There doesn't seem to be an option to show centre lines in the 3D and, even if there were, I'm not sure they would help in this case.
I'm really keen that this functionality should be usable and effective.
I'm still not convinced that, as a small company sub-contracting my milling and turning to other small companies, this offers a viable alternative to 2D drawings.
As I said, I would love to be proved wrong.
Okay that wasn't the dimension I was thinking of. It does seem a little tough to understand from that view. With the 3D PDF one could move the view around and get a cleared idea of the features the dimension is associated with. This is where the 3D PDF provides a little extra over a 2D drawing.
You can create a staggered section (zonal) view in the model to show this as well. If you create the zonal section view and then rotate the model so it would appear like a 2D drawing and then 'Capture 3D View', with the dimension showing you get the same information as the 2d drawing.
One of the things that many miss with making the mover to MBD is that a STEP file is to be provided with the 3D PDF. The shops I have worked with (small to medium; 1.5 to 30 employees) have loved having a 3D file to work with. Prior to the moved to MBD I provided them with either a SOLIDWORKS native file or a Parasolid and a reduced dimension drawing.
The lack of centerlines bothers me a little, but not as much as it first did.
Just found a bit time to look into this image. The intention is to define the angle between two holes as shown below.
Without digital highlighting, it's indeed hard to understand.
For printouts, 3D dimension witness lines need to be enhanced beyond 2D drawings. Your catch shows a nice use case. Thank you!
About this point: "Then there are the notes in the 3D PDF, which 'can be edited by anyone'. The last thing I want is for my Product Manufacturing Information to be edited by anybody after it has been released and sent to the manufacturer. Notes, like every other aspect of drawings, 3D PDF's or whatever, need to be locked down."
There are actually 4 types of texts in the template editor, 3 of which are non-editable in PDF, so they can be used to protect notes.
The 4th type is the editable PDF form field, which is designed for interactive communication (quotes, comments, or others inputs), rather than for technical notes or Product Manufacturing Information (PMI).
Again, notes and other PMI are read-only and protected.
Hope this helps.
Thanks, Oboe. That sounds good.
Thank you, Casey and John.
This lesson is more to tie all techniques together in three common applications: sheet metal, mold, and weldment.
Its name has been modified to Technique Summary to avoid further confusion.
Now about customer references, as Casey mentioned, it's still at early stage of this particular product.
However, we do have several stories listed below using existing DimXpert, eDrawings, or other MBD related capabilities.
More will be available as this product grows.