Model-based definition (MBD) is a process shift. It requires capable software applications, training and implementations. Therefore, besides the SOLIDWORKS MBD product, you can also find 12 free* SOLIDWORKS MBD product learning modules at MySolidWorks including videos, mouse-click guidance, quizzes and sample datasets. In just 4 hours, you can get a solid handle of this product on your own schedule and on any device. These modules are highly recommended for anyone new to this product. In fact, they have been adopted by many manufacturers as internal MBD preparation classes. Figure 1 shows one example of how to define and communicate a sheet metal part with 3D product and manufacturing information (PMI).
Now let’s take a step back from the technical details. A common and natural question about MBD is why bother. To answer this question and help you prove the value of MBD, the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technologies) in the U.S. published an independent study on MBD value metrics: Testing the Digital Thread in Support of Model-Based Manufacturing and Inspection. The quick takeaway is that MBD can cut annotation, machining and inspection time by more than 65 percent. Also the model-based supplier in the study delivered quality parts in just 5 weeks while the 2D-drawing-based supplier took 8 months. You may find out more details from this report. SOLIDWORKS wasn’t involved in this research.
Now the question is how to implement. Besides the above experiences shared by manufacturers from different countries, I also summarized MBD implementation recommendations in this blog series, MBD implementation 10 DOs and 10 DONTs. These are all based on practical lessons learned and recommended practices from dozens of MBD pioneers worldwide.
Lastly, without going into too much detail, we have developed more resources to support your MBD journey as listed below.
- SOLIDWORKS MBD API help to customize this product to your practices.
- 3D PDF samples and rendered models with 3D callouts to provide you some quick examples.
- Certification of SOLIDWORKS MBD to help you gauge your team’s skill in the implementation process.
I hope you find these resources relevant and useful. To learn more about how the software can help you with your MBD implementations, please visit its product page.
*Free with MySolidWorks registration.