SOLIDWORKS MBD and Model Break View

New for 2015, SOLIDWORKS have introduced a new product called SOLIDWORKS MBD. MBD, or Model Based Definition, is a great way of generating PMI (product manufacturing information) using the SOLIDWORKS models created by design engineers. This allows a drawing-less manufacturing solution to streamline, organise and publish 3D models with all the information needed for Manufacture.

A 2013 survey suggested that 16% of SOLIDWORKS customers were doing or planning drawing-less manufacturing in 3 years, up from 1.5% in 2009. This could allow design teams to gain a 30% reduction in engineering overhead, a 20% reduction in scrap and rework and up to a 50% increase in supplier response time, overall giving the designers and manufacturers a quicker and easier way to communicate the design intent and have every dimension and tolerance needed for quick turnaround of components.

MBD is built within the SOLIDWORKS environment so a lot of the tools will already be familiar to SOLIDWORKS users. It allows users to create templates for a 3D PDF, with all the information needed on a drawing boarder, a quick and easy way of putting all the dimensions and tolerances on a part using DIMXpert, and a great way of capturing the required views to export. In this blog we will show you how MBD can help a designer communicate their design to a manufacturing team.

The designer can capture the required views to use for the 3D PDFs or eDrawing quickly and easily from the 3D views tab on the bottom of SOLIDWORKS. This allows the user to put the correct dimensions on a specific view just as they would do on a drawing. As we can see we also have a SOLIDWORKS MBD command manager tab so using the same interface as any SOLIDWORKS user uses to design.


Using the integrated tools within the SOLIDWORKS toolset such as DimXpert, the designer has a great way of creating the correct dimensions, tolerances and datums needed for production. This gives the manufacturer a quick and easy way of visually seeing every dimension in the design and highlights the datums for each critical dimension, without the need to try and interpret a drawing or figure out where a leader is dimensioned from.

Showing-dimensions-in MBD

We have some great tools within MBD for viewing the dimensions created from DimXpert such as the Dynamic annotation view which allows us to spin the model around to view each of the dimensions. As we snap to a view we can see all dimensions clearly shown in the relevant view.

Creating a 3D PDF template within MBD is a powerful function that allows a company to have all the information they need on a drawing sheet on a 3D PDF, and allows a user to spin a model around and view every dimension for a model. There is no need for any static views that hide certain features within the design. Using the 3D PDF template editor allows the company and designer all the flexibility of a drawing boarder but still have the great functionality of a 3D PDF to go with it. The user interface is logically arranged and allows quick creation of the correct tables and information exactly where the company needs it.


Once the company format and template has been created, designers can quickly and easily publish the designs created to a 3D PDF or eDrawing file, see sample PDF attached to this blog. Notes can be added to clarify information relevant to the design, choosing what views to publish and within a matter of seconds, have a paperless drawing to send to manufacturers or the shop floor, allowing a smooth easy transition form the design phase into full scale production. No need for any manual handover with paper drawings; no need to reprint drawings as they have been lot or torn; no obscurity with where dimensions are derived from. A cracking way to easily generate a fully detailed production quality 3D PDF or eDrawing.


With the addition of MBD, SOLIDWORKS has become an even more powerful tool to not just create the design but also to output the manufacturing information in a more concise and detailed way.

With MBD, SOLIDWORKs has also released a new element called Model Break View. This allows users to quickly and easily create break views of 3D models – just like you would within the drawing environment to a static drawing view, but still keeping the parametric ability of the overall 3D model.

This powerful functionality allows the users to take a large 3D model and break it down to a more manageable size, putting in the correct break lines, such as zig-zags to the correct area of the break. This break view also comes through directly into the drawing form, allowing the users to concentrate in the 3D element without spending time and effort creating break views within the 2D environment.

Adding breaks is easy with the ability to move planes around to create breaks in the required locations step by step.

Creating-breaks-in Model-Break-View

Choosing the shape and intensity of the break gives the users complete control over how the break should be displayed and at what angle, allowing the correct view to be created every time.


With Model Break Views and MBD, the designers and manufacturers can now have the most accurate and detailed information needed.

NT CADCAM is the UK's most established SOLIDWORKS reseller in England, Scotland and Wales. Offering a fully supported CAD and CAM product portfolio and high levels of expertise internally, makes NT CADCAM unique within the SOLIDWORKS community, giving customers the confidence and assurance they need that their support issues will be dealt with both promptly and efficiently. As a SOLIDWORKS Certified Training Centre, NT CADCAM provides clients with fully certified and accredited trainers who are experienced engineers. NT CADCAM is part of the Solid Solutions Group.