What is Keeping Manufacturers from Shifting to 3D CAD?

Published on Thursday February 7, 2019

Myths about 3D CAD modeling

Despite more than a decade since the introduction of 3D CAD modeling in the manufacturing industry, right from giant manufacturing companies to small scale fabricators there are engineers and machine operators who still use 2D drawings. To them, looking beyond the challenges in migrating to 3D is difficult. On top of it there are several myths about 3D CAD that pose as obstruction in adopting 3D modeling for shop floor needs.

Manufacturing companies too are reluctant in making shift as they are unable to see beyond the myths of 3D CAD and give up their legacy of 2D drawing for shop floor needs, manufacturing communication, installation and assembly instructions and much more. And as a result, there is a hindrance that 3D solid models face to embed themselves in the manufacturing industry. This article is an attempt to debunk the myth about 3D CAD in industrial designing and helping manufacturers take decision to make the shift.

Debunking the myths about 3D CAD modeling

Let’s make an attempt to debunk the myths that currently prevail amongst the manufacturers that surround 3D CAD and help you gain advantage over your competitors.

1. 3D CAD is difficult

Most manufacturers who have in-house team of drafters and design engineers having CAD expertise but within limited segments think that modeling in 3D, solid or surface, is a difficult job. However, once adopted the drafters quickly realize that designing in 3D is far more intuitive than in 2D. There are multiple resellers and outsourcing CAD services providers who deliver excellent 3D CAD modeling for the most industrial components, furniture models, building products, building construction elements for custom libraries etc. for niche verticals in manufacturing.

2. Significant downtimes

For large manufacturing companies having smaller and limited number of drafters commonly fear that 3D will lead to a considerable downtime while 2D will continue the ensure that workflows will run smooth. The transition, of course, will take time and if you continue to use 2D drawings alongside 3D models the workflow might not get so haywire.

Once 3D CAD is in place across the organization, pilot projects can be run initially before completely discarding 2D drawings, and the best way is to ensure a smooth transition is to train the design engineers adequately and deliver assistance for 3D CAD modeling practice.

3. 3D CAD is not for simpler products like ours

This is probably the most common and the most heinous myth that keeps manufacturers from exploring the benefits of 3D and benefiting their business. Especially, small scale manufacturers of doors, they think that 2D drawings are sufficient for their shop floor fabricators and 3D models are merely a waste of time and money.

But that is not true. Even the doors are tailor-made. Detailed craftsmanship has to be reflected accurately and must match the architectural designs to where it will be fitted. Looking at the customization and bespoke needs of the customers, there is no way out to succeed other than getting 3D models on board in fiercely competitive markets like today.

Because customizing 2D drawings is next impossible. Understanding every line, curve, and arrows will take forever and that much time is not simply elongating product development time and delaying time to market. 3D speeds up the design communication.

4. 3D means giving up the legacy design data

Particularly in the industrial component manufacturing industry, new product design is not as frequent as in furniture manufacturing. The earlier has a treasure of designs which are mostly done and saved in form of 2D drawings with at least three views. But that doesn’t mean they cannot be translated to 3D. Software like SolidWorks offers users to import 2D data in DXF and DWG file formats from other CAD platforms and facilitate quick conversion from 2D drawings to 3D. Other scanning methods like Scan to CAD conversion also are very popular to convert 2D to 3D.

5. 3D CAD modeling is an expensive business

Obviously, getting a licensed version of 3D modeling software is an expensive business, but the ROIs it gives are high. From the improvement of design communication to better information flow, 3D allows better judgments and decision making. It means that the changes are done early, miscommunications are avoided and time to market is reduced drastically. It also means that the gaps between manufacturing shop floor and designing lab are filled easily by sectional views in one same file.

Despite all these, small manufacturing companies find it expensive to invest in 3D and large fabrication firms do not have the bandwidth to dedicate time for designing. For both these cases, there is offshore CAD modeling companies that deliver quality models and technically accurate models at affordable fees.

Make a call now

With appropriate training for 3D and researching the right offshore CAD Company to partner with adopting 3D is a seamless process. 3D CAD modeling delivers a multitude of benefits with high quality products. Make a decision for your firm to benefit two folds than it could with 3D CAD modeling.

For more information on what we can do for you in 3D modeling, drop us an email at info@hitechengineeringservices.com.

Author Usha B. Trivedi

About Author :

is a mechanical design engineer at Hitech Engineering services – a company invested in industrial CAD drafting, modeling, and design automation. Ms. Trivedi writes about solution finding approach in CAD and design automation challenges backed by her years of exploration in industrial designing in furniture, millwork, and metal fabrication designs.

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