Design Engineering

CAD Microsolutions demonstrates Model Based Definition


General DPN

SolidWorks MBD is an integrated drawingless manufacturing solution for SolidWorks design software.

At the 2015 PackEx Toronto show in the CAD Microsolutions booth, Michel Cloutier, senior territory technical manager for SolidWorks, had a chance to demonstrate to Design Product News how MBD helps companies define, organize, and publish 3D Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) including 3D model data in industry standard file formats such as 3D PDF and eDrawings.

Cloutier noted that the U.S. military has been the driver behind this modelling standard for eliminating the need for 2D drawings.

Unlike traditional 2D drawings, SolidWorks MBD guides the manufacturing process directly in 3D, which helps streamline production, cut cycle time, reduce errors, and support industry standards such as Military-Standard-31000A, ASME Y14.41, ISO 16792, and DIN ISO 16792.

SolidWorks MBD defines PMI directly in 3D and avoiding the expensive, time-consuming, and risky 2D drawing detour, which can save up to one-third of the total engineering dollars. 3D PMI also helps speed up communication, cut quoting time, and reduce errors thanks to its 3D data interrogation, interactivity, and rich Meta properties.


Cloutier said that designers can serve multiple deliverables and departments by customizing the 3D Output Templates. Users can build the layout, insert company or group logo, position the 3D View port and thumbnails, edit the text descriptions, embed Meta property links, and add tables.

Once they are set up, these templates will serve as internal and external process guidelines for all departments, such as Manufacturing, Operations, QA, and Procurement on multiple deliverables, such as engineering drawings, Request for Quote (RFQ), inspection report, and work instructions. In addition, Cloutier demonstrated how SolidWorks MBD delivers a comprehensive set of predefined templates to use out of the box.


• Bearing Housing Flange

• Electrical Plate

• Battery Contact Pins

SolidWorks MBD publishes widely accepted file formats such as eDrawings and 3D PDF according to the predefined or customized templates, said Cloutier. eDrawings files can be opened in a free eDrawings Viewer and 3D PDF can be viewed in a free Adobe Reader which is installed on 93% of Internet connected machines.

In addition to 2D information such as engineering notes, BOM, and rich Meta properties (Part Numbers, Materials, and Approvals), users can also interrogate the model in 3D with Pan, Zoom, Rotate, Measure, Section, and other 3D tools.

SolidWorks MBD helps comply with the predominant industry standards, such as ASME Y14.41, Military-Standard-31000A, ISO 16792, and so on, according to Cloutier. This compliance gives users the competitive advantages to win more contracts and deliver projects to strict requirements, on time and on budget.

The SolidWorks website states that “customers looking to meet United States Government standards will be encouraged by the assessment of Rich Eckenrode, Co-Chairman of the Military-Standard-31000 manufacturing sub-committee.”

Eckenrode defined the MBD requirements for the government procurement officers and has stated: “SolidWorks MBD’s compliance to Military-Standard-31000 Appendix B is close to 100% …”.

WATCH BELOW: Interview with SolidWorks MBD Product Manager Oboe Wu discusses how to eliminate conversion of 3D data to 2D documents and fully leverage 3D design data throughout an organization and partners to reduce redundant tasks.



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