A New Era for 3DEXPERIENCE World Top Ten?

Several years ago, 3DEXPERIENCE World Top Ten Ideas moved from a custom system to 3DSWYM. That could be the end of one era and the start a new. But, this year, there’s something else going on.

The big surprise for Top Ten Ideas for 3DEXPERIENCE World 2024 is that over half are SOLIDWORKS MBD requests.

What is MBD?

MBD is the abbreviation for Model-based Definition. As a concept, MBD is the practice of providing product definition directly upon the 3D model within a 3D CAD environment. MBD includes the application and use of annotations and metadata that specify requirements for the product. MBD also includes methods for display of specifications, and their use for both human and machine consumption. Although engineering drawings may still be used in a limited manner, MBD does not require drawings, and may actually preclude their use.

MBD Loaded Top Ten

3DEXPERIENCE World 2024’s Top Ten List

Six of the Top Ten list are related to the SOLIDWORKS MBD product or at least MBD practices for functionality within the SOLIDWORKS. Additionally, one other item is drawings related.

Example of challenges in this list

MBD ordinate dimensioning is interesting because the international standards do not provide any standard method for such to appear in an MBD environment. I’ve personally contacted ASME about this gap, only to be told that ASME standards already address the concept. ASME standards do not address the concept, nor do they even hint at anything that could address it. In particular, ASME Y14.41 does not address the concept at all, but for all matters of product definition, it defers to ASME Y14.5. ASME Y14.5 specifies ordinate dimensioning only within this drawing environment, and doesn’t provide any clues on how to address such within an MBD environment.

So, when customers request tools such as MBD ordinating dimensions, the SOLIDWORKS R&D team has to fall back to the customers themselves to determine how to implement such functionality. Do customers expect all of the annotations within an ordinate dimension scheme to be on the same annotation plane regardless to the form of the product? Or, do customers expect annotations to always appear attached to the feature that they define? Do all customers want the same result?

Even with linear dimensions, things can be confusing from particular orientations.

Even though this dimension scheme is based from two common faces, in this orientation linear dimensions are not clear. Display issues compound with ordinate dimensions.

It seems that ordinate dimensions are not a top priority for some in the mechanical engineering field, especially since other dimension schemes are supported. But, this is an issue which is important to SOLIDWORKS customers.

So much MBD!

Support for MBD ordinate dimension scheme is an example of why these issues are not so easy to solve. A lot of investigation and forethought is necessary. Solutions are available. We just have to be diligent to provide the right solutions for SOLIDWORKS customers.

Even still, it’s incredibly surprising to see not just one MBD topic in the Top Ten list, but six! There was a time when this topic was a pariah. Interest in the topic is definitely expanding quickly, and suddenly too.

Solutions for MBD are not just available in SOLIDWORKS and its MBD addin. 3DEXPERIENCE platform as the Manufacturing Definition Creator which includes xDrawing.

xDrawing allows the user to simultaneously create product definition within the drawing or MBD environments by utilizing the concept of single-source-of-truth. Annotations and views created in the MBD environment can be added directly to the drawing environment. Annotations and views created in the drawing environment automatically update the MBD environment. Changes made to annotations in either environment automatically update in both.

R&D team at SOLIDWORKS definitely noticed all of the MBD related items in this year’s Top Ten list! It tells the team that they are on the right track in their efforts to create powerful products in support of MBD workflows; bolstering their drive to continue such support.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

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