Product Engineering 3D Modeling Processes Promote Growth
What do you do when you’re a business that is dedicated to product innovation, impeccable customer service and the manufacture of quality products — and you get more orders than you can handle? You have three options:
- You can turn down the business;
- you can hire more staff; or,
- you can outsource the extra work.
When you’re a company that boasts a world-class team of experts who operate with integrity, honesty, and strong core values and leadership, turning down business is not something you’re likely to do.
When new hires must fit into a team of experts that is committed to the research and development efforts needed to advance engineering capabilities and product improvements, the hiring process can’t be rushed.
That leaves outsourcing.
One of our current customers faced just such a dilemma.
By providing a pool of expert CAD talent to augment their available resources, we have helped them meet their order deadlines, maintain their strict quality control standards, ensure best practices and enabled them to continue to provide the best service to their market and industry. By this collective effort, both their company and ours has succeeded.
Serving Our Clients
When our clients come to us, they have the requirements they need and they have paper drawings or Mylar scans of products, parts, and/or assemblies. What they don’t have are 3D models. While most of our clients have the capability and the software (in this case Solidworks) to make the models, they lack sufficient staff and sufficient time to do so.
Smart businesses know they must focus on their core business if they are to succeed. When your core business is manufacturing products and keeping your distributors well stocked, outsourcing model making just makes sense — especially when you outsource to a company like CAD / CAM Services, for whom 3D CAD is a core business!
Given that 3D CAD is a core business for us, it occurred to us that a description of our typical 3D work process would be of interest to our blog readers. So, here goes…
The CAD / CAM 3D Process
As stated above, our clients know their requirements, and they have the “raw material” in the form of paper drawings or raster scan files. Often the information they have was created a long time ago and needs to be converted from an existing model database to some other CAD format like CATIA, Solidworks, Inventor, etc. Most of the time the scanned files are good to go, but sometimes we need to pre-process them, fix the mistakes that may have been introduced while scanning and so on. Once we’ve QC’d the initial files, they are sent to the modelers, who start working immediately to generate the 3D models. In massive projects, it is also possible for us to use a provided database of drawings and adapt it for our conversion needs or to create the new one.
As they work on the files, our modelers starting to create parts and drawings from them for checking, and if required, they create assemblies with corresponding drawings.
When models and drawings are complete, we can help our clients to create part and drawing libraries for easier utilization in their projects. Having a part library means having all models properly organized, with easy access to them, so that the client can include them in projects, send them to manufacturing and assembly, or to the 3D printing or CNC machine.
For the client we introduced at the beginning of this post, we took our process one step further, by adding all of the models we had created to their Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) System.
By having access to the PLM, we can help the client manage complex, cross-functional processes, coordinate the efforts of distributed teams to consistently and efficiently keep their models current and up to date. By optimizing product development processes across both in-house engineers and outsourced engineers, our client can move into the next phase of developing products that are competitive, cost-effective, and high quality.