Primitive CAD software arrived in the 80’s to improve the way Engineers work. Vast leaps in CAD technology occurred over the last two decades and in 2020 capturing conceptual product ideas and producing manufacturing information should almost be pain-free. Unfortunately this is not the case.
The main reason for this is the ‘open-ended’ options and wide range of methods provided by CAD software that allow Design Engineers to build design models. Solidworks has at least five different methods of constructing a cube, several ways to produce cuts and holes as well as countless ways to generate complex surfaces. Furthermore, the lack of 3D design standards within the Engineering industry and individual manufacturing businesses further complicates the issue.
If we now consider what an efficient CAD workflow would be for an arbitrary component we realise that it must be an assessment of several possible methods that would generate the required geometry and part features. Only through this methodical, strategic assessment can we realise improved efficiency, productivity and ultimately a lower design cost.
This responsibility would fall onto the shoulders of the Design Engineer building the design model but more often than not these are the very same individuals under the relentless time pressures of the project at hand. One way to overcome this would be to run a pilot / side project with an external Engineer that would carry out this assessment.
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