Strategy 9: Communicate effectively with business personnel
3D CAD technology represents a quantum leap in your ability
to communicate design information with important audiences outside of product
development. Extrapolating what an actual 3D physical product will look like
from a 2D engineering drawing can be challenging for many engineers, not to
mention how difficult this can be for those who don’t work with drawings on a
Effective CAD leaders appreciate how this obstacle can
impede innovation and limit the potential for valuable input from key
stakeholders outside of engineering, particularly when securing buy-in from
management, customers, and partners regarding new product ideas or innovative
concepts. They understand that a picture’s worth a thousand words and that a 3D
model—or better yet, a 3D animation—communicates more effectively than stacks
of 2D drawings.
Modern 3D CAD tools can dramatically enhance your ability to
demonstrate the aesthetics, performance, and fit and function of product
designs in formats that are easy for anyone to comprehend. You can use these
communication capabilities to create virtual animations and simulations that
show how a design will perform within the confines of its operating
environment. You can also illustrate the limitations of existing designs and
how new approaches can extend and improve performance. You can even create
photorealistic renderings of products that are difficult to distinguish from
actual photographs, which your sales and marketing colleagues can use instead
of incurring the costs of studio photography.
As a CAD leader, you should pay attention to the visual and
communication formats that your design systems can produce. Creating standard
file formats such as PDF, JPG, and AVI represents the minimum set of
capabilities. You should also consider tools that allow you to compactly
package a model—including transparency, cutaway, and model interrogation
tools—for email distribution.
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*This article is an excerpt from the "Ten Strategies for Becoming an Effective CAD Leader White Paper", published by DS SOLIDWORKS Corp.