The day is coming. I can see it on the horizon. What exciting futuristic day am I speaking of? The day where the 3D Model rules all. That’s right, the day is coming when as designers and engineers, we all will be only using 3D models to communicate our designs. We’ve been progressing that direction for quite some time and if you think about it SOLIDWORKS Drawings are trying to accomplish that very feat. Only SOLIDWORKS Drawings live in a 2D paper (or pdf) world, so we’re using associative referencing of the 3D Model to compensate. That next level 3D Model ruling all is what we call the “Model Based Enterprise” approach to design. This approach is where all the engineering and business systems are integrated using the 3D CAD model geometry, dimensions and data to drive processes and automation.
If Model Based Enterprise sounds so powerful, why are we waiting? Well a few obvious answers are up front costs, process changes, cultural changes, and perhaps the most intimidating…the fact that we will need to completely overhaul our entire way of life as designers to accommodate such a design process. That’s right we will eventually have to use Model Based Definition as the toolset to help us get to that Model Based Enterprise.
OK breathe. It’s not that bad. If tomorrow we decide that we’re shifting to a Model Based Enterprise and we’re dropping our traditional drawings, this change will be quite a shock, but it won’t be all that bad if we slow down a little and take some baby steps. First and foremost, we can start using the awesome power of DimXpert dimensioning for our models and continue using our traditional SOLIDWORKS Drawings.
In fact, as of SOLIDWORKS 2019 the traditional DimXpert CommandManager and toolbars are now just called “MBD Dimension”, so we can be assured learning to use these FREE tools will help prepare us for the day that our organization starts using MBD. Every seat of SOLIDWORKS has these FREE DimXpert tools that give us the ability to add dimensions, tolerances, notes, GD&T, etc. right on to our 3D SOLIDWORKS Model.
And here are the best parts of getting started down this path early:
1) We can use these callouts on SOLIDWORKS drawings TODAY, so we’re not wasting effort.
2) We can identify any current gaps between the DimXpert tools and our current design processes. So, when management says MBE day is here, we’ll be able to have a productive discussion on how and what we will need to change internally in order to meet that need based on our available tools and processes.
3) We can minimize deployment training time stress. When MBE comes, we’ll have one less area to worry about learning since the skills will transfer.
4) These DimXpert Tools are FREE
Since we know the MBE day is coming, maybe sooner than we expect, it’s probably a good idea to get on top of the FREE DimXpert tools today to help prepare us for tomorrow.