Giving away your library

I once had a friend…we’ll call him “Jiff” who was really proud of his CAD library.

Jiff’s CAD library really helped make his company a “differentiator” among their competition. His library models had huge design tables, configurations and some of them even contained API that allowed him to quickly add parts to his assemblies and modify them to suit his particular design needs.

Many of his models were actually better then the models the manufacturers had, a typical model could be used to represent an entire product line. At least two times, Jiff’s company had been asked by manufacturers to sell the models to them. However, since they were the company’s intellectual property they would wouldn’t dream of selling it.

One day when Jiff was visiting one of his customer’s sites, he noticed some of their engineers studying models that came from a competitor of Jiff’s company. Upon closer inspection he noticed these models contained files from Jiff’s library! How could this be?! Turns out when Jiff’s company ships machines, the customer becomes owner of the designs, and thus receives a copy of the solid models. Later, when Jiff’s customer sends out quotes for more machines, they include models in their RFQs…”We want something like this….” …which they have a right to do, because they own the files. However because of this, Jiff’s competitors are slowly building up one fine looking CAD library!

How could this be avoided? Certainly the models could have been dumbed down a bit before they were sent out, but that is post work that no one likes to do, and is often forgotten. He should have used DriveWorksXpress to model these parts because once a model is created, the database/intelligence is no longer with the part. Probably would have been able to create the models quicker too -saving a lot of fancy Excel and VB coding.

Poor Jiff. If only he would have know the Engineering Data Specialist Man sooner.

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