Using Model-Based Definition in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS MBDBack in the days before computers, designers and engineers had no choice but to do their work on paper. But the way design is done has evolved alongside new technologies, resulting in 3D models and a host of CAD software that makes it easier than ever to produce accurate and complex models that can be translated into real-world solutions.

Despite this, 2D drawings have not completely fallen out of favor, and are oftentimes used within CAD software. This can become a time-consuming and tedious process for designers, who will often have less time for the actual design of the product. Model-based definition (MBD) solutions such as SOLIDWORKS MBD help remedy this problem by publishing directly into 3D data, saving valuable time in manufacturing processes.

What is the Advantage of Model-Based Definition?

Model-based definition solutions like SOLIDWORKS MBD help streamline production and cut cycle time. According to an ebook by Tech-Clarity, companies using model-based definition experience fewer manufacturing mistakes and communication errors with suppliers. Employees are able to spend more time on the design work they enjoy, rather than more tiresome work related to drawings.

By eliminating the need to switch between 2D and 3D models, model-based definition reduces the number of discrepancies in designs and simplifies document management processes.


SOLIDWORKS MBD is a model-based definition solution that helps companies “define, organize, and publish 3D Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) including 3D model data in industry standard file formats such as eDrawings® and 3D PDF.” SOLIDWORKS MBD has a number of capabilities useful for annotating and organizing, including a predefined library of manufacturing features and automatic recognition of manufacturing features.

When Should You Use Model-Based Definition?

Model-based definition is useful for any department that experiences slower design cycles because of 2D designs. However, the Tech-Clarity ebook indicates that departments most likely to adopt model-based definition are engineering, manufacturing, and quality within the industrial equipment and automotive industries, although its applications span a wide range of occupations and industries.

Those transitioning to model-based definition, like any solution, may experience some resistance to change, but there are many ways you can support adoption.

If you would like to learn more about the values of model-based definition solutions and how to adopt it, download the Tech-Clarity ebook below.
Tech-Clarity eBook

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About the Author

Christa ProkosChrista Prokos is a marketing manager at Fisher Unitech. She researches and writes about the latest business trends and technologies impacting manufacturers, including 3D printing, SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD design and product data management tools, product lifecycle management, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Christa has worked as a high tech marketing and communications professional since 2000. You can follow her on Twitter: @ChristaProkos.

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