Do many companies rely solely on 3D models direct to CAM and NOT use drawings??
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    Default Do many companies rely solely on 3D models direct to CAM and NOT use drawings??

    I am now a test engineer burning stuff like fire doors for a living. One of our clients claim they cannot send us drawings(which we need) because "they use Solidworks and rely solely on the models."
    1. How common is this? I thought this was merely a pipe dream for many companies wishing to save money on making drawings.
    2. How do you manage tolerances without drawings and solely using 3d models?
    3. I think drawings should continue to be used even if you do send all your models to the floor to be made without drawings. Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I thought I was being practical. Thoughts?

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    Reduced dimension drawing are becoming more common. The drawing will only call out critical dimensions, like bore sizes, thread specs, etc. Everything else comes off the solid model. Works great as long as the solid model is worth a shit.

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    Done properly the solid model with have tolerances baked into the definition, and will helpfully even do stackup analysis based on it.

    Drawings are easier, but slower and frankly the more complicated the part gets the less value they have. A cube? Sure a drawing helps. A drafted injection molded nurbs surface? Eh...

    Should you be programming off a drawing? Oh good lord no, not if you want to have any prayer of staying competitive.

    If they send you a solid model that isn't toleranced, send it back just like you would a 2d drawing that isn't toleranced. If you don't know how to get at tolerances that may or may not be baked in, then time to do some tutorials.

    My $.02

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    I am now a test engineer burning stuff like fire doors for a living. One of our clients claim they cannot send us drawings(which we need) because "they use Solidworks and rely solely on the models."
    1. How common is this? I thought this was merely a pipe dream for many companies wishing to save money on making drawings.
    2. How do you manage tolerances without drawings and solely using 3d models?
    3. I think drawings should continue to be used even if you do send all your models to the floor to be made without drawings. Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I thought I was being practical. Thoughts?
    .
    .
    GD&T is used on drawings cause it is not usually part of the model. if you want complex stuff to fit together you need it.
    .
    for example bore for bearing you going to bore to .0000000001"
    or is bore to nearest 1 mm or 1" close enough ? obviously tolerances are still needed. Assembly drawings often list part numbers or part drawing numbers.

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    1. Not very, at least in my industry (custom machine & automation design) - it just leads to too many problems, and too much confusion, especially because a lot of what we do are still simple parts made in job shops that might only have one computer for a handful of machinists, and there is no CAM software used at all. The amount of money 'saved' by not having engineers/drafters create drawings is typically lost (and then some) further down the line. My company experimented with not making drawings, and it was not a good system. There are cases now (sheetmetal, extrusion, other 'outside' processes) where engineering will simply throw the three main views with reference OA dimensions on a print, and call it done. Having a print is important to most systems (see #3.)

    2. It's all done to model geometry, with a general +/- tolerance, usually .005" or .010". It doesn't work well at all for details with critical dimensions.

    3. It's not a nostalgia issue, it's a practicality one. In many cases, the print serves as the traveler, provides identifying information, material information, heat treat, plating, surface finishes, inspection dimensions, edge breaks, engineer contact info, project info, revision level/history, etc., etc. The amount of information lost by not having a print is huge, and I'm not aware of a good, low-tech solution for the problem.

    Even the highest tech, most bleeding edge manufacturing companies I know still work primarily off of manually created drawings, and it is often in PDF form, for the sake of history, consistency, and traceability. (i.e. it's very easy for an engineer to accidentally change a 3D model and not realize it, and if that's the model being given to vendors, it's a massive issue. If it's not the version being given to vendors, that means there are duplicate files, which is an issue on its own.)

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    Link to a similar discussion.
    GD&T Question

    Some parts are too complex to be described in 2D form. If you want to be nostalgic, I think of a foundry pattern as a similar analogy to a solid model.

    Just to be clear, a print still exists for each part I make, you just can't produce it with only the print.

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    @Johnny Solidworks:
    I only have 8 years experience as an engineer who loves CAD drafting....and this company sounds like they are bs'ing me because they don't want to give out their drawings. Its a sensitive situation...but if I was the owner I would tell them to stop farting around and just send the gosh darned drawings already.
    I tend to agree with what you say. It sounds like an idea dreamed up by a bean counter thinking of how much money they could save and is a case of spending a dollar to save a dime. Drawings will NEVER go away in my humble opinion, they contain far too much information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    @Johnny Solidworks:
    I only have 8 years experience as an engineer who loves CAD drafting....and this company sounds like they are bs'ing me because they don't want to give out their drawings. Its a sensitive situation...but if I was the owner I would tell them to stop farting around and just send the gosh darned drawings already.
    I tend to agree with what you say. It sounds like an idea dreamed up by a bean counter thinking of how much money they could save and is a case of spending a dollar to save a dime. Drawings will NEVER go away in my humble opinion, they contain far too much information.
    If they do everything design to manufacture internally then it's perfectly possible that they don't use drawings at all and use integrated cam with PMI/MBD/whatever-you-want-to-call-it data baked into the models. We do this a lot for purely internal jobs as well. It's just easier.

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    It depends a lot on what it is. One of the most difficult things to pass from solidworks through a third party cam system is tolerance, especially gd&t stuff. If its a solidworks partner they use very likely that kind of thing is done better and the programmers and inspecitrs can see the solid model tolerancing. In my shop we do a lot of freeform stuff. Those items are made off the model with very little if any drawings past what we need to check lengths etc. can they supply you drawings- likely yes- will they- if its proprietary to them - likely no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    I am now a test engineer burning stuff like fire doors for a living. One of our clients claim they cannot send us drawings(which we need) because "they use Solidworks and rely solely on the models."
    1. How common is this? I thought this was merely a pipe dream for many companies wishing to save money on making drawings.
    2. How do you manage tolerances without drawings and solely using 3d models?
    3. I think drawings should continue to be used even if you do send all your models to the floor to be made without drawings. Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I thought I was being practical. Thoughts?
    I have seen enough of our customers solid models to say they are junk or the intern made some major mistakes. We rely on prints and I guessing the customer does not want to send you a print with their solid model. It could be they are too lazy to create a print or they refuse to send you a print for some secretive reason.

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    We get a lot of minimally dimensioned prints, like Larry mentioned.

    Some of the companies we make parts for have standards that define what tolerances will be based on the type of feature and size.

    From what I was told, they do this because making a change to a 3D model is less hoops to jump through on the bureaucratic side of things than it is to request a print change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    I am now a test engineer burning stuff like fire doors for a living. One of our clients claim they cannot send us drawings(which we need) because "they use Solidworks and rely solely on the models."
    1. How common is this? I thought this was merely a pipe dream for many companies wishing to save money on making drawings.
    2. How do you manage tolerances without drawings and solely using 3d models?
    3. I think drawings should continue to be used even if you do send all your models to the floor to be made without drawings. Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I thought I was being practical. Thoughts?
    .
    .
    easy enough in Solidworks to take model and make drawings pulling out dimensions and put tolerances on them
    .
    then get from customer a name, date, version number and have it signed. i recommend it as drawing is like a legal contract saying exact what is to be made and to what tolerances

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    I am now a test engineer burning stuff like fire doors for a living. One of our clients claim they cannot send us drawings(which we need) because "they use Solidworks and rely solely on the models."
    1. How common is this? I thought this was merely a pipe dream for many companies wishing to save money on making drawings.
    2. How do you manage tolerances without drawings and solely using 3d models?
    3. I think drawings should continue to be used even if you do send all your models to the floor to be made without drawings. Am I hopelessly nostalgic? I thought I was being practical. Thoughts?
    Aside from the general practices of other companies.......your client wants to supply models only. So, I assume if you want to continue working with them you have to work with models only.

    I tended to work with whatever the customer supplied, as in "the customer is always right" (no matter how wrong they are). The classic was Microsoft supplied a drawing on the proverbial napkin for their game controller prototype leaving us to work out the details.

    A more recent one was from a from a major worldwide player in composites. They needed a paint fixture mount for part of a wing structure with no metallic contacts to the composite surface. After my request for dimensional information they sent a blank piece of paper with four circles indicating a bolt pattern. The holes weren't even in a symmetric layout.

    My biggest long time customer allowed the engineers to work flex hours, meaning they came in late and "supposedly" worked into the evening. Always a problem when we started a rush project first thing in the morning and needed more info. On one occasion I happened to be driving past their office around 8 PM and had some questions about a job starting the next day. My contact engineer's car was there, I knocked on the door, no answer, I tried the door, it was unlocked so I walked in loudly announcing myself. All of a sudden here comes the engineer's girl friend pushing past me buttoning here blouse as she left.

    Anyway, I think all you can do is inform the customer it may cost more if you aren't supplied up front with all the info you need. My customers were the only people who sent me money, I figured I'd work with them however they wanted.

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    Our parent company has tried it, and everyone hates it. From doing engineering checking to shop floor production, no one likes it, except the upper managers who "think" it saves money. It may save a few bucks on the front end, but those and more dollars get spent on the back end. Drawings may be archaic to some folks, but put my vote in to keep them.

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    you tell iso compliance guy you have no drawings with name date revision level, etc
    .
    you see how far you get keeping iso certification

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    Were are in aircraft MRO. The big boys won't give you drawings, models only . They give specs that apply to all solid models. All my machine programming and sheet metal patterns are made from models. If a customer sends a print it just means more time spent in making a model. We do get some prints, usually from older aircraft made in Europe. I.E. Airbus. When a part is ready for production I need to make prints to use at the machine. Since I make them they are more "to the point" than what a complicated aircraft print can be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rainman View Post
    Our parent company has tried it, and everyone hates it. From doing engineering checking to shop floor production, no one likes it, except the upper managers who "think" it saves money. It may save a few bucks on the front end, but those and more dollars get spent on the back end. Drawings may be archaic to some folks, but put my vote in to keep them.
    I work on the shop floor and I love it. Drawings are bits of paper and bits of paper are a pain in the ass. There is no reason to hate it unless there is something wrong with your implementation, or you have people who just hate computers and nothing will change their minds.

    Everything that can be put on a drawing can also be put on a model, alongside all the other benefits of working from a model.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    you tell iso compliance guy you have no drawings with name date revision level, etc
    .
    you see how far you get keeping iso certification
    I know that you are quite fond of answering "Wednesday" when someone asks you what your favourite colour is, but what on earth has ISO got to do with this conversation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    you tell iso compliance guy you have no drawings with name date revision level, etc
    .
    you see how far you get keeping iso certification
    You have a model with date and revision. Not a problem in the ISO cert/audit world.
    I wonder how many incomplete or just plain wrong "prints" there are floating around?
    Bob

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    One of the smartest things I've seen was a local (large scale) knife company who's internal CAD drawings for tools were color coded by operation and standard tolerance. Red surfaces were to be ground, yellow on the wire EDM, blue holes were bored to 0.0002" or something, green holes were tapped, dark green were tapped to a tighter tolerance, purple was hard milled, etc etc.

    I would love to find a document that outlines some ideas of how to implement such a system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkoenig View Post
    One of the smartest things I've seen was a local (large scale) knife company who's internal CAD drawings for tools were color coded by operation and standard tolerance.
    I've seen something similar, but there were no colors on the drawings.
    They were black and white.
    The paper was white, the outlines were black, and there were numbers drawn with black ink on it to describe the exact thing they've wanted with tolerances.

    I believe they were called Blueprints.

    Them guys were truly dumb!
    I mean, why the hell would they call that a "blueprint" when it was all black and white?
    What? Did they not have Yellow, Blue, Green or Red ink back then?
    I mean, come-on! What's so hard about that?
    Red = +/-.0001
    Blue = +/- .001
    Green = +/- .005
    Yellow = +/- .015


    Ohh, wait ... ISO now has fits and limits designated not by color, rather a simple letter to do the same!


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