Model Based Definition

The Model Based Enterprise (MBE) is made up of many related processes. At its core is the product definition which we refer to as the Model Based Definition (MBD). Another way to define MBD is an annotated 3D CAD Model that contains all the information needed to define a product. This annotated model replaces a traditional drawing. Thus, a drawing is created by exception not as a standard process.

Why do this? Studies have shown that human mind can understand three dimensional data more readily than two dimensional data resulting in a shorter learning curve. In addition, it is more efficient to simply reuse and organize the information needed while modeling a product then recreate that information in an additional file called a drawing. This traditional approach results in more files to be managed, additional time needed to recreate product information, and more chances of error. MBE on the other hand results in a single source of truth (the model) that is created efficiently and in a shorter time.

In order for the model annotations or Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) to be easily used by all users it must be organized in a consistent and easily understood method. To accomplish this, the Army MBE team has developed a model schema. This schema utilizes the standard CAD functionality of layers and saved views to provide the user access to just the information needed. This is equivalent to a drawing view. It also helps to prevent information overload or the fur ball effect seen when all the information is turned on without any organization.

MBD provides the core foundation for MBE. It is one of the first pieces of information that is created during product development. It then grows as the product matures evolving it into the single authoritative source of product definition. But in order to be used by all of the downstream customers it must be delivered in a format that is truly CAD neutral.

To solve this problem we have teamed with Adobe to provide a method of not only packaging the original model files, a STEP file and supplemental data in one PDF file. But, it also provides an Adobe 3D view that can be measured, rotated and viewed without any software other than the free Adobe Reader. Automated 2D views can also be added for reference if needed.

In summary MBD:

  • Is the authoritative source of the product definition
  • Fully replaces a traditional drawing
  • Can be delivered in a true CAD neutral package

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