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13 Potential Benefits of 3D CAD

by Victor Bradley and Thomas Riddle
September 30, 2004
reprinted by permission from

In today's economy, market pressures to respond to ever-changing consumer needs have never been greater. These changes shorten product life cycles and increase the need for customized products.

Companies which can respond to these consumer demands will be more successful than others. The potential benefits to companies moving to 3D CAD technology are extensive and meaningful to the bottom line, more profit for the company. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Concurrent engineering (CE) - Engineering and manufacturing process are enabled simultaneously from shared 3D CAD data.
  2. Higher quality - Due to increased efficiency resulting from the ability to explore a greater number of design iterations during product development.
  3. Lower unit costs - Due to reduced development and prototype expenses.
  4. Rapid prototyping (RP) - 3D CAD models can be used to produce prototypes from Stereolithography and other RP technologies.
  5. Personnel development - 3D CAD technology provides a challenging environment for employees.
  6. Personnel advancement - A variety of positions regarding the management and supervision of 3D CAD become available to advance employee careers.
  7. Identify and eliminate inefficiencies - 3D CAD develops opportunities for the elimination of inherent inefficiencies in existing work flows and/or practices.
  8. Increased workload capacity - Efficient use of 3D CAD allows the production of more work while maintaining current staff levels.
  9. Greater feedback and control of production operations - 3D CAD enables NC tool paths to be generated, updated, and verified automatically with little human intervention.
  10. Improved overall communications - 3D CAD enables a shift from the traditional paper based design and manufacturing system to a electronic paperless one.
  11. Increased accuracy of MRP data - 3D CAD data files can be easily linked and managed by MRP software.
  12. Increased design flexibility - 3D CAD offers a more robust set of tools and methods to modify designs.
  13. Increased design data integrity - With a single 3D CAD model supporting all downstream processes, changes are reflected quickly and accurately.

About the Authors

Victor Bradley and Thomas Riddle are Engineering Consultants and contributors to 3DCADTips.com, a 3D CAD resource site from eDocHelp. eDocHelp provides e-documentation, online help, technical writing and 3D modeling services for the CAD/CAM, manufacturing and other service-oriented industries.

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