Five presentations on Model-Based Development


Part PMIThe term “Model-Based Development” (MBD) has been around for more than a few years. So far as most CAD users can tell, it means getting rid of 2D drawings, and putting 3D-GD&T and PMI into the 3D models.

That’s probably a pretty good working definition, but it’s not really quite right. I went back to a 2010 U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command presentation, and found a more complete definition:

A 3D annotated model and its associated data elements that fully define the product definition in a manner that can be used effectively by all downstream customers in place of a traditional drawing.

The central concept embodied in MBD is that the 3D product model is vehicle for delivery of all the detailed product information necessary for all aspects of the product life cycle. Any number of views of the model can be composed, detailed, and annotated for specific downstream operations including codification & classification, cost analysis, producibility analysis, process planning, assembly simulation, procurement, manufacturing, quality assurance, standards compliance, and many others.

The advantages of MBD can be compelling:

  • Faster design revisions,
  • Build and test components and assemblies in a virtual environment (do-overs are no problem),
  • Infinite viewpoints and exploded views of assemblies,
  • Direct to rapid prototyping,
  • Direct to engineering analysis (stress, thermal, interference fit, tolerance stack-up, etc.),
  • Reduced manufacturing lead time and cost,
  • Automated generation and update of drawings (when drawings are needed), and
  • Generation of technical manuals directly from model data.

Of course, with all those benefits, you can’t expect it to be easy to implement. There are both technical and cultural issues that have yet to be completely ironed out.

Rather than writing a long article on MBD, it occurs to me that it might make more sense not to reinvent the wheel. Last fall, I attended the Boeing/Northrop Grumman Global Product Data Interoperability Summit, where several people who spend most of their business days working on MBD (and the related concept of Model-Based Enterprise) gave some impressive presentations on the subject.

So, I give you five presentations on MBD:


Bryan R. Fischer/
Phil Farcy
Advanced Dimensional Management / Boeing How PMI and Data Modeling Standards Affect Successful Implementation of 3D MBD/MBE
Chris Garcia Anark Cost Effective Deployment of PLM & 3D MBD Data
with 3D PDF and 3D HTML
Thomas Hedberg Honeywell – Aerospace Model Based Enterprise and Enabling Quality Interoperable Data Exchange
Doug Cheney /
Tony Provencal
ITI TranscenData MBD Interoperability Challenges and Solutions
Phil Spreier Tech Soft 3D The Future of 3D PDF


I found each of these presentations to be informative, and thought provoking. If, by any chance, you too find the subject interesting, and would like to learn more, I’d like to suggest attending the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress, May 21-23, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Judging by this year’s agenda, it should be well worth the trip.

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