Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Why Manufacturing Should Throw Away their History-Based CAD Modeler

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Fri, Jun 03, 2011

History-based modelers: SolidWorks, Inventor, ProE, NX are the wrong CAD tools for manufacturing.

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Products are rarely designed in CAD with manufacturing in mind.Thus models often have to be re-created in Manufacturing.  This not only wastes time but introduces the possibility of more errors in the process of re-creating the model. So what seemed like a logical choice, particularly for the IT department - one system within the entire organization - actually has increased complexity and cost and reduced quality in the organization.

One could argue that history-based modelers are also the wrong tool for design conceptualization or creation, but we will leave that to another blog.

Another major step in the manufacturing process is the creation of new designs to support the manufacturing process. Tools, dies and molds are often one-offs - using a history-based modeler requires you to set up relationships and constraints to build this one-of-a-kind model.  This wastes much time and limits creativity. Many designers currently using a history-based modeler to do this work may will disagree with this.  But, I believe that this is simply because they do not understand the concept and simplicity of Direct Modeling.

History-based modelers do not support sharing and collaboration in the supply chain.  History-based modelers do not import non-native geometry that can be easily edited and changed for manufacturing.  If the geometry is imported, it is generally not very useful.  Once again, manufacturers are ofter forced to recreate models using their own history-based CAD system, wasting time and introducing the possibility of errors.

Direct modelers can import and use geometry as if it were created within their own system.  This allows manufacturers to accept any type of data from anywhere in the supply chain.  This reduces cost, saves time and increases quality

So before getting hoodwinked into tossing out the 2D CAD system that you are now using (to redraw your 3D CAD Models) and buying the history based system that your engineers are using, consider using a Direct Modeler. What?! you have already bought the History-based Modeler for Manufacturing and you are wondering why they are not using it. Throw It Out! and get them a Direct Modeling solution. Not sure about direct modeling? Want to learn more? Download the white paper: Direct Modeling 101 .

Thank you for reading,


photo by Ymmat - Creative Commons

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, History-free CAD, History-based CAD, CAD for Manufacturing