I've written a lot about changes in recent years.
Many of you probably didn't know it was me at the time, since much of it came in the form of emails and webinar descriptions we promoted here at Kubotek. I did my best to educate you (and in some cases, maybe entertain you).
But why write so much about changes?
Partly, it's because changes are going to happen, whether you want them or are able to adequately respond to them. It's life. Especially if you're a designer or manufacturer. Mainly, however, it's because Kubotek has a lot of technology that, in my opinion, makes tackling changes so much easier.
Design Change Communication Modernized
In an article published in MoldMaking Technology, I wrote about the ways CAD comparison and direct modeling technology have improved design change communication processes to ultimately help you improve product quality, and ultimately, profitability.
The opening paragraph says it best:
Technology — including CAD technology — has changed dramatically since the 1980s. As soon as new technology is developed, it is integrated into products and our way of doing business. In the manufacturing world, CAD software versions are released at regular intervals with product design and manufacturing processes integrating the new CAD technology as soon as it becomes available. However, even with all this new technology available at a moment’s notice, companies continue to compare and manage design changes as they did in the 1980s.
Say what? It's 2016, people. Maybe it's time to investigate alternatives to manual paper overlays and other outdated methods. Seriously, what do you have to lose - except all that scrap, wasted time and lost profits.
Reusing CAD Data
In another article that appeared in MoldMaking Technology, I wrote about being smarter in the way you use current technology so you can stop wasting time and actually reuse CAD data when a change becomes necessary.
And yes, I know it appeared in a mold industry publication. But you don't have to be a mold maker for this information to ring true. Replace mold making related processes or job titles with whatever industry you like. It doesn't change the core of the argument: A true direct modeler can help you work more easily with customer design data and any changes that need to be incorporated into a product design for any reason.
Many of you need to alter customer-supplied designs and do it frequently. Maybe it's an outright engineering change because the customer changed their mind or they redesigned a part. Maybe it's a small draft angle you want to add to a product so the part ejects from the mold better. Or perhaps you're trying to defeature a product design just so you can set-up your tooling.
Regardless what the scenario is, you need to make a change to a CAD file. And what makes me want to slap you upside the head (gently) is that so many of you think it's easier to start over from scratch and redraw the CAD model. D'oh! You're reinventing the wheel each time you do this.
Changes Today and Tomorrow
I chose to write about changes in this, my final blog at Kubotek, because I know changes can be a pain in the butt for many. However, changes aren't always bad, it just means you have to get used to them sometimes.
For 8 years, I've worked with the team at Kubotek to help educate the CAD community about Direct CAD and our related technologies, and even to some degree, educate our users on the breadth and depth of tools we offer that get overlooked. And I'm proud of what we've done.
However, I know that I'm passing the reigns to a Marketing Manager that has new ideas that will make a good thing even better (although probably without my brand of snark and occassional sass). You'll be seeing more of his name in the coming weeks and months. (Check out his first blog post here: Overcome These 5 Common Challenges Facing Independent Designers)
If you must know, I'm heading back into manufacturing. I cut my teeth working for a high performance materials business and I'm happy to be headed to another company whose product is also classified as a high performance material. It's another new industry to learn, new products to become familiar with, and new challenges to face. And while I'll miss my KeyCreator family (yes, even that weird cousin no one likes to talk about), I'm excited for the changes.