Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

[Infographic] Top 3 CAD File Management Challenges

Posted by John Agoglia on Wed, Oct 19, 2016



There are plenty of challenges facing companies every day. Some are unavoidable. Others, such as CAD file management, have some easy fixes if you have the right processes and systems in place. Here are three of the top challenges facing manufacturers when it comes to CAD file management. For some solutions to them [and 7 other hurdles] watch our On-Demand Webinar: 8 Ways to Better CAD File Management

 A look at the Top 3 CAD File Management Challenges. The solutions to them and 7 more can be found in our On Demand Webinar.



Sign Me Up for the Webinar!

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, CAD files, Manufacturing, 3D CAD, Manufacturing CAD, Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, PLM, PDM

[Infographic] A Quick Look at Improving Your DPD Audit Process

Posted by John Agoglia on Thu, Jun 02, 2016


Boeing was one of the aerospace leaders to define Digital Product Definition (DPD) standards for suppliers. Today Boeing is not alone as other OEMs such as Gulfstream, Lockheed, etc., offer DPD guideline. Even suppliers themselves have taken the lead using DPD standards to validate their CAD process from model translation assurance to revision control to order changes and archiving and storage.

Still, though, just like cramming for a test [come on, we've all done it] passing a DPD audit is a struggle as along the way there are many steps that can be overlooked and turned into missteps if you aren't prepared. Jose Covarrubias of 3Dataflow told a full-house webinar crowd last month, "improving your internal processes and systems can make a big difference to your bottom line."

Take a look at the infographic below for some of the benefits of getting your DPD process in order. To hear the whole story from Jose, be sure to check out the on-demand replay of the webinar here




Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, Aerospace Design, CAD Validation, Manufacturing, 3D CAD, Manufacturing CAD, Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, Boeing, DPD, DPD Audit

Contract Manufacturers Are Still Wasting Time With Broken Geometry

Posted by John Agoglia on Thu, May 26, 2016


Today's contract manufacturers are spending (wasting?) a lot of time redrawing their customers' data and fixing broken geometty. This cuts into your ability to dive profits and grow your business. Take a look at these sobering stats, and click on the picture to download an eBook on how to take this negative and turn it into a positve. 






Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, Manufacturing, 3D CAD, parametric modeling, Manufacturing CAD, Direct CAD, Engineering Design Changes, contract manufacturing

Rebirth of American Manufacturing - Software & Democratization

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Thu, Feb 07, 2013

US Flag GM logo image

Linked-in has a couple of interesting articles today on manufacturing and corporate responsibility, the first was by Jeff Inmelt CEO of GE entitled Why We're Betting on Manufacturing

Inmelt's article discusses the drivers to turn the slow American recovery into a long and sustainable boom:

1. The rich reserves of shale oil - this can be sped up with a North American Pipeline.

2. Applying social media to the industrial world and creating a social internet for manufacturing.

3. Speed and simplification

4. The evolution of Advanced Manufacturing

As part of this evolution of Manufacturing, he mentions using new technologies like 3D printing of jet engine parts and the rise of analytics and software.

I couldn't agree more fully with the CEO and Chairman.  One of the driving forces of our company is to increase the productivity and knowledge of the manufacturing workforce. This is one reason that we worked with our software partner, AMPS Technologies and developed KeyCreator Analysis.  Our product, KeyCreator Analysis simplifies the complexity that has long prevented the use of CAD analysis in the initial design process.  We are training engineers through no cost webinars to perform simple analysis early in the design stage.  This will save time and money and provide a competitive advantage to the companies that are taking advantage of this technology.

In addition to the introduction of KeyCreator Analysis, we have also embarked on a program that provides an educational version of CAD software to students free of charge.

The Manufacturing internet that the GEO CEO mentions exists in bits and pieces all over the internet today and its power is becoming more real with the advent of crowd-sourcing. You can see this power in sites like Linked-in and the site GrabCAD in which designers share their designs for free.  A manufacturing community that interconnects the supply chain with all stakeholders in manufacturing is a powerful idea.   It will be interesting to see how this manufacturing internet could develop.

The other Linked-in article featured today was by Hiroshi Mikitani entitled Your Brand is Your Flag .

In his article he argues that soon countries will become subordinate to companies, so companies have a great responsibility to society.  This may seem like radical thinking, but international companies have a lot of influence and power today.  And with this great power they need to assume responsibility for the type of society that they want to foster.

At Kubotek, we often think of our role in the world of manufacturing and society.  We see our software and products as having the ability to democratize manufacturing.  By offering simple and powerful CAD software and simple engineering tools, like KeyCreator Analysis, we are enabling one person or a small very company to both design and manufacture their own products. This ability will free the creativity of the individual and it will have a very dramatic impact on society. We are coming closer and closer to this reality.

Combining the thoughts of these two articles provides an interesting outlook into the future.  Large and small companies can take advantage of the democratization of technology, with easier to use and simplified software. New technologies such as 3D printing and the new energy independence of America can be combined with higher skilled manufacturers--both big and small.  Utilizing the power of social media and the internet can create a rebirth and transformation of manufacturing in America, as well as create the next big boom in the American and world economy. The companies and individuals that choose to play in this new manufacturing world will reap great rewards and have great responsibilities. We chose to play and embrace the future.

Thank you for reading,

Scott Sweeney

VP Marketing

Kubotek Creation Engineering Division

Topics: Manufacturing, Manufacturing CAD, manufacturing in the USA, Manufacturing education, CAD software analysis

Direct CAD an essential tool for the Job Shop

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Mon, Sep 24, 2012

As I reflect on the people we met at IMTS a little over a week ago.  I am amazed at the number of job shops and smaller manufactures that struggle needlessly with problems of CAD interoperability, spending excessive amounts of money supporting multiple CAD and CAM systems that could be easily solved by incorporating Direct CAD into their workflow.  This blog is dedicated to helping to educate and and make our manufacturers more efficient and competitive by incorporating Direct CAD technology throughout their workflow.

How often has a client brought in a CAD design in a format that was incompatible with your current CAD system?

CAD models compared in Direct CAD

How will your shop service the client? If an issue related to manufacturability of the model is spotted at the shop, how easily can the design be changed? With Direct CAD, these issues become a thing of the past. CAD format issues can be accommodated, as can design changes.

Traditional CAD is complex with a steep learning curve.  Moreover, traditional CAD designs cannot be shared easily in the supply chain if everyone is using different CAD software, which adds further complication to incompatibility issues. And editing the files can be problematic, if not entirely impossible. Traditional parametric, and even blended CAD systems, require staff to be dedicated to running only a single CAD program because in order to be used effectivily, these complex systems require intense training, requiring lots of time and money. 

Professional CAD systems can also be very expensive to purchase and maintain (besides the training required). Many shops still run multiple programs in order to ensure interoperability with the majority of their customers. And each of these system requires maintenance to stay current, running upwards of $1,000 per license per year or more. With new updates comes new features, and again, constant training is required training to ensure shop personnel are current on the latest features and know-how.

Quoting a project based off a CAD file can be time consuming and expensive as the shop must ensure the operator is thoroughly trained on whatever system was used originally. With a Direct CAD system, quoting can be accomplished by a non-CAD trained person who is able to open, analyze, and quote the job for the client without having to rely on highly paid and busy CAD jockey to manipulate and analyze the file. By reducing the need to translate or re-draw, shops can significantly lower their costs, charge less, and ultimately ensure client retention.

By utilizing direct CAD modeling in the shop, true collaboration and modification can take place without the need to re-draw the project from scratch. Direct CAD modeling allows designs to be shared, opened, and edited as though everyone was using the same system. Direct CAD modeling brings the design process to the individual. Designs can be modified and improved by anyone without the need to send the project back to the original designer. 

Further benefits for many manufacturers is that Direct CAD can be used to prepare any CAD models for machining and for analysis. This simplification allows the shop to prepare work instructions, design tooling and make changes to designs easily and quickly giving them a competitive advantage over manufacturers without this capability.

As the auto industry in North America rebounds, manufacturers struggle to keep up with the demands of increased production.  And until open positions can be filling, having the proper tools to increase efficiency and reduce costs are essential to a manufacturers success.  Those tools now include Direct CAD technology within the manufacturers workflow.

What interoperability and design incompatibility do you face on a day-to-day basis?  How does training, or lack thereof, affect your workflow?

Topics: 3D Direct CAD, Manufacturing Design, Job Shop, Manufacturing CAD, Direct CAD

Manufacturing is changing in the United States

Posted by Mark Parent on Wed, Dec 02, 2009

We all know that recessions can be devastating to companies and more so to the people, but there are some good things that come out of it as well.

  • Businesses become more creative and efficient
  • People become more creative and efficient
  • New opportunities appear
  • Survival mode kicks in and we make it past the tough times

Manufacturing in the United States has seen plenty of devastating events during this recession, but I see some hope.  There are new companies sprouting up in the manufacturing world that are taking advantage of our strengths.  Much like the wave of micro brewers, we are seeing micro manufacturing companies.  Check out this company (, they have the right idea.  Of course, I think they should use our KeyCreator 3D Direct CAD software and other engineering tools, but that's not my point.

I see a great future for manufacturing in this country, but we need to work real hard to get there.  Let's fight our way outside the normal business habits of today and inspire new and better ways of doing things.  Here's a hint, think about humanity and not about profits, and a better world will follow.

Don't forget to come visit us at and we'll show you some engineering software that will blow you away!

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, Manufacturing, Job Shop, Manufacturing CAD

Direct Modeling in Today's Manufacturing World

Posted by Mark Parent on Thu, Oct 08, 2009
I've been hearing a lot of discussions out on the blogs about how the manufacturing world thinks the vendors (like Kubotek) need to provide better tools to help them compete on a global market. I wonder how serious the manufacturers really are about adopting change to make their businesses stronger and more competitive on a global scale.

The Direct Editing and Direct Modeling tools that are available today are a tremendous help to any manufacturing company. Time to market is important, right? Altering the design to improve the product is important, right? Being able to use any geometry of any model is important, right?

Manufacturers are probably the most ingenious and effective businesses in the world. So how can we help them understand that there are tools out there today that can make them better.

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, Manufacturing CAD, Direct Modeling, Direct Editing

Commentary on 8 reasons Engineers should spend their free time in the Machine Shop

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Mon, Sep 28, 2009

8 Reasons Engineers Should Spend Their Free Time In The Machine Shop

I found this recent post by T. Brian Jones very interesting. We meet with hundreds of engineers every year, maybe more. We hear the "old-timers" lament about the lack of practical skill that many "CAD programmers" have in designing products that are manufacturable.

I think this is closely related to the need for Engineering and Manufacturing to spend more time understanding each other.   It is also closely related to the ability of OEMs and suppliers to collaborate effectively.

I found the 3rd reason very applicable:

3. You can draw a lot of things in Pro/E and SolidWorks that you can’t make in the real world.

Kubotek software - KeyCreator CAD, our Validation Tool our Spectrum Viewers are designed for ease of creation/editing, comparing, validating and viewing of 3D/2D models, drawings and PMI.  Our KeyCreator CAD direct modeling software allows you to work using solid, surface, and wirefame, as your workflow dictates. This allows engineering, manufacturing and quality the flexibility and precision necessary to make decisions and collaborate to make manufacturable and cost effective designs and products.

Do you have stories about receiving manufacturable designs from manufacturing, we'd love to hear them.

Nice list T. Brian Jones!

Thank you for you insights.



Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, agile manufacturing, 3D CAD, Job Shop, Manufacturing CAD, 3D solid modeling

Manufacturing Outlook - Are you ready?

Posted by Mark Parent on Fri, Sep 11, 2009


Most recent news coming out about manufacturing points toward the fact that the economy is at its bottom. This tells me that we are probably on our way up, since current news is usually about the recent past. I'll ask the question again; has your company improved itself to handle the business that will be available in the near future. Are your engineers armed with the best software CAD tools? Have you checked out how powerful KeyCreator is as a CAD tool?
The manufacturing sector should begin to rebound in 2010, with MAPI forecasting 14 of 24 industries to show gains, led by housing starts with a 59% rebound from historically low levels. The turnaround should continue in 2011 with growth likely in all 24 industries, including seven by double digits, led by housing starts at 40% and industrial machinery at 25%.





Topics: Flexible CAD, Manufacturing, agile manufacturing, 3D CAD, Job Shop, Manufacturing CAD

Manufacturing Productivity Tip - Multi-CAD Viewers for Manufacturing

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Thu, Sep 03, 2009

It's 5 O'clock and the deadline has passed for the RFQ that you have buried under a pile of papers on your desk.

Missed another deadline.

You've got capacity on the manufacturing floor.  You could really use more orders, but you can't afford to buy and get people trained on many expensive CAD packages.  And the CAD jocks you have are busy, getting jobs out the door. So they don't have time to stop and open the OEM's CAD files or even draw up a model to be included in the quote.

How can you increase the number or quotes you are completing on time without utilizing your valuable CAD resources.

One essential tool for today's contract manufacturers and job shops to do quoting and estimating is a Multi-CAD viewer.  Inexpensive CAD viewers are available that allow you to open, view, measure, get mass properties and print. These are easy to use - no need to bother your valuable engineers.

This is a two prong boost to your productivity.  You can complete more quotes, more quickly and for more customers and you can increase the amount of time that your engineers stay focused on your current projects. This easy to implement, low cost CAD tool will add to your top line and bottom line simultaneously.  For more easy ideas on how to reduce wasted time and to increase your profits download the following White Paper:

5 Easy Ways Manufacturers can turn Wasted CAD Activity into Profits



Topics: Manufacturing, Job Shop, Manufacturing CAD, CAD Viewer