Quoting Tools?: 3D CAD Dimensioning?
Another Band-Aid for MBE!

I saw this promo from TransMagic on linkedin:

CAD Dimensioning

Why in the world would you need a product like this?

MBE is the biggest fraud ever played on Industrial/Mechanical Engineering

This basically brings MBE full circle. TransMagic has seen a need to offer a product to dimension the 3D model that is delivered in a minimized PMI format for quoting. There would hardly be a need for this software if a complete AID (drawing) as a PDF was delivered with the 3D model. I am not sure if they include the 3D model translation.

You know I never even considered quoting as I rail against MBE. Now I can see that manufacturing has to do the drawing to see the size of the part. Take a look at the minimized data in the PMI example below.

When Boeing introduce PMI I had a great business creating AIDs (drawings) for the suppliers. Looks like they still are having that problem.


The ADCN (Advanced Drawing Change Notice) vs MBE


Why not just create an AID in the first place!

AID (Associated Information Document) looks like a drawing but is generated from the 3D model in the documentation modules of the 3D CAD system. A drawing is generated with an electronic drafting package like Autocad or manually on a drafting board.

Every 3D CAD system can detail parts!! Why not just do an AID?

Why is engineering being made to jump through so many hoops trying to make MBE work? It is costing the industry a fortune.

How many 3rd party programs will it take to make to make your expensive 3D CAD system with MBE effective?

  • PLM Add-ons

  • PDM Add-ons

  • BOM Add-ons

  • Viewing Add-ons

  • Translators

  • Validation Programs

  • Compare Programs

  • Realistic Rendering Programs

  • Reverse Engineering

  • Advanced Surfacing

  • Now 3D Quoting Programs?



PLM/MBE/PMI Absurdity!!

If you are a supplier this is just another piece of software you may need to make MBE (Model Based Enterprise) and the PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) viable.  

What do need to read the Native PMI file?

A native seat of the software, a native viewer or a 3rd party viewer. These are not free. You also have to have maintenance contractor or upgrade periodically to stay current with the native software.

What do you need with a model in the native or a neutral 3D format with an fully detailed AID (drawing) as a PDF?

A compatible 3d CAD system and an Adobe Reader. Free
No need for a 3D CAD Dimensioning tool.

TECH-NET offers a much more viable solution as compared to TransMagic's translators.

Here are some image that show how you can import a Catia 5 part with PMI and create any level of detailed documentation. Even do you tooling design and drawings or move to your own CAD system. You can see the complete article here.

PMI vs AID (Associated Information Document)

The original PMI file imported into ZW3D

The AID (drawing) generated from the imported model

Free PMI Importer?

  • You can detail (add dimensions) in a 3D or PMI format or just make a conventional AID (drawing).

  • An integrated conventional AID (drawing) is just so much more of a reviewable document.

  • You can then print it for others to review, especially for quoting.

  • You can create a 3D PDF with the PMI.

Take a look at the following video and you can see that ZW3D Lite is a much more powerful solution.


So you do not need a myriad of CAD solutions to be compatible with PMI. All ZW3D products come with PMI importers for Catia, Solidworks, Creo and NX. Plus import for Solid Edge and Inventor.

You can also modify the model with robust direct edit functionality and export it in all the standard neutral formats plus Catia 4 and 5.

Multi-Object Environment

You can bring complete assemblies into ZW3D multi-object environment. No need to populate your hard drive with hundreds of separate parts.

Integrated AID (drawing)

The AID (drawing) is also integrated into the part file. Imagine how easy that would be if you are a supplier and creating tooling AID (drawing)?
One file for the complete job!

Now I can't find the pricing for Transmagic or if the PMI importer is included in the CAD Dimensioning program.

ZW3D Lite is just $2,000.00 perpetual and $600.00 annual rental and offers a complete Professional 3D CAD system.

ZW3D Standard $3,000.00 perpetual and $900.00 annual rental
Adds full free form class A surfacing, precision morphing, hybrid modeling, reverse engineering and sheet metal design,

ZW3D offers integrated CAD/CAM: Associated 2/3 axis CNC and mold design.

The Very Best 3D CAD Rental Offer!!

For More information or to Download ZW3D

ZW3D Pricing

Feel free to give me a call to discuss your PMI and CAD needs. Even if it is just to chat about the industry.

Joe Brouwer

TECH-NET Engineering Services!

We sell and support IronCAD and ZW3D Products and
provide engineering services throughout the USA and Canada!

Why TECH-NET Sells IronCAD and ZW3D

If you are interested in adding professional hybrid modeling capabilities or looking for a new solution to increase your productivity, give me a call and I will send you a link to download a fully functional 30 day evaluation and a starters guide. Play with these packages awhile, then give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line presentation.

For more information or to download ZW3D or IronCAD


Learning Mechanical CAD

The Ultimate CAD Program

ZW3D Pricing


Four Functions that Increase CAD Productivity!!

IronCAD vs Solidworks and other Pro/e Clones

Joe Brouwer