Influence on Engineering

These articles are for the upper and engineering management professional that may have a bit of hands on CAD management experience, the academics in the engineering schools since the engineer now has taken on the responsibilities of the draftsman, the PLM guru, MBE expert and the independent engineering consultant.

I have added quite a few article since I post this last. They are denoted with an asterisk. I have gotten a complaint that I should get an index so interest individuals could keep track of what they have read. I am not sure how to make that happen. I never thought I would have so much to say about the industry. I hope you enjoy my new articles. Again, thank for stopping by.

4-15-20 Update

The engineering world ended the second decade with many problems. PLM has take over engineering and has made it almost unworkable. Boeing has progressively gotten worse as most of the Aerospace industry. Engineers responsibility has grown and grown to the point where I am sure productivity has suffered. Hopefully engineering will wake up and take control again!

2010 -2020 - The Age of 3D CAD Nothingness


Can Engineering Survive without the Drafting Group?

Recommendations to the New CEO of Boeing

11-11-19 Update

The engineering/manufacturing and business world has move to a few buzz world based on Digital Transformation. It really is shocking that the InfoTechs have basically taken over most of management. Here are a few disturbing articles about this trend that started at the turn of the century.

Digital Twin Defined - Update

Digital Transformation - 70% Failure! $900 Billion Wasted!

Dassault’s Digital Transformation! Bye, Bye Solidworks?

12-11-17 Update

After pondering on engineering's problem with 3D CAD for 17 years, I have finally found the source of the problem. It is industrial/mechanical engineering management. It is not the PLM Guru's or the lack of effective training for the new 3D CAD engineers. Engineering management, for what ever reason, have allowed CAD to be ineffectively integrated into the engineering process and removed from their control.

They have allowed those that have virtually no applicable engineering knowledge or experience to replace them as leaders. They allowed the elimination of drafting and their documentation responsibilities without any plan on how to replace them. Changing the name to Engineering Technologists!

Sadly, there is no way to educate engineering management. I am hoping that someone pays attention to these article and does a study on the engineering process of the past based on the "drawing" and today engineering process based on the "3D Model". I will guarantee the old system was more cost effective and streamlined. Based on workable standards that were established over centuries. Think I am wrong? Take a look at the engineering process standards today, there aren't any.

The more popular articles are denoted in Purple

New articles denoted by a Red

One of the more disturbing developments in the industry is the subscription only option. This is not a viable option to access your CAD system. This makes PTC, Autodesk or Onshape your partner forever, and forever is a long, long time. Let's say you own a company and you have a large amount of engineering information (Intellectual Property). If you sell your company or a product they have to purchase a subscription. With a perpetual system, you just include the license or they can purchase a seat, they don't have to be married to a system forever, that they may not even use. I suggest you do not upgrade to this system. Once you do there is no going back!
You are Not Stuck with Autodesk or PTC Subscriptions!

Viable Options to Replace Subscription Only CAD software
It seems that PTC now only offers subscriptions. Sadly, most companies think they are stuck with these programs. It is very easy to move to another system. You just stop at your current system and use it for legacy slowly moving the projects to the new system. There are much more cost effective solutions. We just have to move our document control out of the CAD system. This article show to escape the CAD centric PLM system to easily accessible document management system.

Standard Cloud Based Engineering Document Control

Standard Cloud Based Engineering Document Control Part II
I was involved in the very beginning of effective 3D CAD in 1982. It was Computervision CADDS 4 which was one of the first to stabilized on a functional user interface which lasted for a decade.

Please read through the following articles and you can see how 3D CAD progressed from being based on mainframe computers, down to workstations and finally the PC. We started with wireframe design, then Surfacing and finally Solid modeling. There are a few systems that have all of those features that can coexist in the same design space: This is called Hybrid Modeling.

I have included other articles that show the different solid modeling CAD paradigms that were introduced to industrial/mechanical engineering industry. I also have articles on how 3D CAD systems were adopted in the industry.

Remember as you read these articles that all we did was add the 3D model basically as a pattern. You will see that those with very little experience were put in charge of making the transition from drawings to 3D CAD documentation as the engineering deliverable to manufacturing.

52 Years of Engineering

My First 17 Years or "How did we do it without 3D CAD!"

The 1980's - 3D CAD - The Beginning

The 1990's - 3D CAD/CAM Moves to the PC!!

The 2000's - The Age of 3D CAD Un-Enlightenment!

3D CAD TODAY! The State of the Industry!


So what "HAS" Gone Wrong with Engineering?

So what "HAS" gone wrong with Engineering? Part II 

 So, what "HAS" gone wrong with Engineering? Part III
We haven't made a Drawing Since 3D CAD was Introduced!

 CADKEY or Catia? Boeing’s Billion-Dollar 3D CAD Mistake!

Many of the problems with current 3D CAD is
with the residual leftover concepts from the
previous standard engineering deliverable.

The Drawing!


"Engineering's only product is to make available  concise, complete
and unambiguous documentation to manufacturing."

The History of Boeing Engineering Documentation

Engineering Documentation
A Primer for the PLM Guru

Redefining 2D/3D To Draw or Not to Draw??

The Death of the Drawing

The Death of the Draftsman or  “Where has all the talent gone?”

Parts List or BOM?

Engineering Documentation Today!

The Space Between Engineering and Manufacturing

Part Design Defined

The Assembly Defined

All you want to know about 3D CAD training!
(But were afraid to ask!)

Should the New 3D CAD Engineer Learn Drafting?

Educating the New 3D CAD Engineer - 2015

Engineering Technologist? Engineering Technician?

The Integrated Drawing in 3D CAD

3D CAD and the 757

Mechanical 3D Modeling Defined

Engineering 101

Engineering Ignorance Defined

 Engineering Ignorance Defined Part II

Top 5 Reasons to Use MBD DEBUNKED!

Engineering Ignorance Defined Part III
How to Define a 3D PMI Assembly You have got to be Kidding

Engineering Ignorance Defined Part IV
Defining the “2D Drawing”  Redundant? Of course!

Engineering Ignorance Defined Part V
Altering the Model for PMI Documentation

The 3D Modeling Paradigm

There were different modeling paradigms. The Pro/e (Creo) paradigm was introduced in 1998 and dangerously only offered one complex design process, which virtually all of the popular programs adopted. This is by far the least flexible design paradigm.

The Worst to Best 3D CAD System and Why

29 Years of 3D CAD Incompatibility
The New Generation of 3D CAD!!

Next Generation 3D CAD
Technology Applied!

Next Generation 3D CAD!!
The Win-Win Solution!!

Standardization!!! The Future of 3D CAD!!

Is 3D CAD Productivity an Oxymoron?

Solidworks Users are "NOT" Stupid? 

Welcome aboard Solidworks: Updated!

Welcome aboard Solidworks Rewritten!

Universal 3D CAD Compatibility is not Here!!

3D CAD Single Model Design Environment

Which CAD Paradigm is Best?

The Lost 3D CAD Paradigm!
How I Found Freedom in an UNFREE 3D CAD WORLD!

Showing differences in Import
Using Dual Kernel and Repair options.

Are You Stuck in a 3D CAD Wagon World?

Onshape! A View from the Clouds

Solidworks on the Cloud?

Parametric Modeling Finally Defined

The Two CAD Programs that Set the Path to 3D MCAD Chaos!

Document Control is now Data Management

This by far was the most devastating change from the drawing based system. It was IT (InfoTech) that took over document control and renamed it to data management and have "tried" to handle it as such. I don't even think they looked at the previous document control process. They developed a PLM system that was based on the Pro/e 3D CAD system. They tried to maintain both internal CAD documents, parts, assemblies and AIDs and deliver the native file as the external engineering documentation which soon became an unworkable chaotic mess with Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid to make it work.

PLM & PDM Defined

The Data Management Mess

The Death of PLM

The following article is by far the most bizarre Band-Aids added to make MBD work. The software is now required by all Boeing suppliers. Why? Because the native Catia 5 file cannot be trusted not to be corrupt.

Compare and Validation Programs?

Band-Aids for Self-Inflicted Wounds!

Corrupt 3D CAD Parts


Why MBE/MBD/PMI Will Fail Part II

PLM/MBE/PMI Absurdity!!

Zero File or File-Less CAD systems! Debunked!!

PMI vs AID (Associated Information Document)

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

The Secret of Part Numbers

The ADCN (Advanced Drawing Change Notice) vs MBE

The Embedded Title Block! A PLM Solution! 

Onshape! A View from the Clouds

Onshape! The Party is over!

PTC Creo Totally Misunderstands MBD

Solidworks Totally Misunderstands MBD

Solidworks: Engineering 4.0?

Can the 3D Model Be Used as the Design Authority?

Engineering and Manufacturing

 Cloud Based Engineering Document Control

If your company or customers have standardized on the MBE/PMI system, we can help you access PMI data from Solidworks, Creo, NX and Catia!

Free PMI Importer?


Here are other Viewpoints on the 3D CAD Industry 

Technology Applied

3D CAD Productivity

Techniques Defined

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, take some time to download a fully functional 30 day evaluation and play with these packages. Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions or would like an on-line presentation.