Three Capabilities Every Product Design Team Needs Today

Written by: Cat McClintock

Today's highly competitive business environment demands that product design teams innovate quickly, collaborate seamlessly, and—in the end—turn out awe-inspiring models. The good news, 3D CAD systems now provide seemingly countless features to support that work.

The bad news is, you still might not have the right capabilities when you need them. You know, the ones that simplify your team’s work and enhance designs, rather than adding unnecessary complexity to your processes. We’re here to help. Keep reading to discover the top three capabilities almost every product design team needs. 

 A team views a train 3D model

Capability #1: Top-down modeling for large assemblies

Products in every industry become more complex and sophisticated every year.  More parts need to fit in tighter assemblies. More disciplines need to contribute expertise (think sensors, electronics, optics, etc.). And nobody has time for mistakes.

That’s why top-down modeling is now a must for most teams.

If you’re not familiar, here’s how it works: You start a design by developing top-down structures and skeletons. Then, you and any number of designers can add individual subassemblies in the context of that overall structure. That means, anyone can create and modify a component, without worrying about stepping on someone else’s work. Those constraints of the overall structure that you set up at the beginning ensure everything still fits together.

Capability #2: Data management

If you only have one design engineer doing all the work and you’re never going to update a product, you may not need product data management (PDM). But start adding designers or engineers, update a product two or three times, and in no time you’ll see company efficiency tank.

That’s because it’s too hard to keep track of the myriad files and metadata around a product. In fact, some engineers waste 25 percent of their time searching for files, recreating data, updating systems, and answering requests!

These are all activities a PDM system addresses. It organizes your product-related data in an easily searchable database, eliminating process inefficiencies and saving your team time.

With a robust set of PDM capabilities, you can collaborate seamlessly with other engineers and departments. Organize all of your data across teams. And even make the data more consumable for non-engineering teams and clients (with robust access controls, of course).

Capability #3: Digital machining tools

If you’re machining your parts, there’s no reason your CAD model can’t keep working for you.

With machining capabilities in your toolkit, you can leverage design data to create, optimize, and validate machining sequences. Run real-time 3D simulations early in the design process to preview the actual behavior of the machines and tools without wasting any materials.

Best of all, if the product design evolves, existing machining routines can be automatically updated and new machining sequences can be easily added without losing existing work.

Tool path design in Creo

Optimized tool paths like this one deliver high-quality machine finishes.

An added benefit to using machining capabilities, you might extend the life of company’s manufacturing equipment (tool life increased 14x for this company!)—how’s that for ROI?

Have everything you need?

Tools for top-down design, machining, and many other capabilities are available in  Creo Design packages, specifically the Design Advanced Plus package. These packages bring together our iconic parametric modeling software with powerful added capabilities that set a new industry standard in what you can expect from your design software, out of the box. Download the brochure to learn more >>

See the Creo Design Packages




Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.