How Model-Based Product Development Pays Off for Engineers


Read Time: 4 min

Engineers have experienced the positive impact of model-based definition (MBD) practices on downstream manufacturing and service productivity, yet most have not seen similar benefits in their own design workflows due to the limitations of their tool sets.

Historically, engineers have grappled with disjointed workflows and siloed software, using one platform for their primary CAD modeling work and multiple others for supporting capabilities in areas like simulation, generative design, and  manufacturing. The upside to these tools is advanced functionality. However, this approach simply can’t compete with the benefits associated with model-based product development (MBPD), a design workflow built around a unified set of tools and a shared, native file format. 

Without a common-model definition and MBPD framework, engineers are forced to switch between applications and rely on manual, unproductive workarounds to import, export, and translate data and models between applications. CAD tools like PTC Creo feature associative, parametric modeling, which ensures changes made in one part of the model are automatically shared with all related geometry. Unfortunately, specialized add-on tools break that design chain, leaving engineers trapped in a complex cycle where costly errors and detractions can hamper engineering innovation.

Creo and Creo+ remove the need for these specialized CAD solutions. The platforms deliver integrated solutions that share the same native CAD file format across a full spectrum of capabilities, including generative design, real-time simulation, tool and die design, design for additive manufacturing, and mold analysis, among other extensions.

For example, Creo users could tap Creo Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) Advisor to get expert guidance on common problems encountered during the dimensioning and tolerancing process from directly within their CAD workflow without losing associativity. GD&T processes annotate designs and drawings for downstream processes like inspection, using a symbolic language to define the allowable deviation of feature geometry. Creo GD&T Advisor helps engineers avoid mistakes during this complex process while ensuring the completed model can be validated for compliance with the relevant ASME and ISO standards.

Creo EZ Tolerance Analysis Extension is another solution  that shares the native model to help engineers evaluate the impact of dimensioning on a design before prototyping or manufacturing. This helps validate quality and manufacturability, automatically reflecting changes to downstream deliverables without the risk of translation errors. Better tolerance analysis also leads to improved quality and reduced warranty and service costs.

The Creo portfolio offers extensions to support a wide array of simulation and analysis functions, from FEA to thermal and fluids modes. Design for Additive Manufacturing, tool and die design capabilities, and production machining extensions are also available, enabling engineers to complete their full spectrum of work using a single, native 3D model.

With a common tool backbone, streamlined user experience, and support for a shared native 3D model, Creo delivers on the promise of MBPD, giving engineers a taste of the productivity and time-to-market efficiencies the rest of the organization is experiencing with MBD.

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Tags: CAD Creo Model-Based Definition

About the Author

Katherine Brown-Siebenaler

Katherine Brown-Siebenaler is the Marketing Content Manager for PTC's CAD team. Based in Austin, TX, Katherine is responsible for editing the Creo and Mathcad blogs. She has six years' experience as a content creator for various corporate marketing teams, primarily in SaaS environments. Katherine holds two degrees from the University of Florida, a BS in Journalism and an MA in Mass Communication. She enjoys learning how PTC customers bring software to life in real-world applications every day, leading innovation in their various industries.