MBD: Define Once, Reuse Many Times [Interview]
Written by: Madhavi Ramesh

model-based-definition-reusing-3d-modelsIn recent weeks, Madhavi Ramesh, or Punditas, has been talking to industry experts about model-based definition (MBD) in product design and development. How do these experts define MBD? Who needs it? How can companies get started using it?

In this week’s post, she talks to Raphael Nascimento, a product manager who was key in developing model-based definition features in Creo Parametric 4.0, which came out earlier this year.

If you’re not familiar with MBD, we recommend any of the following free downloads:


Raphael Nascimento


Madhavi:  MBD and MBE are used interchangeably. What’s your take on MBD and MBE?

Nascimento:  I don’t think there’s a definition out there that everybody in the industry would agree on. Model-based definition refers to the 3D model and processes around creating and using the 3D model. So it’s all about the model and the associated data elements. Model-based enterprise (MBE), however, is the enterprise that uses MBD to improve and expand their business process.

Madhavi:  Let’s talk about TDP (Technical Data Package). Could you articulate what a TDP is and what it encompasses from perspective?

Nascimento: The term TDP comes from MIL Standard 31000 that describes the procurement methodology for US Military. They referred to TDP as the deliverable that a customer would receive from their supplier and in this case it would be the contractor that develops the design and delivers TDP to the US Army as an instance.

TDP contains all the data that defines the product that’s packaged in a clean way. For example, attributes in a PLM system.

Madhavi:  My next question is around the value proposition for MBE. Can you please articulate as to why anyone should care about MBD?

Nascimento: The main objective of going to model-based environment is to avoid recreation of data, the associated errors, and time lost in recreating data.  Models are used to develop 3D designs. Some of the information contained in the model is then used to create another type of deliverable such as the 2D drawings. 

Many times the 2D drawings delivered by the design teams are not directly usable by other functions downstream as they have to re-factored based on the criteria of the downstream users.  Hence, data is recreated many times throughout the product development process. The advantage of MBD is to directly reuse the data. That is, define once and re-use many times.

In some cases, depending on the types of product, one may spend less time authoring the annotations, because the model geometry and basic dimensions are available and only critical dimensions needs to be added.  Although you can save a little bit of time on the authoring side, there’s more to be saved on the downstream side such as manufacturing, inspection, etc.


3D model annotated with information typically shown only on 2D drawings.


Madhavi: To summarize the value proposition, the typical outcomes of MBD include reducing cost, time, and effort while shortening time to market.  With that said, how does one get started on the path of MBD?

Nascimento:  MBD is really a path or a journey. As with any journey, we need to understand two things

  • Where are you? (Current state)
  • Where do you want to go? (the destination)

Companies should take a good look at where they are in terms of the following –

  • How good are the existing 3D models?
  • How complete are the existing 3D models?
  • Can the 3D Models be reused by a downstream function in the current state?

Depending on the answers to the above questions, start with the goal of where you want to go and break it down into smaller steps such as developing good modelling practices, and validating model quality. These small steps will help with the overall goal of creating MBD models.

By the way, we just released Creo Parametric 4.0 and it’s packed with lots of enhancements around MBD. I’d highly recommend that people check out the latest version.

Got Questions?

Of course you do.  Everyone’s product is different and every product development challenge is unique. We can help. If you want an answer or two, or even a full-blown live demo, contact us. Our reps would love to hear from you.

Contact a Creo Representative

Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices
About the Author Madhavi Ramesh

Madhavi Ramesh is the founder of Punditas, a product intelligence company. Read more of her blogs on Punditas.com