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Drawings are Doomed

dgschaefer
21-Topaz II

Drawings are Doomed

Drawings are easy for anyone technical to understand, require no special
software and are universal. It's a very mature format, having been
around for probably 100 years or more. I'd say communicating critical
dims, material specs, process notes, revision history, color and finish,
labeling and other non-geometry details is hard and error prone with a
3D model. Not so with a drawing.



Even after many years of speculation and talk of '3D drawings', and who
knows how much invested, they aren't yet close to replacing traditional
drawings. I have to wonder, if PTC had instead invested that time,
energy and money into making drawings easier to create and maintain if
we wouldn't have been better off.



In regards to 3D PDFS, you should know, support for the 3D PDF
generation has already been discontinued by Adobe:



http://blogs.adobe.com/ukchannelnews/2010/10/18/discontinued-acrobat-pro
This thread is inactive and closed by the PTC Community Management Team. If you would like to provide a reply and re-open this thread, please notify the moderator and reference the thread. You may also use "Start a topic" button to ask a new question. Please be sure to include what version of the PTC product you are using so another community member knowledgeable about your version may be able to assist.
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn
21 REPLIES 21

I have to agree with Doug.


A drawing says "This is what I want you to know, and your need to know." whereas a 3D model says "I have all the information in here somewhere. Good luck finding it.".
And I too have a concern that there is not official or de facto standard for delivery, such as 3D PDF.



Gerry



In Reply to Doug Schaefer:


Drawings are easy for anyone technical to understand, require no special
software and are universal. It's a very mature format, having been
around for probably 100 years or more. I'd say communicating critical
dims, material specs, process notes, revision history, color and finish,
labeling and other non-geometry details is hard and error prone with a
3D model. Not so with a drawing.



Even after many years of speculation and talk of '3D drawings', and who
knows how much invested, they aren't yet close to replacing traditional
drawings. I have to wonder, if PTC had instead invested that time,
energy and money into making drawings easier to create and maintain if
we wouldn't have been better off.



In regards to 3D PDFS, you should know, support for the 3D PDF
generation has already been discontinued by Adobe:



http://blogs.adobe.com/ukchannelnews/2010/10/18/discontinued-acrobat-pro
-extended/



They say they'll still support viewing it, but 3D content generation is
now up to 3rd parties.

I agree as well. Nothing wrong with forward progress but too many CAD
companies are spending a lot of time working on something that very
few people have asked for and even less want. All this from companies
that never perfected their drawing programs in the first place.

On Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 8:53 AM, Gerry Champoux
<-> wrote:
> I have to agree with Doug.
>
> A drawing says "This is what I want you to know, and your need to know."
> whereas a 3D model says "I have all the information in here somewhere. Good
> luck finding it.".
> And I too have a concern that there is not official or de facto standard for
> delivery, such as 3D PDF.
>
> Gerry
>
> In Reply to Doug Schaefer:
>
> Drawings are easy for anyone technical to understand, require no special
> software and are universal. It's a very mature format, having been
> around for probably 100 years or more. I'd say communicating critical
> dims, material specs, process notes, revision history, color and finish,
> labeling and other non-geometry details is hard and error prone with a
> 3D model. Not so with a drawing.
>
>
>
> Even after many years of speculation and talk of '3D drawings', and who
> knows how much invested, they aren't yet close to replacing traditional
> drawings. I have to wonder, if PTC had instead invested that time,
> energy and money into making drawings easier to create and maintain if
> we wouldn't have been better off.
>
>
>
> In regards to 3D PDFS, you should know, support for the 3D PDF
> generation has already been discontinued by Adobe:
>
>
>
>

I put it down to people being out of touch with reality. I remember
during the 70's that we were all changing to the metric system. Look
what happened to that and now we have a mish mash of both systems to
deal with. In the 80's it was the paperless office, everything was going
to be stored electronically and we'd never have to use paper again. Try
getting a new doctor or dentist and see how far that has got. In the
90's it was the dot.com that were going to revolutionize commerce. Guess
what, never was going to happen. These things are synonymous with the
engine that runs on water and weightloss pills, sounds feasible but
cannot be put into practice. You are right that should PTC had spent the
time making a useful drawing package instead of all the money being
spent on Windchill, I feel we (the users) would be much happier.

Don't forget the legal aspects. Many times the drawing is a contractual
deliverable. The legal usage of a drawing in court will be around for a long
time before judges learn Creo.

Yeah but Windchill was a completely different thingie. That's for PDM, which is an important tool to have around.

Stheno was supposed to be integrated into Pro/E at one point, but that never materialized. From what I recall, Stheno supposedly had a great 2-D drawing interface. I'm sure some BIG companies are using the drawing data contained in the 3-D model, but my guess is very, very few. The world still revolves around a good ol' drawing.

Happy Friday.

Bob


I too agree. I've been hearing that drawings are dead for 15 years. Too many people nowadays can build a model that looks OK superficially but they don't have a clue what "fully dimensioned" means or what the implication of different dimensioning schemes is. Considering how a feature will be presented/communicated on a drawing results in better models.


Jim Majewski


I didn't mean to start a debate of which method is best (2D vs. 3D).
I do beleive that going to a drawingless solution is something that is likely to be of value.
And I have heard that some companies are already doing this, at least internally.
But that doesn't mean that this is a universal solution for all companies.
In fact, we tried it and it did not work out.
I'm only saying that we need better/complete standards.



In Reply to Gerry Champoux:



I have to agree with Doug.


A drawing says "This is what I want you to know, and your need to know." whereas a 3D model says "I have all the information in here somewhere. Good luck finding it.".
And I too have a concern that there is not official or de facto standard for delivery, such as 3D PDF.



Gerry



In Reply to Doug Schaefer:


Drawings are easy for anyone technical to understand, require no special
software and are universal. It's a very mature format, having been
around for probably 100 years or more. I'd say communicating critical
dims, material specs, process notes, revision history, color and finish,
labeling and other non-geometry details is hard and error prone with a
3D model. Not so with a drawing.



Even after many years of speculation and talk of '3D drawings', and who
knows how much invested, they aren't yet close to replacing traditional
drawings. I have to wonder, if PTC had instead invested that time,
energy and money into making drawings easier to create and maintain if
we wouldn't have been better off.



In regards to 3D PDFS, you should know, support for the 3D PDF
generation has already been discontinued by Adobe:



http://blogs.adobe.com/ukchannelnews/2010/10/18/discontinued-acrobat-pro
-extended/



They say they'll still support viewing it, but 3D content generation is
now up to 3rd parties.


mjenkins
4-Participant
(To:dgschaefer)

There is one case where I will have to disagree.  That is when you send a model to a supplier and they make their mold directly off of the model or machine paths directly off the model.  Yes, there could also be a drawing to inspect to after it is complete but it is a case where the paradigm is actually in practice...

In Reply to Doug Schaefer:


Drawings are easy for anyone technical to understand, require no special
software and are universal. It's a very mature format, having been
around for probably 100 years or more. I'd say communicating critical
dims, material specs, process notes, revision history, color and finish,
labeling and other non-geometry details is hard and error prone with a
3D model. Not so with a drawing.



Even after many years of speculation and talk of '3D drawings', and who
knows how much invested, they aren't yet close to replacing traditional
drawings. I have to wonder, if PTC had instead invested that time,
energy and money into making drawings easier to create and maintain if
we wouldn't have been better off.



In regards to 3D PDFS, you should know, support for the 3D PDF
generation has already been discontinued by Adobe:



http://blogs.adobe.com/ukchannelnews/2010/10/18/discontinued-acrobat-pro
-extended/



They say they'll still support viewing it, but 3D content generation is
now up to 3rd parties.



Doug Schaefer






The problem that no one talks about with the drawingless solution is that it's not the same as just exporting a STEP file for use in CNC. You would still have to assign tolerances to dimensions, set up your datum structures, select which dimensions need to be inspected, etc. There is no time saving, there is no current export standard to include all this information, vendors are not set up for it, etc. There simply is little/no upside, right now at least, to forcing a 3D "drawing" solution. I'm afraid in fact, that trying to force the situation is currently leading to all sorts of inefficiencies and waste that simply aren't needed with 2D drawings.

Just my opinion, and it certainly does NOT represent that of my employer (unfortunately).

Rob Reifsnyder
Mechanical Design Engineer/ Pro/E Librarian
L
Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2)
497 Electronics Parkway
Liverpool, NY 13088
EP5-Quad2, Cube 281

Yes, the use of the 3D geometry directly for mold creation is a huge
benefit. However, before that mold can be created, the correct
shrinkage must be applied. How does the mold builder know what material
the part is made from and therefore what shrinkage to use?



He checks the drawing.



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn

Maybe the material could be stored in the part parameters? It could even be read electronically from here? Just a thought.

Patrick Fariello

Or checks the material parameter

All of this information can be applied to an assembly or single part as 3D
annotations.
Product View could be utilized to view such objects or a 3dparty app called
AutoVue supports 3D annotations from all 3D CAD formats.



Herb Miller

TWeatherford, Inc.

herbm@tweatherford.com

3148 Beach Blvd

Cicero, IN 46034

www.tweatherford.com



See Us at PlanetPTC Live Las Vegas -Booth #201
competitor"

Yes, a parameter could be used, and another for texture, another for
color, and finish, and on and on. In fact, you should use parameters
for that information, and report it on the drawing.



But to expect the molder to use all of it from the 3D assumes that he
has Pro/E, and that's one of the problems inherent in 3D model
definition, too many competing standards and formats. I want to pick
the tool maker or molder based on criteria centered around if he can
make good molded parts. Limiting my suppliers to folks who have Pro/E
so they can read my parameters doesn't make sense.



Besides, how does he know to check the 'material' parameter instead of
the 'mat' parameter or the 'matl' or 'mtl' parameters? Each client will
have a different parameter to check. Besides, why do I want to bury
simple and important information deep inside a 3D file? To check a
drawing or even a PDF takes 30 seconds or so, to open Pro/E, open the
file, open the parameters dialog, find the appropriate parameter and
then make note of the material and color and finish and texture and
whatever is a heck of a lot more work.



Aside from the actual 3D geometry data, everything else about using the
3D file instead of a drawing makes things a lot harder, not easier.



Doug Schaefer
--
Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer
LinkedIn

We have been using electronic product definition (no drawings) for a few
years now for aerospace components / assemblies. Unfortunately, they
only work in the native CAD system (CATIA) but do include all
information about datums, GD&T, materials, finishes, etc...
Interrogating the model is a concern, as specific notes, tolerances,
etc... have to be shown, and we are always concerned that we may have
missed one. The feature tree comes in handy here. Some customers also
supply notes lists to go with the electronic file that also include all
applicable specs, finishes, etc... as well.



Mostly ASME Y14.41 compliant, but not universal across neutral file
systems (like STEP).



In my area of work (forgings) it makes the design much simpler to
interpret, as the design becomes a 'blob' with a simple surface profile
tolerance back to datum target points. No more confusing tolerances
like die closure, thickness, width, length, straightness, etc... to
apply. This makes our CMM inspectors much happier too. No more need to
try and construct intersections to theoretical corners, etc...
Interpretation is consistent with the customer as well.



The point about the drawing or design being a contract document is
certainly valid. Keeping version control and history of models is of
paramount importance.



In the end, electronic product definition will 'force' designers /
draftsman to apply general profile tolerances and GD&T feature
tolerances vs. std dimensional tolerances on products. It's just easier
to call out a true position tolerance to a group of holes than to try
and dimension each one separately with all of the associated location
and size tolerances. It may be closer to the 'design intent' to
dimension the outer profile of a part using profile tolerances that
dimensioning each fillet and corner radii with a size tolerance plus
length and width tolerances.



The larger issue for me is of inspection accuracy. If a profile
tolerance is called out to two decimal places and your customer's CMM
claims the part is out of spec to the 3rd or 4th decimal place, I
suggest that this is not significant, but others disagree.



Christopher F. Gosnell



FPD Company

124 Hidden Valley Road

McMurray, PA 15317

Wow - great topic. We are hearing from many of the Patriarcs of this forum
on one thread. (I wonder where our old friend Rui Vaz is these days -
haven't heard from him in a while.)



I chose to reply to Chris' post because he touches on something that is
meaningful to me. I do not know Catia at all - have never seen it, but I
read with interest ".The feature tree comes in handy here." Something I
have been desiring for many years is a way to add notes or comments (or
material, texture, etc. designations) to the model tree. This would really
have a lot of value in model construction reasoning for future users, or for
one's own self after 8 weeks of inactivity. ( I think SW has this
functionality.) But using functionality like this would not address the
"native CAD" issue. Doug's point is hugely valid - I would not want to
limit my vendors to only those who run Pro/E.



I had heard years ago that there would be a 3D drawing format one day. I
had mixed feelings, but now I am of the belief that it will never happen.
Paperless? Maybe. But I envision a "dumb solid" format for 3D databases,
like a STP file, that has a 2D document embedded in it - like a layer or
some metadata. This would be a 2D document and could be a fully dimensioned
working drawing, a BOM for an assy, an inspection / critical dimension
drawing, notes list, contact, parameters, color SKU's, family table
instances - or even simply null (i.e. for an SLA build) or many of the
above. So a vendor / fabricator would simply need to reference that 2D
portion of the database to retrieve any valid info the designer wanted to
communicate. I really dislike the accounting and bookkeeping needed to
trace multiple documents for a given part. Sure, PDM makes it easier, but
it still and always will require log files to track and control documents.
It just seems like things could be simpler if it were all kept in one file.



Maybe I'm a dreamer. I am, however, living the nightmare right now of a
client who is happy "saving money" by choosing to have an outside vendor
create 2D drawings from my designs using Inventor. So, I export step files
for him to import into Inventor and he puts them on a dumb format that he
created (because he could not get a 2D DWG to import (into an Autocad
product??? WTF?)). Then he outputs PDF's that I have to check and mark up
and send back. All that is BEFORE I make any design changes. Effing
nightmare. However, anyone out there familiar with the saying "Chaos
Creates Cash"??? So, I just keep on trucking.



Sorry for the rant.



Oh, Happy Friday to you too.



-Nate


lwh
1-Newbie
1-Newbie
(To:dgschaefer)

Have You ever been sitting in front of a ProE screen together with 10 people discussing design changes?


Consider doing this with an iPad (or something similar) on the table showing the 3D model.


Now compare this to sitting around a A0 (E size) drawing with a differently colored pen each. Which would You prefer?


BTW: We work with suppliers in China where we have to add extra annotations and additional remarks to important dimensions and tolerances on the drawing to avoid their (deliberately?) misunderstanding them. Imagine communicating important specifications via a 3D model...

dbowles
4-Participant
(To:dgschaefer)


Supplier without Pro-E
Inspection, what do you inspect to? Aero surfaces with no right angles,
GD&T
Cables without details to manufacture?

Douglas K. Bowles
Advanced Systems Harn/Des
520-665-7082 Office
520-490-9395 Cell
-


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We inspect to the CAD model, picking up on the datum points, etc... in
the model, and to the GD&T features on the model. CAD model is at
nominal. For surfaces like airfoils, etc... the tolerance is a profile
of a surface to datums. No electrical connectors or cables to check for
us.





Christopher F. Gosnell



FPD Company

124 Hidden Valley Road

McMurray, PA 15317

Most likely, all drawing information could be stored in the part. The issue I see here, is how EASILY they can access it. Good chance it might be read electronically, but it might end up being printed out anyway, there by defeating the purpose of not having a drawing.

Don't get me wrong, I would like to have just a 3D file, IF a good method becomes available.

We currently do a variation of what is being discussed here. We call them virtual drawings. We have a drawing that has notes and images and only contains a minimal amount of dimensions (a simple part might have none), generally critical or inspection.

Here are some of the notes that we use...

TOLERANCE ON ALL UNDIMENSIONED FEATURES SHALL BE : PROFILE of a SURFACE within .010 with respect to DATUMS A, B, C. [couldn't get the symbol etc for the GDT]
TOLERANCE ON ALL DIMENSIONED FEATURES SHALL DEFAULT TO TOLERANCE BLOCK UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED.
DEFINITION OF ALL UNDIMENSIONED FEATURES SHALL BE PER ELECTRONIC DATA FILE: xxx-xxxxxx-0001REVx.
DIMENSIONED FEATURES TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THE ELECTRONIC DATA FILE.
THE REVISION OF THE DRAWING AND THE ELECTRONIC DATA FILE SHALL BE THE SAME.

Doug Pogatetz

Mechanical Design Engineer
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Electronic Systems M/S M5100
600 Hicks Road
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008-1098
TimKnier
4-Participant
(To:dgschaefer)

Are drawings really doomed – no. They’re use will probably decrease in the future, but there will still be a need for them. 3D modeling hasn’t replaced 2D cad and somewhere out there people are still putting pencil (or ink for that matter) to paper. It’s going to come down to whatever makes good economic sense for the individual company. One thing no one has mentioned is all of our legacy drawings. Who’s going to want to spend the time and money to convert all of their old drawings into non-drawing models unless it’s necessary? We still have old 2D cad and hand drawn drawings of parts we still make. The number is decreasing but the conversion is on an as needed basis. I know all of you young whipper-snappers want to embrace new technology as soon as it comes out, but it isn’t going to replace the old technology as fast as you like.

Just remember, all generalizations are false anyways. ?

Tim Knier
QG Product & Support Engineering
QuadTech
A Subsidiary of Quad/Graphics
Sussex, Wisconsin
414-566-7439 phone
-
www.quadtechworld.com
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