How much time does a CAD Catalog really save?

When you really boil it down, the true reason to provide your parts in a CAD catalog is simple:

By offering your parts to customers (engineers) in the format they need, you simplify their life. This sounds pretty idealistic but it’s true, and I’ll explain.

How do you simplify their life?

1)      You save them time.  Since you’re such a nice guy and supplied the model in the format they need, they no longer have to redraw your component for their design. We like to call this “Value Added Design,” the engineer can focus on their real job – perfecting the overall assembly. They look like a star to their boss and you get a customer for life.

2)      You increase the accuracy of their design. By eliminating the designer’s need to redraw your product, you remove the possibility of modeling errors and can ensure the part is exactly what they need for their job. Some manufacturers supply neutral files like IGES or STEP, these create additional work due to the low model quality, necessitating a re-draw or compromised design. We have found that engineers often prefer “native” vs “neutral” CAD files.

How much time do engineers really save?

This is a very difficult question to answer because there are so many modeled parts and many skill levels of designers. Some very simple products can be modeled by a novice designer in minutes, while other more complex parts can take hours or days even by an expert designer.

  • Simple 2D designs of a cube or cylinder can take just a few minutes to create accurately
  • 3D designs for extrusions or parts with modest complexity can take an hour or more
  • 3D with detailed external features, movement, mates and constraints, can take several hours or days depending on level of complexity.

This can all add up to significant savings when you consider many assemblies are made of thousands of sourced parts, and many companies have hundreds of thousands of parts in their database. If an engineering team has 30,000 parts that all take 15 minutes to model (a very conservative estimate) it would take one engineer 3.6 years to model them all!

With a CADENAS PARTsolutions CAD Catalog, the modeling is done once, in our native authoring program by our expert team. CAD files are generated in over 150 native formats, and engineers can insert supplier parts directly into their design.  Since the modeling is complete, engineering time is saved, design accuracy is increased and you get a happy customer, just by offering your products through an online CAD catalog. As spock would say, “live long and prosper…”

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.