What is CAD metadata, and why should industrial marketers care about it?

What is Metadata, an image of green and yellow square on a black background representing metadata.

What is CAD metadata?

What exactly is metadata? The term gets tossed around all over the place, and it’s important to today’s industrial marketers. Here’s the breakdown:

Metadata is basically data within data. It tells us information about data and gives context by summarizing it. For example, if you take a photo, the camera usually stores where and when you took the photo. You can then search for the photo by date or location.

Why is CAD & BIM metadata important?

Let’s say you’re an engineer searching online for a part. You find a manufacturer’s website, download the 3D CAD model of the part and put it into your digital model. Without metadata, you’ll lose all information about the part once it goes into the design. No part number, no manufacturer name, and no information on how to purchase the part. If you’re the manufacturer, this means fewer sales.

When 3D CAD models have built-in metadata, each download includes information like the part number, the manufacturer, and information on how to purchase the physical product. Not only does this ensure that the manufacturer’s information remains in the product when it’s downloaded, but it also provides the customer with the next step to purchase the product.

What the experts say

Industrial marketing expert Achinta Mitra calls these 3D CAD models with designed-in information “supercharged content assets” or “sales enablers.” The metadata is embedded into the digital part, so the manufacturer can connect with customers through each step of the design process without making a single phone call.

“Our logo is embedded onto the model and the product metadata is preserved within the native CAD model and the bill of materials,” John Joyce, Director of Marketing at Brennan Industries, said. “That data leads the customer back to us when the project moves from the design stage and into the procurement phase.”

How can I provide 3D CAD models with metadata?

Learn how to incorporate metadata into your digital parts and improve your digital customer experience with “The B2B Guide to Digital Customer Experience.” Download the free ebook today!

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Kelly Obbie

Social Media Coordinator at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A 2018 graduate of The Media School at Indiana University, Kelly studied journalism, public relations, English and Spanish and has experience in news writing and editing as well as social media writing and management. She also has professional and personal experience in videography and photography. She currently lives in Ohio but has lived in four states, and in her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, learning languages, and watching Disney movies.