Kubotek Study Finds Continued CAD Interoperability Issues for Manufacturers

19 Oct, 2006

Respondents report that problems in design-to-manufacturing process include the use of legacy data and disparate CAD systems.

The 2006 CAD Interoperability Survey by Kubotek USA has found continued and growing challenges for manufacturers working to get products to market quickly, due to problems in the design-to-manufacturing processes, including the use of legacy data and disparate CAD systems. The survey is the latest installment in Kubotek's ongoing study of key issues that hamper productivity and reduce efficiency in the design and manufacturing workplace. More than 2,800 CAD managers and users responded to the survey.

Kubotek found that 43% of those using history-based CAD systems need to rebuild 3D models from scratch more than 50% of the time in order to complete a design task because it cannot be done using the original 3D model file. A growing number, 19% of those surveyed, are employing alternative direct modeling tools to avoid costly and time-consuming rebuilding of models.

The survey's findings included the following:

  • 50% of all respondents indicated that they had to redesign a new part or tool from existing or received 3D CAD models on a weekly or more-frequent basis.

  • 84% of the more than 1,000 respondents using a history-based CAD system to open a file and complete a redesign indicated that they need to rework original feature trees. Of that group, 66% indicate that they do so at least 50% of the time.

  • 43% of all respondents indicated that they use the originating 3D CAD system (the system the model was generated in) less than half the time to make subsequent edits to the model.

  • 44% of respondents indicated that they receive or send two or more CAD files on a monthly basis which are different not their preferred CAD file type.

  • 37% of the respondents replied that they receive or send files created from four or more non-preferred CAD file types on a monthly basis.
In addition to providing an overview of the industry, the survey also includes vertical segment data and may give CAD/CAM users a deeper understanding of issues that may limit their performance.