• Belcan & Capvidia co-presented a talk on MBD and real-world use cases at LiveWorx 2023.
  • QIF is an ISO-standard neutral CAD format that forms the backbone of interoperabilty.
  • MBD does not work in a silo. It is a cross-cultural change.

Evan Kessick, MBE & MBD Principal SME at Belcan
Rudy Lozano, Account Manager at Capvidia

LiveWorx 2023 video:


1. On the importance of model-based definition

"In a 2D world, the design authority is split across two sources, where the 2D drawing is the authority for PMI. The 3D CAD model is the authority for geometry, and in many cases, it could be for reference only. The 2D drawing is human-readable only, and there's a lot of ambiguity when the human is interpreting this product definition through the 2D drawing.

As we move over into a 3D world into model-based definition, a lot of these shortcomings are resolved. So the MBD is the design authority for both PMI and geometry. The MBD is human and machine-readable, and we have clear interpretation of product definition through semantic references. So I can exchange those semantic references and share that with downstream software, but also the human can benefit from interpreting the product definition. So MBD is the single source of truth for downstream consumption and reuse, and it is the desired mechanism for exchanging information with downstream software."

2. On the automating CMM process

"This QIF file can actually be consumed by most of the larger CMM softwares. What that means is you're automating a lot of the process, which is typically done manually, but in this case, a CMM software will open up this file, it'll start to recognize all the features, and it'll start to know, understand that that hole 1.1, that should be a certain diameter, it's a positional tolerance. So you're starting to really automate this process.

No longer are you having issues with somebody typing in something differently. So I want you guys to start to think about how you can really automate this process. Once again, this is where we see the highest return on investment when implementing MBD. And the real case is just having this direct transition from a CAD model all the way down to the CMM."

3. On starting your digital transformation journey

"So the first one is understand your downstream MBD reuse and also your downstream audience. So where within your organization, the domains of your organization would you like to leverage and reuse model-based definition? And that is key to the next one, which is establishing a cross-functional team.

So understanding your downstream reuse. Find champions within those domains that can help guide and implement your digital transformation. Consider running a pilot to prove value. So you don't have to do this alone. Use your cross-functional team and also subject matter experts.

Consider joining industry working groups. There's a lot of like-minded people out there on a digital transformation journey just like you. There's working groups within the DMSC within ASME and also on LinkedIn with the MBE and MBD nerd herd.

And then secure leadership support. And I'd say that one's really key. So once you've understood your downstream audience it's difficult to implement a digital transformation from a bottoms up [approach], especially when you're trying to change people and culture. So once you've understood your downstream audience, ensure that you have leadership buy-in, so you can start to implement your digital transformation from a top-down approach, ensuring that you have people, process and tools all advancing at the same rate.

And then the last one here is that you're not alone. So work closely with subject matter experts and Belcan and Capvidia. We're all staffed with subject matter experts to help you wherever you're at on your digital transformation journey."


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