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Are drawings on the burner?

mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
Has your team started to work on a basic drawings capability for OS? I don't pretend to understand your target market, but if you target market is my industry (product design) you will not make any in roads without a basic drwg capability. If your initial target market is a 3D modeler for RP only, you are probably okay.

As much as we all have wanted drawings to go away over the last two decades, they have not and they are as necessary as ever for all our vendors regardless of the complexity of the part. This is because 3D data, as good as it is these days and as many different formats that we have, is still not a complete communication for manufacturing. The good news is that the initial drwgs capability does not have to be complex; many of our drawings are CTF (Critical to Function) or MTF (Materials, Texture, Finish) and therefore, basic dimension capability along with annotations and note table will suffice. (Attached is one of my latest CTF drawings - sorry to have to blur the images but I do not have permission from my client to show this.) Also, these dwg documents are extremely important for conveying tolerances because we will often negotiate these parameters with our tooler or machinist and hold them to it. To ignore tolerance in machine design or product design, always ends up costing someone $$$$.
The short of it for my industry is this; as much as I can model in OS, it is all for not if I can not produce a basic drawing for my vendor or client. Over the pass 7 months being back in the product design industry, I'm more keenly aware of how important drawings are to our clients and vendors. Often times, toward the end of the project and when things really start to press down on schedule and nerves, we spend more time around the drawing than the 3D data.



  • caradoncaradon OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 300 PRO
    Count me in for wanting drwgs as well. Also because PMI in model space is a mess (at least every time I've seen them...).

  • scott_harrisscott_harris Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 60
    Yes. Drawings are in the works.
    Scott Harris / Onshape, Inc.
  • matt_hardmanmatt_hardman Member Posts: 24 ✭✭
    I believe we will get there (Geometric Datuming & Tolerancing in the 3D space). At the moment the entire process of manufacturing parts is pretty rubbish. Here's the workflow for us:
    • Design part
    • Draw part
    • Send drawing out for quote
    • Send files (released drawings and 3D models) in a supported format
    • Manufacture asks questions via email or on the phone
    • Manufacturer makes a toolpath file
    • Manufacturer inspection (requires another inspection file), result as a PDF inspection report (loads of different formats) or with the results simply marked onto a photocopy of the drawing
    • Our inspection (requires ANOTHER inspection file be built), result as PDF inspection report (another format, at least one we can recognise)
    • Part sent out for coating (often requires another drawing be sent with masking details etc. b/c a coatings supplier will switch off if they see a drawing with tolerances called out on it!)
    • ...
    and that's a simple workflow. What if it's a large weldment that requires a separate fabrication shop and machine shop, and heat treatment between, and coating afterwards? What about in complex parts where there's an entire back-and-forth with the supplier in order to redesign for manufacture?

    I think that all we need is the one 3D model. What if you could specify your datums & tolerances on the model, and write comments. What if you could open up a single part and it looked a bit like a wiki page (with a discussion section)? A supplier might open that part and see the general notes section first, click through and see the marked up model, and leave questions/comments on the model or in a comments section.

    Then, for inspection - what if you could mark-up inspection results onto the model? You could even run analysis on small batches (90% of these holes are within tolerance band A) without having to go through all the inspection reports and tabulate the data yourself. I know that these options are available in most inspection programs, but once you've been handed the data by your supplier you're stuck with what you're given often.

    A coatings manufacture would open up the same model and see a different scene. They'd only see the masking operation and the coating specification (for example). Imagine if you could attach their purchase order to the model as well, you'd have everything in one place finally!
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    For the initial release?
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    I think that all we need is the one 3D model @‌ Matt
    Yes, I agree but not in the next 5 years and only if the ability to communicate non-geometric information. GD&T is the hope but did you know that we did a massive initiative at SW to get GD&T mainstream (between 2008 and 2011) and it never stuck with our customers.

  • matt_hardmanmatt_hardman Member Posts: 24 ✭✭
    maybe not initial release... But you hit on what I was trying to explore here: Can we use 3D models to communicate an entire design intent?
    From what I've seen of the aircraft industry, it is moving towards 3D GD&T now. We often recieve parts with GD&T marked up, but they're usually supported by a drawing.
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Drawings are essential for release 1. No drawings, no product - it is as simple as that. Honestly. I'm a little disappointed there is nothing on this front as yet as this is primarily what is holding me back from trying the prerelease versions out too much.

    The idea that we can issue marked up 3D data is a CAD vendor's dream. In the real world we issue STEP and IGES, maybe Parasolid, backed by a reference PDF drawing of key dimensions and tolerances.

    TBH there is more 3D and 2D PDF used out there than any CAD vendor MBD system.
  • lougallolougallo Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,924
    Drawings are coming. They are not ready yet to have external access to them but we are working on getting those and many other improvements into the product. We understand the importance having drawings is to industry and are working on making sure OS supports this. I will update you when this becomes available.
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    FYI - Good article today on 3dCadWorld.com this: http://www.3dcadworld.com/engineering-drawings-dead/
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,565 PRO
    Good article, I wish drawings would die.

    I'd rather see the money spent on a good cam solution so we could cut parts as easily as 3D printing them.
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Sorry but I read that GrabCad blog post with the view the GrabCad is all about viewing and interacting with the 3D file...I use Workbench and it is good but currently 60% of my files on there are 2D pdf drawings. No drawings are not dead and any CAD vendor who builds a product on that basis is deluded and demonstrates that they are not talking to the full range of customers.

    I have heard CATIA sales people say 3D is all that matters, yet every single CATIA customer I have sends me reams of 2D drawings for review, or when we have a meeting we print out sheets of drawings and...wait for it...scribble all over them! How antiquated! No. If drawings get pulled from a product I pull that product.

    FYI CAD history is littered with potentially great products that could never get the drawings part right. SolidWorks dominated the landscape because they got the drawings part good enough for 90% of users.

    If you want to see how critical drawings are ask anybody working in AEC. BIM? We get architect and contractors drawing every day that have not seen any 3D.

    Drawings serve a critical part in the design process. They are essential for standards based design processes and manufacturing process sheets. Most factories do not have digital retrieval of data, its is still very much a paper based system in many places.

    20 years ago I attended a seminar given by PTC and listened to their UK chief say how drawings "would become irrelevant within 5 years". Well that went well didn't it? No, "drawings are dead" is simply sales talk for "use my 3D viewing product".
  • Ed_DanzerEd_Danzer Member, Mentor Posts: 13
    I need drawings to make user manuals.

    Many of the items I design and build have a 20+ year life. These products will have several owners and the parts and service manuals get lost so new are needed. Currently we are working on posting them as PDF files on the website so customers can be on the same page as the parts person. SolidWorks does not work great for this so we use Word and add the SolidWorks drawing portions as needed. This means we save some items at .jpg files, edit them and add them to the Word document. This has proven to be slow and painful. Some years ago we tried using SoildWorks files in Word but with file update problems it would trash the Word document so you would have to start over.
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    Ed, what is the problem that you have with PDF's and SW? We regularly post PDF's of our drawings (sometimes with artwork in them) and don't have any problems We use the Print command and Nitro to do this; seems flawless. PDF's are such a staple in our industry, there is no escaping them.

  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Like Mark says...save as PDF from SW. TBH we also subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud so we get Acrobat, Illustrator etc. SolidWorks PDFs open perfectly in Illustrator for editing.
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    Like Kevin eludes to you can problems with "save as PDF" from SW ( embedded images not showing correctly) if you don't have acrobat standard or illustrator installed. But the work around is instead of saving-as, use the print command and nitro print driver.

  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Top tip Mark :-)
  • Aaron_Easton_NickovichAaron_Easton_Nickovich Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    Matt said:

    I think that all we need is the one 3D model. What if you could specify your datums & tolerances on the model, and write comments.

    This is exactly what Bill and I managed to do with a couple of machine shops. I'd send a 3D part file with a picture showing tapped hole locations and overall dimension sizes. Then I'd go send a drawing to another shop with everything specified with all the neat tolerance stack-ups included. The ****ing drawings would take me 1-2 hours to make and guess what? I'd get a part machined wrong if it's in a drawing, but not when it's a 3D part file!
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    @‌ aaron
    This has happened to me many times. One extremely important feature of drawings is that they become POR (Plan of Record) for when vendors do NOT get things right, as a consultancy we can more clearly mitigate and resolve issues between our clients and our tooling vendors and CM's. In fact, this recently happened (tooler ignored a part line detail in the drawing) and resulted in a multi-$100K redo of the tool (because we had it documented on the drawing.)

  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    As Mark says, drawings are contracts in many many sectors. In AEC you have zero chance of getting out the ground without contractual drawings. In the medical design work we do, drawings are the record, not the data. You need to have digital record approvals in place to go paperless, and, well, most companies don't do that yet.

    Besides, it is very hard to get a Sharpie out and scribble on a 3D model on screen...
  • Aaron_Easton_NickovichAaron_Easton_Nickovich Member Posts: 21 ✭✭
    I know why people make them. I'm not denying the drawing is a legal document. Matt's post is pointing out how this system could be made faster and less error prone if the data file and viewer was intelligently designed to convey this information. I mean SW part files already carry dimensions, tolerances, annotations and material properties among other specs that go onto a drawing. The problem with drawings, as hinted by Mark when he said the tooler didn't read a part line, is that our 2D representations of a 3D component can be confusing or misread. For instance, a block with a centerline used to convey symmetry could be confused with a cylinder with a centerline. But a 3D model when it's spun around is much easier to understand.

    All I'm saying is that I've managed to have better parts made consistently when the machinist has a 3D model compared to giving them a static image of a 2D representation. It only makes sense to me that we allow a 3D file that embeds this information. I also realize people won't catch on to doing this for a long time, if it ever does.
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,097 PRO
    I want to make comment on different level of drawings required. When I am prototyping in our R & D workshop, some time I just print some isometrics with a few dimension, I have on a occasions tried using a ipad but find a printed sheet better, doesn't matter if it gets covered in weld spatter, grinding dust, coolant and swarf and can be scribbled on as required. If I am getting tooling done for large volume manufacture (big $'s), you have to have both the model and drawing right, I would prefer to supply an iges or step as well as a drawing with all spec's, you've got to have your self covered on these parts. Sometime these high volume parts also have more paperwork in the form of process record and request from supplier for material certs which we attach on as extra sheets in our drawings. 

    I certainly could see a machine shop/toolmaker working quite easily from a 3d model, especially if using CNC machines with programs like master cam, etc, the programer may even be demanding a iges or step file but they still need to know fit's and tolerances, surface finishes, material detail, thread sizing(not often on model). You want consistent nothing up to the operators discretion. QA departments need to know critical dimensions to check off maybe i can't see outside the box but i think a drawing is best for this.

    I quite often find tradesmen viewing the 3d models with edrawing viewer to gain a better understanding of the parts they are making, much easier than visualising from a 2d drawing however a few iso's and detail views should be able to tell the story. A good draftsmen should be able to show the detail needed to built the part with out confusion and cad software should give the draftsman to tools to easily do this . I think sometimes time could be waste messing around rotating a model on a screen. 

    I also quite often email a drawings or screen shot for someone to use on their smartphone. There are occasions when I have been away from the office and sms's a screen shot of a .pdf drawing saved in my dropbox to tradie doing work for me. 

    I could also see a 3d model rather than a drawing being very useful in an inventory store, when looking for parts the storeman needs to know what the part looks like, best if it was linked into ERP System.

    Profile cutting need's a DXF file. You can almost get away with out a drawing with these parts, sometime you see a simple text box in the dxf file with spec like mat, thickness, part number etc. This is a pain for the programer as he/she has to delete this from the file before programming. You also need some form of drawing for the part picker to identify the part when pulling from the sheet, the program software some times creates this. I normally do a drawing for these parts with some overall dimensions to ensure scale is right. 

    I am hoping Onshape can integrate PDF's and DXF's with revision history, also need someform of approval on the file so vendors know parts are good to manufacturer. Will be interesting to see how the drawing side of the software will work, look forward to see it.

    Thats enough from me.

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • kevin_quigleykevin_quigley Member Posts: 306 ✭✭✭
    Bottom line is Onshape needs drawings on release. If not, then it is dead in the water.

    go back 20 years. Was SolidWorks released with no drawings? No. The harsh reality is the current functionality in Onshape is on a a par with SolidWorks 97 when I started using it. Without drawings. Cloud, browser cad, branching etc are not enough. Without modelling and drawing functionality it will not fly.
  • lougallolougallo Member, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,924
    LouGallo said:
    Drawings are coming. They are not ready yet to have external access to them but we are working on getting those and many other improvements into the product. We understand the importance having drawings is to industry and are working on making sure OS supports this. I will update you when this becomes available.
    Just to reiterate... ;-)
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • mark_biasottimark_biasotti Member Posts: 123 ✭✭✭
    I totally relate to what Bruce has described - I spend a lot of time in the shop and printed CAD whether for documentation of as cutout 1:1 templates is an invaluable productivity for me.

  • jon_hirschtickjon_hirschtick Onshape Employees Posts: 89
    Thanks for the great posts.  Yes Drawings are coming.  And yes it is one of the reasons we are not yet released, or public, or actually even calling ourselves "Beta".  And @babart77‌ yes Drawings will of course Version like everything else.  Workflows, approvals, revision labels -- those are in our vision too. 
  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor, User Group Leader Posts: 2,097 PRO
    IlyaBaran said:
    We get it.  We don't believe our differentiators are a substitute for drawings or a full set of modeling features.  But things like branching and merging, cloud data model, collaboration, seamless upgrades, etc. have to be built in at the foundation -- which is why they are already there.  These are also things that (unlike modeling and drawings) we didn't know how to do when we started -- because nobody has done it before with CAD -- and we had to validate them.  So Onshape's current functionality is to a large extent a reflection of software engineering requirements, and not just the most important must-haves for the most users.  Those we know how to build and they are coming :smile:
    The biggest thing I am excepting with Onshape is not to have to waste a large parts of some days, re-doing mates, sorting through lost references, looking for parts which have been saved over accidentally or lost in a crash, not having deal a parts saved on a slow local network, not see grayed out dimensions on drawings which have to be re-linked and the list goes on.

    As much as I hate the wait, I want you guy get these core features in place, so down the track huge productivity gains will be seen. 
    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • steina81steina81 Member Posts: 2
    Please let me know also when drawings are available. 
  • imagineeredimagineered Member Posts: 57 ✭✭
    edited July 2015
    Mark's original comment that Drgs won't go away is spot on.
    Drgs will always be required, because in the end in all industries, these are a contract.
    They can direct the user to refer to 3D CAD as a spec, but can also overrule the 3D CAD.
    Other test requirements, specifications or sections thereof can be included on the drg & accessed at any time. 
    A Contract always needs to be on paper for the obvious reason that electronic data can & may one day fail.
    It's the analogue backup.
    Without the ability to transfer the 3D data to drawings here makes things pretty difficult.

    We keep on hearing possible dates of the drawing availability but the last I heard was possibly mid to late June.
    Any update on that? We're into July now.
  • 3dcad3dcad Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 2,457 PRO
    @steina81 Use ?-menu and put in feedback: 'Request for drawings' and you will be noted when they are implemented.
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