Workflow - Define the Problems

What are the problems with workflow from design to fabrication? We want to hear your opinions! 

- file transfer from CAD to CAM

- contractual issues w/ 3D models as legal documents

- lack of standards

- others? 

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Tags: workflow
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  • For us one of the 'lowest hanging fruit' is what we call Isolation.

    So we've got a complex design as an assembled 3D model. It's got all it's parts fully modeled. Some of those parts are going to be CNC cut in a 2.5D process (so we need vectors), some CNC cut in a 3D process (so we need solids or meshes, depending), some of them might be hand-made (so we need shop drawings for that specific part), some might be off-the-shelf items that are just getting ordered, and some might be 3D printed (so we need proper meshes). This could all be in the same assembly.

    We need to Isolate each of those parts into the proper format, named/numbered correctly, and then pass it onto whatever fabrication process / CAM is next in the workflow (or order process, if the work is being handled outside our company).

    It's akin to a BOM, cut list, shop drawing, exporting process, but it's all of them, and well it currently very manual and very tedious.

    It's the kind of thing that could be pretty easily automated, yet it's not.

    I've seen where people have automated it in-house via scripting and plugins, and that's what we did, but it's something that I'd love to see the software vendors become more aware of.

    I've seen where people have half-automated it, with auto-layout routines for Rhino for example, but that doesn't address tracking the parts that are just being ordered or handmade, nor what formats they need to wind up in...

    So for us this is the biggest workflow snag we can see. Unless you're working in a fully integrated system with a single fabrication process; i.e. Rhino-to-3D printing, or Rhino-RhinoCAM-Milling-Assembly, you run into this tedious problem. 

    Our projects are mostly done in Revit, with a little bit of Inventor and Blender, depending. We don't have any issues with interoperability or file transfer; we've got a problem that it just takes waaaay to long to get all the parts isolated out!

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