For many years, ACONEXT has been developing methods for the use of manufacturing information in the 3D environment for customers. Consideration here is not only given to the area where production information is traditionally created, but also to all areas in which this information is subsequently used. For example, planning, production or inspection tasks can arise in these areas.
The classic processes, which are based on the provision of 2D manufacturing information (drawing), have been applied actively for many years. As a rule, these processes have already reached a very good state, meaning they can no longer be significantly further developed.
Since all existing processes are geared towards the use of a 2D drawing, all these processes must be re-evaluated when switching to 3D manufacturing information (PMI or FT&A). It can generally be said that not everything which is necessary and useful on a drawing hast to be represented in the 3D environment. However, this fact also gives the opportunity to further develop processes and procedures and to adapt them to a working environment that receives and processes its information digitally without having to present major interface hurdles.
Another fundamental difference in developing a method of information delivery for 3D manufacturing is the fact that the primary information carrier is no longer the drawing, but the CAD model in 3D. This fact also gave rise to the term that emphasises this aspect and gives the corresponding methods their unique name, namely “3D-Master”.
With all these considerations and potentials that such a method can offer, however, it must not be forgotten that processes and areas must first be enabled to use 3D-Master information. When developing an appropriate method, therefore, consideration must always be given to the fact that some individual areas can easily work with digital data, while other processes might still be almost irreplaceably dependent on a 2D representation of the manufacturing information.
These aspects and others must be taken into account when developing a 3D-Master method.
Documents created for methods documentation in this area must also cover a wide range. They must be understood and applied by users who have previously worked in a 2D drawing environment for a long time, but must also refer to those who are already very 3D-orientated in their world of work.