Success Story: 3D master in the powertrain area

The term 3D master describes a method in which all production-relevant information is created or maintained directly in a 3D model and no longer via the derivation of a “classic” 2D drawing format. In all cases, it is important to keep an eye on the entire process chain, since the “classic” 2D drawing was not only used in development, but also in all subsequent processes, such as planning, production and testing.

In the powertrain area, the focus is on models that are cast or forged and then machined to their finished state. All data relevant for production, which is already known from the 2D drawing, must also be incorporated into a 3D master model. This includes dimensional data such as length and diameter dimensions, but also dimensional and geometric tolerances, surface quality data and component-specific data. In general, this type of information is called PMI (product & manufacturing information) or FT&A (functional tolerancing & annotation), depending on the CAD system.

This quantity of different data for each type of machining geometry results in a total information volume of several hundred items of information, even for small to medium-sized components. All this information is structured, for example, with the CAD system NX via so-called model views.

The aim of such a procedure is to replace the previous, drawing-based development and production process with a non-drawing-, data-based-process in which all areas involved can access the required data in a targeted manner. For this purpose, it is not only necessary to ensure the correct and complete creation of these volumes of information in the CAD system, but also to check the display of the same in what are called viewers.

Another advantage of the information provided in this manner is its digital and associative character. Since it is created directly on the basis of the design geometry, it will also be read directly into other systems and programs in the process chain in the future.

ACONEXT Stuttgart GmbH has several years of experience in dealing with such information volumes and supports the methodical introduction of a comprehensive development and production process without the use drawings for a well-known international customer. The cornerstones of these activities include:

  • Development of the 3D master method in the powertrain area taking into account all involved areas
  • Implementation of the developed 3D master method in various pilot and reference models
  • Specification of apps in the CAD system for simplified implementation of the method
  • Support with thee application of the 3D master method in development
  • Testing of the CAD system and the specified apps with regard to functionality and method conformity
  • Recording, documentation, support and testing of errors and requirements to improve the CAD environment
  • Description of the method in training and application documents
  • Conducting topic-specific training courses of various sizes
  • Support of production processes in the use of data created with the 3D master method