We talk quite a bit about each of the phases of manufacturing a product, but often times the conversations happen in a silo. Why is it that the work in between each phase is rarely spoken about? Because it’s hard, it’s the “dirty” side of the CAD / CAE / CAM industry. It’s not due to lack of functionality within each, it’s due to the lack of a consistent infrastructure, and repeatable process required to make the transition of information from the design phase, over into the make phase and back when a change is required. The cycle repeats itself at the build phase. Any changes in this phase often have increased consequences for out of date or misaligned revisions.
I want to draw a quick parallel with the aim of redefining your expectations of design technology. Sounds bold, no? Here goes…
What if you purchased a 3D CAD design tool that didn’t automatically create 2D drawing views from a 3D model? What if when changes were made to that 3D model, the drawing views you created from the model didn’t update? Both sound ridiculous given the collective expectation of anyone that uses 3D CAD. If I’ve convinced you that this is fact… Why then shouldn’t you expect the same from CAE and CAM? Why shouldn’t you expect that your simulation will update without the need to re-import and setup the study yet again. Why shouldn’t your simulation, tooling, and tool paths update as easily as a 2D view?
They don’t because your CAE software is not the same tool as your CAD application. Your CAM software is not the same as your CAD application. This is the general principle behind our efforts with Fusion 360. Put everything we have into one combined solution that enables you to execute on all the design, make, and build phase of product development. With A360, we’ve also taken care of the collaboration and data management side, which becomes the backbone of the exchange of information between each of the phases.
We’ve simplified the licensing model to provide all of this for $300 per user per year or, if you prefer $25 per month. Here’s a quick workflow example showing the process at work with Fusion 360. In it, Bryce is at a point in the design where he believes somebody can start on the tooling. While that’s happening he decides to make a change to the design based upon the results of a simulation. Drawings update automatically as you would expect, but so does all of the other forms of documentation created with Fusion 360. Simulation results, tooling & tool paths, renderings, and animations updated. 3D CAD is just one step in the product development process, you expect drawings to update automatically, why not expect the same from CAE and CAM?