In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about Model Based Definitions, the idea of using 3D models embedded with annotations alongside or instead of 2D drawings. Much of the discussion has been spurred by contractual mandates in the aerospace and defense industry on suppliers to deliver such digital intellectual property alongside physical parts. Now that we’re a few years in, where are we at? How far has MBD been adopted?

In this post, we’ll get answers in the form of findings from The Model Based Enterprise Study, which gather responses from 575 respondents, and its related publications. Earlier this week, we tweeted out this finding.

These characterizations were based on the relative percentage of projects that released 2D drawings and 3D annotated models as engineering documentation. Companies that released 3D annotated models more frequently than 2D drawings fell into the 9%. Those that did the opposite fell into the 68%.

Just to provide a little more color on adoption, findings from this study show that 57% of all respondents released 3D annotated models for at least some projects. So, there is a lot of experimentation for this technology led initiative. In contrast, however, only 2% of all respondents exclusively release 3D annotated models. You can find a lot more data on adoption and practices in The State of Model Based Enterprise Report, which includes far more findings from this study.

What’s the takeaway? Many organizations are experimenting with MBD. However, very few are truly committed to the movement.