What a grand vision. Some 10 years and more ago, during the rise of feature-based parametric modeling, the idea of using a 3D model as manufacturing documentation instead of a 2D drawing took root.  Going drawingless in the industry seemed like an inevitability. Fast forward to now, and where are we?

To really answer that question, and others along the way, Lifecycle Insights launched the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability study in partnership with Dave Prawel of Longview Advisors, which culminated in the publication of the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Report. One of the most important questions to answer through his study was to ask how many companies are pursuing MBE initiatives. And we did ask that. But was also asked another key question: are companies pursuing MBE efforts due to contractual requirements. The resulting picture is interesting, if unsurprising.




There are a few critical points to make about these findings.

  • Not all companies solely serve a single industry (either as an OEM or supplier). In fact, 39% of the study’s respondent served more than one industry. That’s why you see the middle column of findings separated from the others.
  • Companies solely serving A&D adopted MBE at almost twice the rate of those not serving A&D. DOD requirements to deliver MBE-based documentation has trickled down the supply chain in a serious way.
  • Those in light blue are companies contractually obligated to provide MBE deliverables, which clocks in at 77% of all respondents that are creating 3D models with Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI).
  • Those in dark blue are companies that pursued MBE efforts yet were not contractually obligated to do so. That’s 23% of all respondents. They are your early adopters.