One of the main objectives of the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability study was to quantify design data interoperability problem, both in terms of volume and time dedicated to fixing broken geometry. The two findings in the figure below achieve that goal.



First off, to give an idea of the volume of data that is being exchanged, 42% of all respondents stated they are either sending or receiving at least 100 design data files per month. Of those, 16% are passing over 1,000 files per month. That is an astounding number.

It is one thing to look at the volume of files being passed back and forth. But it is more important to understand the impact that this has on an engineer’s time. The study found that 49% of respondents were spending at least 4 hours a week fixing design geometry due to this data exchange. Of those, 14% are spending over 24 hours a week fixing design data.

In combination, this is a frightening scenario. Because so much design data is being passed back and forth, and because the technologies used to translate that data is so poor, engineers are spending a significant amount amount of time fixing geometry, a non-value added activity. That reduces the amount of time that engineers could be designing products.