Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Extending and Evaluating the Model-based Product Definition



Nathan W. Hartman, Jesse Zahner, Thomas D. Hedberg Jr., Allison Barnard Feeney


Industrial practice is in a state of transition, away from the use of drawings towards the use of annotated 3D CAD models as a means of communication. Working as a representation of an object or a system, a model-based product definition (MBD) is used to communicate information inside of a model-based enterprise (MBE). Such an enterprise will find itself in a transitional state as well, moving away from paper-based information sharing towards the use of model-based, digital product data. This research investigation sought to identify the minimum information model (MIM) -- the information elements necessary within an MBD to effectively employ a model as a replacement for a technical drawing in specific workflows in the product lifecycle. Over the course of this investigation, another phenomenon emerged -- the common information model (CIM), which represents those information items that are necessary for the workflows targeted in this study. As expounded upon later in this report, the impacts of contextual domain knowledge on the implementation of the common information model is what formed the minimum information model discovered in this project.
Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR) - 18-015
Report Number


Model-Based Enterprise, Smart Manufacturing, Information Modelling


Hartman, N. , Zahner, J. , Hedberg Jr., T. and Barnard Feeney, A. (2017), Extending and Evaluating the Model-based Product Definition, Grant/Contract Reports (NISTGCR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created December 21, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021