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MBE Standardization and Validation



Joshua Lubell, Nathan W. Hartman, Doug Cheney


3D Model-Based Engineering (MBE) is an approach to product design, manufacturing, and support where a digital three-dimensional representation of the product serves as the normative source for information communicated throughout the product’s lifecycle and supply chain. MBE simplifies data management and provides a more powerful communication medium than 2D-based environments. Lightweight formats, offering a low-cost way for humans to view and potentially for applications to consume geometry and Product Manufacturing Information (PMI), are a critical component of MBE and enable collaboration without requiring that business partners buy expensive Computer-aided Design (CAD) systems. These formats are becoming increasingly popular and increasingly complex as their representational capabilities grow. Their value to industry is driving a push for standardization. We discuss the advent of MBE, the standards and technologies that make it possible, and the importance and challenges of product data validation.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7796
Report Number


MBE, STEP, JT, PDF, PRC, visualization, CAD, PLM, PMI, 3D


Lubell, J. , Hartman, N. and Cheney, D. (2011), MBE Standardization and Validation, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created July 6, 2011, Updated November 10, 2018