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Promoting Model-Based Definition to Establish a Complete Product Definition



Shawn P. Ruemler, Kyle E. Zimmerman, Nathan W. Hartman, Thomas D. Hedberg Jr., Allison Barnard Feeney


Most of the manufacturing and engineering industries, especially aerospace and defense, are evolving and starting to use 3D models as the central knowledge artifact for product data and product definition, or what is known as Model-based Definition (MBD). The Model-based Enterprise (MBE) uses MBD as a way to transition away from using traditional paper-based drawings and documentation. MBD has grown in popularity due to the many benefits it provides, such as cost efficiency and better time to market. However, some members of industry have yet to fully commit to replacing drawings with models due to different risks and skepticisms. As MBD grows in popularity, it is imperative to understand what information is needed in the transition from drawings to models so that models represent all the relevant information needed for processes to continue efficiently. Technical drawings traditionally have contained great amounts of semantically rich information which can be easily used by the consumer, and this information must be fully ingrained within the 3D model when transitioning to MBD. Finding this information can help define what data is common among different models in various stages of the lifecycle including design, manufacturing, and inspection, which could help establish a Common Information Model. The Common Information Model is a source of product definition that contains common information from domain specific elements among different aspects of workflows within the product's lifecycle. Defining a Common Information Model can help in the creation of standards regarding MBD, such as what data is required to be contained within the 3D model. Also, establishing this Common Information Model would be useful for when multiple workers from different disciplines use the same models so they do not have to sift through data that is unnecessary to their process when trying to accomplish a specific task. This would also help lighten file size of models, and increase...
ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering


Inspection, Manufacturing, Engineering drawings, Design, Engineering disciplines, Information models, Workflow


Ruemler, S. , Zimmerman, K. , Hartman, N. , Hedberg Jr., T. and Barnard Feeney, A. (2016), Promoting Model-Based Definition to Establish a Complete Product Definition, ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, [online],, (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created August 30, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021