Just when you think Computer Aided Design progress (2D Drafting, 3D Modeling, 3D Printing) is going to plateau, we now see the adoption of another exciting technology. Model Based Definition (as I’ve been playing with lately in #SOLIDWORKS 2015) promises to do away with the redundant 2D documentation of our 3D designs.
“Model-based definition (MBD), also known as digital-product definition (DPD), is the practice of using 3D models (such as solid models, 3D PMI [Product and Manufacturing Information] and associated metadata) within 3D CAD software to define (provide specifications for) individual components and product assemblies. The types of information included are geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T), component level materials, assembly level bills of materials, engineering configurations, design intent, etc. By contrast, other methodologies have historically required accompanying use of 2D engineering drawings to provide such details.”
Read the rest of that Wikipedia article here and see how it’s being implemented by products such as SOLIDWORKS here.