Model Based Definition is a driving force in today's industry.
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Model Based Definition

2D CAD Drawing

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Pictured above is a typical 2D CAD drawing used widely throughout many industries as the authoritative source regarding the specific part or product.


Model Based Definition

Model Based Definition (MBD) is the Complete Product Definition inside native CAD which captures Design Intent (associative 3D GD&T)

Model Based Enterprise

Model Based Enterprise (MBE) is the reuse of Product Definition outside of CAD in 3D HTML or 3D PDF (with Design Intent maintained)

Complete Product Definition

Complete Product Definition reuses MBD for downstream applications, and processes all “relevant” model information within the CAD system

Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a global repository of the Complete Product Definition (i.e. ENOVIA, Teamcenter, Windchill, EPDM)

3D Annotated Model

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Pictured above is a 3D model in its Native CAD format containing associative GD&T and PMI. This is an example of MBD assuming it contains all necessary information to define the product.

From The Industry


NASA views Model Based Enterprise as a way to increase efficiency and quality of critical activities. See where they have seen benefits here.

Verisurf Software Inc.

Verisurf Software has seen the benefits of MBD in data consistency & through the use model based inspection. See some examples here.

General Electric

GE Aviation adopted MBE consisting of fully defined CAD models utilizing 3D PMI. These are transferred into light weight 3D PDF files for downstream consumers.

NNSA, Y-12

Y-12 deals with the American nuclear arsenal by implementing a model based solution. MBE has eliminated physical testing of weapons through model based simulations.

NAWCAD Case Study

The MBD Solution

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division's (NAWCAD) implementation of MBD produced several benefits. Based on preliminary data, $3M will be generated annually through the implementation of MBD.

Main Findings

- 30% reduction in complex part fabrication
- 10% reduction in manufacturing costs
- 30% reduction of development time

Design Intent

The 3D models were less ambiguous & more effective in communicating design intent to end users than traditional 2D representations of 3D data.


It resulted in an increase in collaboration between engineers & manufacturers. This led to greater feedback to engineers in terms of manufacturing errors & inspections results.

A Closer Look

Each step in the product life-cycle is a level of magnitude more expensive. Fixing errors at ideation is always the least expensive both monetarily as well as in regards to time. The need to fix an error when the product is in service is incredibly expensive and time consuming. Utilizing MBD helps NAWCAD spot errors sooner in the products lifcycle.

An MBD Comparison

Increase in Quality

  1. 3D models are less ambiguous than 2D drawings
  2. Removes drawing-to-model discrepancy
  3. Manipulates the 3D model directly for clarity

Faster Development

  1. Accelerates the handling of engineering change orders when design changes are made
  2. Reduces time required to create manufacturing documentation

Reduction in Cost

  1. Boeing reported a 50% reduction in fabrication costs & 30% reduction in assembly hours
  2. Toyota documented a 50% reduction in tooling design and fabrication

Purdue Case Study

Number of



Majority Company Size

38% of surveyed


consisted of

+ + + +


To get an understanding of

how models are used within companies...

View Case Study

Perceived Risks

Breakdown of MBD Manufacturing Approach

Most Commonly Perceived Risks

Capital Investment

Legacy Design

Business Pull


Model Based Definition is
business engineering manufacturing digital efficient now

MBD Solution

Authoritative Source

Complete Production Definiton

Foundation of MBE


Faster Development

Increased Quality

Financial Savings

Industry Concerns

Maturing Technology

Unifying Visions

Company Risks

Client Dependency


Organizational Culture Shift