Model Based Engineering (MBE) on Approach

In Model Based Engineering (MBE) approach, the Computer-aided Design (CAD) models are used to drive all engineering activities during the Product life cycle. In a document based system, the model information and the Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) are recreated in a different environment. This traditional approach results in more chances of error, extra time and additional files to manage. The main purpose of the Model Based Engineering (MBE) approach is to create and manage all information’s in a single source of file. It is more vividly than two dimensional data and avoids assumptions. The picture 1.1 illustrates all the data’s captured in a 3D space by the Model Based Definition (MBD) technique in a Model Based Engineering (MBE) approach.

Model Based Engineering approach

Model Based Definition (MBD)

Model Based Definition (MBD) is the new concept in Computer-aided Design (CAD) which promotes reduced design & development time and improves product quality. The main advantage in using this technique is to depict the Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) by integrating drawing annotations directly onto a 3D model obviously reducing the time taken to develop a drawing.

The required information for the design, manufacturing and inspection are added directly to the 3D models which facilitates in using the CAD part as a single document across cross functional teams.
As this technique extensively uses 3D CAD tools and drawing viewer, the challenge would be on how to educate the engineering folks on using these latest technology and tools.

The picture 1.2 below shows a traditional way of drawing created from a 2D drawing environment which is a replication made from the 3D model and the picture 1.3 shows the MBD models.

The picture 1.3 is evident that all PMI are captured in 3D workspace which will make the end user to understand much better than the traditional 2D drawing approach.

Traditional drawing

Model Based Definition

MBD Environments

Most of the modern CAD tools have capability of creating Model Based Definition (MBD). Each CAD software having respective drawing viewer software to read and view these annotated parts and assemblies. For example, MBD models of Pro-Engineer are viewed using Product View express.

Challenges to implement MBD

As we continue to move to 3D based product design and manufacturing, the development and management of drawings will become a duplication of resources and effort, effort that we may not be able to afford much longer. Here are some challenges on Model Based Definition (MBD),

  • Investment in parametric feature based CAD systems.
  • Usage of the MBD data will increase the cost to the downstream consumers.
  • Educate the users about 3D software at different skill levels of an organization.

Capabilities of MBD

Model Based Definition (MBD) dataset communicating Product Manufacturing information (PMI) includes all Engineering Intent requirements, Process Specifications, Geometric Dimension and Tolerance (GD&T), and other required information. The single data source will securely share with all the extended enterprises and supply chain. A true file will circulate all the cross functional team throughout the Product life cycle, which will eliminate the misunderstanding and assumptions.

Internal data share with data consumers


Model Based Definition (MBD) technique provides a single source of Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) in 3D space and completely replaces a traditional drawing. It is one of the technical innovation in CAD environment, the user’s and the end user’s should adopt to the tools and technology. However the new changes in technology is always needs improvement in skills and tools used which are unavoidable in today’s world of fast paced market.