For many developers and manufacturers, 3D CAD modeling serves as the key that unlocks the door to a fast stakeholder approval for a proposed product or development. However, 3D CAD modeling services should be sought with care and a discerning approach in order to avoid potential pitfalls. Below are six of the most common mistakes that occur in the 3D CAD modeling arena along with the six steps that you can take to avoid them to foster success.
1) Refusing to break traditional design patterns. Resisting the urge to stick with 2D drawings or 2D CAD modeling can be challenging for professionals who are familiar and comfortable with 2D designs. In fact, builders, manufacturers, and architects often do not realize that the transition from 2D CAD designs to 3D CAD models can be made quickly and easily.
2) Believing the myths associated with 3D CAD modeling services. Some professionals have never experienced the benefits of 3D CAD modeling because they have fallen prey to one of the following common industry myths.
- “I cannot afford 3D CAD modeling services”
- “I don’t have enough time to wait for 3D CAD modeling services”
- “My customers can envision the design without 3D CAD modeling”
3) Failing to keep an eye on industry competitors. In order to succeed in today’s competitive manufacturing landscape, industry players must keep a close watch on their key competitors. Poor awareness of emerging trends will pave a smooth road to success for competitors who make a point to familiarize themselves with new technology.
4) Entrusting 3D CAD modeling services to a novice. Sometimes the low rates advertised by novices and freelancers can be enticing. However, the potential for risks and errors often outweighs any price related benefits. Hiring a novice to prepare your 3D CAD models may result in the following mistakes:
- Over-constraining the CAD model due to a poor grasp of boundary conditions
- Failing to adequately consider topology when constructing models
- Accepting a critical project that is beyond the novice CAD designer’s scope
5) Trying to become a CAD expert in the 11th hour. Becoming an industry expert in 3D CAD modeling services is a time-consuming and expensive process. Most people study AutoCAD for a year or more before achieving proficiency. There is no shortcut to AutoCAD expertise and devoting a year to AutoCAD study is simply not feasible for many busy professionals.
6) Assuming stakeholders are satisfied with less sophisticated drawings and models. Turning a blind eye to stakeholder preferences and questions is a recipe for delays, dissatisfaction, and disaster. Failing to notice a stakeholder’s disdain for ambiguity in a project can result in premature rejection of the design.
How to Avoid 3D CAD Modeling Pitfalls
Avoiding the mistakes above requires a combination of awareness, a willingness to learn, and strategic planning. By following the six steps below, you can avoid the most common pitfalls related to 3D CAD modeling:
1) Attend prominent industry trade shows. Attending industry trade shows is a great way to keep an eye on competitors and learn about the latest engineering trends. You can also personally trial new software and interface with leading industry professionals. Finally, most trade shows offer valuable continuing education opportunities to attendees.
2) Take the time to personally dispel 3D CAD modeling myths. Contrary to myth believers, 3D CAD modeling services are a superb and affordable way to showcase a new product or proposed development. Being able to dispel common myths with the realities below is critical to success with 3D CAD modeling:
- Myth: “I cannot afford 3D CAD modeling services”
- Reality: Professional 3D CAD modeling services are affordable. While the exact cost varies with expertise, you can obtain cost-effective CAD services, especially if you consider offshore outsourcing. The key factor to keep in mind is the long-term financial payoff that results from using 3D CAD modeling to convince clients and stakeholders to invest in your project design. In sum, you can hardly afford not to use 3D CAD modeling.
- Myth: “I don’t have enough time to wait for 3D CAD modeling services.”
- Reality: Outsourcing a 3D CAD modeling project is almost often faster than completing a project in-house. Employees of many outsourcing companies are working while people in other regions of the world are sleeping. Outsourcing companies are often able to provide a quote in less than 24 hours and complete projects in a matter of days.
- Myth: “My customers can envision the design without 3D CAD modeling.”
- Reality: Envisioning a design is not the same thing as viewing an accurate model. Accuracy is hindered when a person has to imagine or envision specific design elements. 2D CAD models and drawings typically leave certain design elements to the imagination, opening the door for ambiguity and the development of differing perceptions of the same model.
3) Learn the benefits of 3D CAD modeling. Becoming familiar with the primary benefits of 3D CAD modeling is a vital step for people who have yet to consider a transition from 2D CAD modeling to 3D CAD modeling. The most notable benefits of 3D CAD modeling include the following:
- Shorter lead times for project completion
- Enhanced ability to visualize potential design scenarios
- Increased precision
4) Understand the advantages of outsourcing specific services. Outsourcing CAD modeling services to a trusted provider is a strategic way for a firm or organization to bolster bottom line performance and increase stakeholder satisfaction. Here are just a few advantages of outsourcing:
- Key in-house staff have more time to take on new projects and clients
- 3D CAD models are more accurate because they are prepared by design experts
- Outsourced agencies frequently offer 24/7 service and offer a faster turnaround time
5) Request a written quote from a 3D CAD modeling provider. A formal quotation typically offers a breakdown of costs, permitting a detailed analysis of costs. These costs should be compared to the itemized costs of using in-house resources to complete the models. When analyzing the costs of outsourcing, organizations should also remember to factor in the additional revenue that would result from the ability to devote more attention to new business development.
6) Solicit and track customer feedback. If you are still not fully convinced that 3D CAD modeling can help you attain your goals, simply show a few of your clients 2D CAD models alongside 3D CAD models and ask for their feedback. In particular, you should ask clients and stakeholders the following questions:
- “Which model is the most impressive and convincing to you?”
- “Which model appears to most accurately convey your design vision?”
- “Would you be willing to invest a little more money into a 3D model?”
Notably, leaders in many industries are increasingly requesting 3D CAD models to showcase new design concepts. 3D CAD models are also growing in popularity among stakeholders because they save time and are easily amended.
The Best Path to Successful 3D CAD Modeling
One of the surest paths to successfully employing 3D CAD modeling is to seek the services of an experienced 3D CAD modeling expert. A trained engineering professional can introduce you to the many ways that 3D CAD modeling services will help you earn stakeholder approval for your designs. When selecting a firm to outsource your 3D CAD modeling services, remember to use discretion and choose an experienced provider with the latest technology and a proven record of industry success.