Are unexpected or late-stage changes undermining your organization's ability to get products to market on schedule? Does deciphering CAD models built by someone else in a non-compatible CAD program draw out your design cycles and add unneeded complexity to engineering projects?
If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, it comes as no real surprise that you are not alone. In case you needed proof, PTC recently conducted a survey of more than 7,000 CAD users and engineers worldwide, trying to identify their most pressing challenges when it comes to CAD and product development. The overwhelming majority zeroed in on two primary problems affecting their design agility: dealing with unanticipated changes and finding a way to easily leverage multi-CAD data.
Engineers who responded to the PTC survey said modifying imported designs is painful, such as this example, of placing the white bolts properly based on the recognition of the pattern.
According to the survey, 44 percent of respondents said they experienced excessive, unanticipated changes throughout development, while 37.9 percent said they faced dramatic or multiple last-minute changes on a recent project. Moreover, one-third of respondents said that quickly driving late-stage changes, especially to a model built by someone else, is difficult using most existing CAD packages.
"Late-stage design changes are the biggest problem getting in the way of time-to-market, along with interoperability with other CAD systems," Sherry Fairbank, PTC's vice president of marketing, told us.
The other problem area highlighted by the survey is perhaps the most interesting considering PTC's longstanding heritage around parametric or history-based CAD.
Almost half of the survey respondents (49 percent) said that importing models from other CAD tools is difficult using their current CAD software (and I am assuming that means PTCs, as well), and 59 percent of respondents said that modifying imported models coming in from other CAD tools is difficult with their existing CAD software. Forty percent said modifying models from a peer engineer, even if they use the same CAD tool, is still a challenge using existing CAD tools. The problem is only exacerbated if someone leaves the engineering team -- a scenario that 35.4 percent said they faced during a recent design project.