NPD: 3D Chump or 2D Champ?


Before early stage products enter into the prototyping/manufacturing ramp/maturity cycle, our clients ask us to review their design files.

EastBridge Engineering’s ( team evaluates their files and conceptual drawings to ensure that they are well suited for DFM, repeatability and compliance with international quality and safety standards. We may recommend small changes to the design and localize supply of some components and materials to take out cost and ease the path into high volume production.

Our goal is to make sure that their design intent is honored during the transfer to production. Our engineers make certain that the aesthetics, materials, functions and surface finishes that are specified are maintained for a superior user experience.

A standard EastBridge service that’s becoming harder and harder to deliver.

Why? Because the 3D files are often missing dimensions, tolerances, component call outs, surface finishes and assembly drawings. The information that was customarily included in the body and title block of old fashioned 2D drawings has disappeared.

We’ll often see the legend “TBD” or “Vendor Supplied” in place of the information that’s needed to accurately quote and build a new device. Candidate vendors will either ‘No-Quote’ or generate a partial quote that’s filled with exceptions.

As a young engineer (who took two years of mechanical drawing in high school) I would have been fired on the spot if I’d presented a drawing to my supervisor that had so many gaps.

Now don’t get me wrong – we love CAD. The ability to peel back multiple layers of a product, rotate it, see hidden features – this is a great and empowering tool. Having said that, dense CAD files and beautiful renderings are not a replacement for conventional and complete 2D drawings.

So, become a 2D Champion and give us the dimensions, tolerances and component lists that were SOP with an earlier generation of product designers.


Jack Daniels

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