Lattice Technology Blog

CASE STUDY: 3D – Backbone for Technical Communication for Improved Productivity and Quality

Posted by Chris Hughes on Fri, 29 Jan, 2016 @ 02:09 PM

The Need for Better Product & Technical Communications

The MAN Commercial Vehicles Group realized there had to be a better way to communicate with internal stakeholders and their supply chain when it came to part geometry and related information. Like most companies who design complex products, they are using 3D CAD. The problem was that the 3D models were “locked” away in engineering. There was a barrier…a fence around the engineering data. How could they effectively share these complex models with any stakeholder, inside and outside of their company, including with non-engineers?


The Solution - XVL and Lattice3D

The solution that MAN discovered was XVL and Lattice Technology. Lattice Technology repurposes the 3D CAD data from all the major CAD companies. Within the Lattice3D environment, additional information can be authored. And best of all, the 3D model and information can be shared and consumed for free. The sharing is similar to how documents are shared as a PDF. Just as the Adobe PDF reader is free, so is the Lattice3D Player - free as a download from the Lattice3D website.

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Tags: Digital Manufacturing, Manufacturing Processes, Technical Illustrations, Design for Manufacturing - DFM

The Need for Lightweight Data

Posted by Marcia Volpe on Fri, 01 Apr, 2011 @ 07:25 PM

The Need for Lightweight Data

The evolution of 3D design has brought the opportunity to expand its application to downstream processes. The 3D ge­ometry along with other data including configuration, colors, annotations, dimensions, and anima­tions can support production processes at the manufacturing floor.

Developed for the manufacturing industry, CAD software packages are able to render the 3D geometry of parts by using precise free-form surface representations. Industries such as aerospace and automotive demand the management of large varieties of parts - ranging from tens of thousands to several million, which are ordinarily used for designing and manufacturing. In response to this demand CAD manufactures complemented their software with product databases (PDM - Product Data Management), which is progressively turning into conventional business for many of them.

Once the products are being designed with CAD and data is being managed by PDM, a system to hold everything together, the whole product life-cycle, is fundamental. The PLM - Product Lifecycle Management system, developed by CAD vendors is an infrastructure tool for manufacturing.

Since it is essentially a design tool, 3D CAD cannot be quickly and easily handled. The 3D data needs to be manipulated on the shop floor, in order to be useful. The use of the 3D CAD in design has been an increasing trend for problems in the downstream processes.  

The progress of digital data allowed 3D design to become more complex and, thus, the amount of required data has itself become massive. Entire assemblies have become huge files that require time and distinctive hardware to be manipulated.

Continuously improving 3D CAD is always catching up with the newest hardware technology, which doesn't necessarily happen to the low end computers that are used in downstream processes, thus resulting in files incompatibility.

Global manufacturing integration compromises the globalization of products. Today, after having been developed in one place, the products are manufactured around the world. These new circumstances require fast and precise information sharing and data transferring. Keeping in mind broadband is not a reality the world over, the transfer can take several hours; hence the file size is a major concern.

With the available variety of 3D CAD environments, all parts of the same product are not necessarily designed using the same application. Additionally, different plants might have different versions that could also not match with the ones used by third parties. When the data needs to be consolidated at the manufacturing stage, it is necessary a data management system in a single format.  

As was mentioned at the beginning, the evolution of 3D design has brought new opportunities to the manufacturing floor. If the production staff can complement the 3D design data with the additional information necessary for manufacturing, it could increase quality and decrease time - higher profit.

The solution for all the above is a lightweight 3D data that accurately describes CAD, with capability to easily disclose production and manufacturing data.

In order to learn more about the evolution of manufacturing using 3D, please download the chapter "The Evolution of Manufacturing Using Digital Information Technology", an excerpt from the book "Improving Lean Manufacturing Through 3D Data" by Dr Hiroshi Toriya -- Lattice Technology, Inc. CEO.

That is all for now folks!

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Lightweight & Accurate 3D Format, Interactive Assembly Instructions, Technical Illustrations, Lattice News

Lattice Technology, Inc. Blog Launch

Posted by Marcia Volpe on Fri, 01 Apr, 2011 @ 06:48 PM

I am happy to announce our new Lattice Technology, Inc. blog  

Hello and welcome to the Lattice Technology, Inc. blog. Here's where you'll find the latest & greatest news on everything about 3D digital manufacturing software and solutions: design review, 3D simulations, animations and inter-related BOMs and parts lists to create interactive 3D documents for process design, assembly instructions, 3D parts lists, technical illustrations and electronic training manuals. From market trends to product updates, tips & tricks to whitepapers, case studies and customers testimonials.

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Lightweight & Accurate 3D Format, 3D Assembly Validation & Simulation, Interactive Assembly Instructions, Bill of Materials, Technical Illustrations, Manuals - 2D & Interactive 3D, Lattice News