Fact: 3D CAD technology makes the product design process up to 50% faster than using 2D drawings alone. But does that mean 2D CAD drawings are obsolete?
It may surprise you to learn that while 3D CAD models have revolutionized product design, 2D designs still play a very important role in the manufacturing process. Engineers who solely depend on 3D models may be overlooking critical information that can affect the manufacturing process. In some cases, not having 2D drawings can cause significant production delays.
Here’s why 2D drawings are still valuable in the manufacturing process.
- Manufacturers appreciate clear design instructions from a manufacturing perspective. We’ve worked with many engineering companies in Florida and across the country, and there can be a disconnect between the nominal dimensions provided in 3D models and the way that parts fit together once they’ve been produced. 2D drawings which supply specific information on part design for machining intent are incredibly helpful to manufacturers.
- Fit and functionality. Dimensional specs ensure that your parts fit and function well. If we have to generate our own set of measurements from a 3D model, it takes up valuable time and can increase turnaround. On the other hand, a good 2D drawing with accurate and complete dimensional specs allows our team to quickly bring your project to completion.
- Tolerances. We also recommend 2D drawings to to help us understand critical part characteristics like tolerances, which 3D CAD models don’t provide. Keep in mind, however, that very tight tolerances may be more difficult to produce and can increase the price of your part. So make sure you assess whether or not the part can be made successfully with the tolerances opened up. If you have a little wiggle room, use it!
- Pricing. 3D files (Solidworks, STEP, IGES) are incredibly useful in generating quotes quickly, but there are other factors that may affect the final price of your part. 2D drawings help identify critical dimensions or potential issues that might affect cost.
Having well-rendered, complete, and accurate 2D drawings will ultimately help us create better parts that are produced faster, with fewer mistakes, less back and forth, and minimal hassle.
Of course, if you want to take advantage of our product development services, the Polyhistor team is able to create both 3D models and 2D drawings for you. But if you’re starting with your own designs, including 2D drawings will help you have a more seamless manufacturing process from beginning to end.
On the lookout for a manufacturing partner? You’re in the right place. Whether you need CNC machining, injection molding, sheet metal fabrication, or a 3D print house in Jacksonville, FL, we’re here to help.
Submit your request for quote from Polyhistor today (2D drawings are always a plus!)
P.S. If there are specific manufacturing topics you’d like us to cover, please let us know!