The SolidExperts Blog

Tips and Tricks for Adopting a New 3D CAD Tool

In order to achieve success and boost profitability, companies work hard to win over customers with great products. However, creating great products isn’t easy. Global competition makes it hard to stand out. To be successful, products must be innovative and high quality, yet priced competitively without negatively impacting margins. While balancing these often-conflicting requirements is already a challenge, companies must also race against the clock to beat the competition.  It’s quite a challenge!

One key to accomplishing these goals is engineering, and having the right tools is essential for success. Plus, as the world evolves, the tool that was right 10 years ago may no longer work in today’s world.  Are your company’s engineering tools holding you back?  If so, it may be time for a change. But change can be challenging…so how can you navigate the best path for migrating to a new CAD tool?  Keep reading for some important tips and tricks to make your road to adopting a new CAD tool a little smoother.

But first, let’s start with the benefits of a 3D to 3D transition.  Since implementing a new 3D CAD tool, companies report several improvements including:

  • Up to 14% less development time (ie: man hours)
  • Up to 11% less development costs
  • Up to 12% less time to implement an ECO
  • Up to 14% less number of iterations (ie: more innovation)

So how can your company get to the point of reaping the benefits of a new 3D CAD tool?  They can start with these best practices:

  1. Getting started on your migration path
    • Start with a single product
    • Establish a clear cut-off date for all projects to use new CAD tool
    • Establish a small pilot project
  1. Preparing users for the change
    • Make training available
    • Establish a team champion to promote the new tool
    • Provide workshops to explain benefits of the transition
    • Conduct “lessons learned” workshops
    • Solicit feedback from users during the selection process
  1. Considering the best ways to train users on the new tool
    • Online tutorials
    • Instructor-led training
    • Access to an online community of users of new CAD tool
    • YouTube videos
    • Specific training for users of your old tools
  1. Determining what to do with your legacy design data
    • Determine how much legacy data should be converted
    • Prioritize data to be converted
    • Determine how you will handle data that will not be (or has not been) converted

Finally, don’t overlook the importance of the user community when choosing and implementing your new 3D CAD tool.   Choosing a tool that has a large user community makes it easier to hire users who are already familiar with the tool.  Also, an enthusiastic and active online community can be a great knowledge resource to new users, too. It is a strong sign of user satisfaction, which can be a good indicator that it will be easier to adopt.

Though the idea of changing 3D CAD tools can be overwhelming, it’s probably easier than you might think. Follow these best practices to help you shorten the learning curve for adopting a 3D CAD tool and achieve the fastest possible ROI.

Click here to learn even more about adopting a new 3D CAD tool.

Have questions about adopting a new 3D CAD tool for your company? Click here and an expert from The SolidExperts will be happy to help.

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