The introduction of 3D factory design does not have to be difficult and brings with it a lot of advantages.

Manufacturing companies often design and modify their own facilities using 2D layouts. But modern manufacturing facilities are very complex, and their layout leaves no room for error. The latest 3D factory design systems provide improved visualisation and performance capabilities. The software providers also offers an easy entry into the world of 3D layout.

The risks of designing in 2D

2D layout has traditionally been the easiest method for factory design. But restricting yourself to 2D carries a lot of risks. For example, collisions due to insufficient headroom are often only discovered during construction. The costs of modifying a design at this stage of a project are at their highest, and the associated delays affect the duration of the entire project.

Communication with project stakeholders and suppliers is also difficult with only 2D. Misunderstandings can easily arise leading to costly design and construction errors.

The perceived advantages of 2D are no longer advantages

2D layout is often said to have performance and speed advantages for large-scale factory design. But the latest 3D factory layout systems combined with today’s powerful computer hardware can now handle even the largest factory designs with ease. Furthermore, when working in 2D, all views of a design have to be manually drafted, and then individually updated with each design change. With a 3D approach, a single 3D design model is created, from which all the required drawings are automatically generated. This represents a considerable time saving over the life of a typical project, and also avoids the risk of introducing human error while manually drafting individual views.

Don’t wait to switch to 3D factory design software

Design errors will continue to pile up with every project limited to conventional 2D. These errors can be largely avoided simply by deploying a 3D factory design system, resulting in substantial savings in the long-run. The use of 3D software shortens project timescales and increases design quality. These factors alone can make the acquisition of software and personnel training profitable. The time required to train personnel is usually recouped on the first project by avoiding such time-consuming tasks as manually drafting individual views. So don’t wait. Switch to a 3D solution today.

The three steps for a quick introduction to 3D factory design

Getting started with 3D factory design doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be achieved in three easy steps. It can even be deployed on current projects so that you can immediately benefit from the advantages of 3D design.

Step 1: Software research and presentation by supplier

A quick search for 3D factory design software quickly reveals the main providers. With most providers it’s possible to schedule a webcast appointment where you receive a detailed introduction to the software. This not only gives you an overview of the system’s capabilities, but can also give you the opportunity to ask questions directly about your own projects. One such software provider is CAD Schroer GmbH, which develops the MPDS4 system. MPDS4 is a comprehensive solution with many modules for 3D factory design.

Step 2: Test the software with your own projects

Most software providers make it easy to try out their software. Trial versions of the software can be downloaded and installed directly from the provider’s website. Video tutorials and documentation are provided to help you get started. Providers such as CAD Schroer also support companies during the trial period with online assistance.

Step 3: Acquiring the software and project-related training

When it comes to acquiring the software, providers usually have a variety of licensing choices available. For example, the software can often be economically leased for the duration of a project, or alternatively, perpetual licenses can be purchased if you have long-term requirements. Software can also be licensed for use on a single computer or for shared use on a network. If you have a large number of users, a custom training session will bring everyone quickly up to speed. CAD Schroer even offers project-related training workshops that are delivered using your project materials.

The right 3D design software from the outset

MPDS4 is an excellent solution for 3D design of entire factories. All production areas can be modelled and visualised in a 3D layout regardless of size. The system works with many types of existing data including raster images, 2D drawings, 3D models and laser scans. Extensive data interfaces ensure a high level of integration with existing CAD systems. The flexibility and adaptability of the system also facilitate company-specific solutions. A free trial version is available online. Video along with tutorials and support from experienced trainers.