Kubotek USA has just announced the availability of survey results that provide hard numbers on the extent of the problem of interoperability for CAD users. Earlier this year, Kubotek polled 2,869 CAD users in a variety of industries on issues related to the types of CAD files currently used, the frequency and reasons for model redesign, the number of CAD file types used during the month and issues with importing 3D CAD model files.

Among the findings:

  • 34% of all respondents rebuild 3D models from scratch at least half the time.

  • For all respondents, translator issues were most consistently cited as the biggest problem with getting outside 3D CAD models into users' preferred CAD systems. Missing or corrupt data was cited as the second biggest issue

  • 46% of all respondents indicated that they use a parametric feature-based CAD system to open a file and complete a redesign

  • Those respondents using parametric feature-based CAD systems had a higher incidence of redesigning or rebuilding models from scratch-61% of direct modeling users need to rebuild their models less than 25% of the time, as compared to 43% of parametric users who indicated the same thing.

The data from this survey shows that those who receive and send a higher number of models in multiple CAD file formats also tend to struggle more often with issues related to missing or corrupt data. This, in turn, leads to lost productivity as design engineers spend more time on average redesigning and fixing models.

In addition, the problems of redesign are not reduced for those using parametric feature-based CAD systems. Survey data shows that those users are more likely to rebuild a model from scratch to complete a redesign or reuse of data.