2D Drawings or 3D model?

It is known that 2D drawings are being replaced by 3D Models when a third dimension was added to engineering. However, do you think 2D Drawings are completely replaced?

The answer to that question is No!

The industry needs 2D drawings as much as 3D Models. 2D drawings are no doubt easily generate-able, but engineers prefer 3D models for complex application designing. Therefore, it demands the foresight to decide whether to use a 2D drawing or 3D model based on the projects complex nature.

2D Drawings –
To think that 2D drawings are completely out of use is far from reality. It still plays a prominent role for designing the industrial projects and it has its own reasons for it. 2D is the best option to choose when you are facing tight deadline and designs needed are single component or a single part as basic geometries are easy to generate using 2D CAD tools. When the model does not require any third dimension functionality, it is best to use 2D drawing, as they need less space to store. A designer with any skill set can work with 2D CAD tools and almost all desktops support 2D drafting tools.

Apart from that, for clear usage, engineers still use 2D drawings for elevation, sectional drawings and floor planning is which are used for fabrication. Almost of around 30%, engineers still use paper to design in the initial phases of drawing and then resort to 2D CAD for digitalisation.

Despite the benefits mentioned, there are obviously a few drawbacks of using 2D drawings. When sectional drawings are generated in 2D, updating them becomes a tough task as they are a quiet time consuming and are prone to errors. 2D CAD software does not have rendering capabilities, which means it involves an additional step to export and convert into 3D before rendering. Therefore, for a fact, to save time, you will be doing extra two steps that is exporting and converting before any further action could be taken place. This reduces the productivity, increasing the lengths of designing cycle. For these reasons, it is better to shift to 3D modelling.

3D Modelling –
As the project gets complicated, design cycles also become longer. To maintain the cycle lengths and to get the project without errors, more and more engineers started resorting to 3D Models. The major advantage of 3D Modelling over 2D drawing is that it reduces the design cycle time to half and generates rapid prototypes.

3D CAD offers much more functionality to the user, which encompasses 3D arrays, special views and referencing. But at times, these are too many to generate basic part models like line-types, line-weights and other features which can be better generated by using 2D drawings.

As 3D CAD is advanced, licensing is much more expensive and renewal each time costs heavy to the designers. Thus, it is better to analyse the design requirements and then decide on using 2D Drawing or 3D modelling.

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