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Arena Speeds Multidiscipline Collaboration and Product Development With 3D CAD Viewer

Engineers Using 3D ViewerThere are many players involved in the product development process. From engineering, quality, and procurement to suppliers and contract manufacturers—everyone must work off the same design to ensure that the right parts get sourced, the proper assembly lines and tooling are in place, and the product meets customer expectations. Oftentimes extended product teams and suppliers do not have an efficient way to access designs and gain a clear understanding of all their intricacies. Consequently, they are unable to identify and resolve design issues that could lead to costly product delays.

Arena’s recent Spring 2023 product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS) software release is focused on enhancing cross-functional design reviews and expediting product development processes even further with a built-in 3D computer-aided design (CAD) viewer. We asked Senior Product Manager, Pär Svensson, to tell us more about Arena’s new 3D visualization capability and how it helps manufacturers accelerate innovation.

Shelly: Pär, how does your team determine what enhancements to make with each PLM/QMS software release?

Pär: The three main factors driving our PLM and QMS software enhancements are:

  • The company’s vision and strategy
  • Technology that is currently available to our team
  • Insights that we gain through market research and customer feedback

As product managers, we work closely with customers to keep a pulse on their product realization practices, starting with conceptualization and continuing through design, manufacturing, and continuous improvement. We want to ensure that our software enhancements address their needs throughout each phase.

Shelly: What exactly is a 3D viewer and how is it used in product design and manufacturing?

Pär: A 3D viewer is a tool that enables you to open and view CAD files in various engineering design formats including STEP, IGES, and STL. STEP files are the industry standard 3D file format for exchanging design data between different engineering and manufacturing software. Every engineering CAD system or authoring tool can export a design into a STEP file. Alternately, every computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) system can import a STEP file for manufacturing.

Within the 3D environment, users can examine designs from different perspectives and gain a better understanding of part sizing and other aspects that impact product functionality. This is especially valuable for the procurement team, which usually relies on short item descriptions or thumbnail images to source different parts for the final product.

Shelly: What was the driving force behind the introduction of the 3D viewer in the recent Arena Spring ’23 Release?

Pär: Up until now, many of our customers would download design files from Arena to their local hard drive or desktop and then upload them to a third-party CAD application or 3D viewer. Customers wanted the ability to view 3D CAD files directly from Arena and drive better collaboration between multidisciplinary teams.

3D Viewer Illustration

Shelly: What makes the Arena 3D Viewer unique?

Pär: Our 3D Viewer demonstrates PTC’s commitment to Arena and delivers customers greater value by leveraging the power of proven PTC visualization technology. It provides internal teams and external supply chain partners a simple and secure way to view STEP files and other commonly used 3D design formats. No installs, downloads, or additional logins are necessary for teamwide 3D visualization. It is part of Arena’s cloud-native PLM/QMS solution and can be easily configured.

Customers can use the viewer to share and review high fidelity 3D models at any time in the design process. As soon as a 3D file is associated with a manufactured item in Arena, it is accessible to all authorized users. As part of the engineering review, teams can validate a 3D model against a 2D drawing. Additionally, they can quickly verify parts and expedite quoting.

Shelly: Which product team members are most impacted by the Arena 3D Viewer?

Pär: The Arena 3D Viewer impacts all stakeholders involved in the product design and manufacturing process—from engineers, quality, and procurement to contract manufacturers and suppliers. Providing Arena users 3D visualization capabilities significantly enhances collaboration between these key team members.

Shelly: How will customers benefit from their utilization of the Arena 3D Viewer? How will it impact their current product realization processes?

Pär: Customers no longer have to rely on an external, third-party application to view their 3D CAD files. This reduces costs associated with purchasing additional software licenses. It also eliminates the extra steps involved in accessing files.

Organizations now have a simpler way to visualize mechanical designs to more efficiently execute change orders, corrective and preventive actions (CAPAs), supply chain collaboration, and other critical processes. The Arena 3D Viewer keeps everyone in sync during the back and forth that typically occurs as different team members work to optimize designs before they are released to manufacturing. With 3D visualization at their disposal, cross-functional teams can easily experiment with different design ideas and iterate quickly. Teams also gain greater visibility into quality issues. In turn, they can arrive at a clear resolution and move the product development process along. This frictionless and agile way of working helps companies deliver high-quality products to market faster.

We’re truly excited to introduce the Arena 3D Viewer with this latest release. It will be a game-changer for our customers!

Explore Additional PLM and QMS Software Enhancements

Many more features and enhancements were included in the Arena Spring 2023 Release, including the ability to configure lifecycle terminology to match your unique business processes.

For a full overview of the Spring 2023 Release, customers can visit our Tour Doc in Help, watch the recording of the Spring ’23 Sneak Peek, or consult with your Arena Coach.

Not an Arena customer? Visit our 3D Visualization resource page or schedule a demo to learn more.