The Model-Based Enterprise (MBE) paradigm is being adopted by manufacturing companies in a variety of industries. Companies benefit from enhanced visualization, documentation, and communication capabilities when 3D annotated product definitions, or Model-Based Definitions (MBD) replace two-dimensional drawings throughout an enterprise. It is critical that product information, much of which is defined implicitly in drawings, is not lost in this transition. This presents a challenge to authors and translators of 3D models used through the product lifecycle. They must understand the semantics of the product information typically presented by a drawing then explicitly include this information, in a computer-interpretable form, in the MBD.

The research study described in this paper seeks to discover what is the minimum set of required information to carry out all the tasks in a given workflow of a model-based enterprise. A survey was conducted across various industry sectors to identify the foundational elements of this Minimum Information Model (MIM) in selected workflows. This study identified the information used within the specific workflows, the capabilities of 3D CAD models to carry this information, and the implications for doing so.

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