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Automating Engineering CAD Drawings via CPQ

Brett Ames , November 4, 2020

“The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”

— Steve Jobs

CPQ software is widely thought of as a pure front-end solution that helps salespeople quote, configure and ultimately sell configurable products.3D capabilities within CPQ product tool sets are also typically pigeon holed as supporting the sales process, adding value-added 3D sales deliverables to salespeople's arsenals that make their products sexier and easier to sell, and might otherwise be too costly to produce in-house.

However, savvy decision makers at leading manufacturers have realized that a modern CPQ solution will also support 3D CAD capabilities that can, and do, save them tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in recouped repetitive engineering costs. When successfully implemented, a CPQ solution can produce these type of cuts in engineering costs by automating CAD file creation and production:  

  • Streamline production and help ensure quality by providing detailed product and configuration specific drawings and manufacturing information and delivering them directly to the shop floor and your manufacturing teams. 
  • Fully enable use of your existing in house resources’ CAD tools and skills.
  • Accelerate
  • + new product development by leveraging modular product family models. 

Streamline Production 

Verenia CPQ features a 3D Design Automation application that automates the generation of configuration-specific detailed 3D models, drawings, and manufacturing information for individual customer orders. This cuts lead time and reduces costs by streamlining the manufacturing process. 

Automating Engineering CAD Drawings via CPQ - Streamline Production

The Verenia 3D solution streamlines the manufacturing process by creating these detailed CAD drawings and files that are delivered to the shop floor. This reduces the costs of manufacturing, particularly of complex, configurable items.

An advanced 3D solution, like Verenia, working hand in glove with your CPQ and CRM, will save the organization thousands or millions by eliminating duplicate, repetitive engineering costs by increasing the efficiency of your manufacturing process. The optimal solution to implement has Verenia CPQ, CRM and 3D working together natively. 

Utilize Existing In-house resources’ CAD Tools and Skills

CAD File Outputs

  • In general, the best 3D CAD file formats are native CAD formats. Adopting a native format allows your team's access to the most information possible within their 3D CAD files. Since they’re based on your specific CAD solution, they’re able to take full advantage of all the features of that system instead of skipping over aspects that are more generic or neutral and other 3D CAD file formats might not support. The more information that’s stored in and extracted from your file format, the more detail and functionality you’ll get out of your 3D CAD file.
  • All existing CAD Filetype outputs need to be supported, so your teams can leverage their existing CAD expertise.
  • Verenia Supports all CAD files and formats, including:
    • Sales Drawing (PDF)
    • Solidworks  (.sldprt and .sldasm): 
    • AutoDesk/ AutoCAD 3D, 2D, ,DraftSight, BricsCAD, IntelliCAD, Caddie and Open Design Alliance-  (.DWG)
    • AutoDesk/ AutoCAD- (.DXF)
    • Blender (.blend): 
    • SketchUp (.skp):  
    • Wavefront Technologies’ Advanced Visualizer- (.OBJ)
    • 3D Systems- Stereolithography or “Standard Tessellation Language” formet- (.stl): 
    • Additive Manufacturing (.amf): 
    • STEP (.stp and .step): STEP stands for Standard for the Exchange of Product model data, is not associated with a specific CAD solution and it stores 3D images in an ASCII format. 
    • 3D Manufacturing Format (.3mf): 
  • As new 3D CAD Filetype outputs are created, the Verenia 3D system is agile enough to quickly adapt to support them.

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Ongoing Support

  • Service and support after project completion are essential. After completion of the implementation of the integrated CPQ and 3D CAD systems mentioned above, all of the systems require expert, on-demand collaborative support from the combined CPQ and engineering teams at the customer. This is needed because the complex models written into the 3D CAD solution are continually changing as manufacturers’ products and brands evolve.

Leveraging Modular Product Family Models

A Modular Product Family is a methodology for addressing a large variety of customer needs, in as short a time as possible, while using as few resources as possible. This methodology involves the design of modular, sometimes called adaptive, product families. These families are typically based on a common platform, or set, of resources needed to produce the products within the family. A machine readable model defining the family is then created. This model is then utilized in the order, or in CPQ’s case, post-configuration phase to realize and produce a variant of a given product based on the configured attributes of this specific configured item.

Automating Engineering CAD Leveraging Modular Product Family Models

Verenia’s unique 3D CAD capabilities allow designers to leverage an innovative methodology that works with Verenia CPQ’s Product Configurator’s rules and their existing 3D CAD system to use these product family models  as templates for the automatic generation of configuration-specific product designs. These templates, or product family models, can then be reused each time a new configured item is defined in Verenia. The models can also be tweaked as the product families, and the common manufacturing resources that define them, change over time.

Support for modular product families shortens lead times for configured products while decreasing the cost and use of the resources needed to manufacture them. This is done by cutting the fat created by mistakes and large margins that result from completely disparate, separate processes for creating sets of products that share a common set of resources needed to create them. 

In the product family methodology, manufacturers’ product development is broken down into two phases- the model development phase and then post-configuration or order phase.  Below is a diagram that draws these two phases. 

Product families typically involve extensive development in the first phase and are long-lived, with ROI on this development realized by the multiple reuse of the information and resources defined in the family model in thousands of individual product configurations and orders.


It is only by implementing and utilizing your CPQ’s ability to leverage a CAD File Creation solution to cut manufacturing costs and streamline production that the full value of your product configuration solution can be realized. Verenia CPQ, working with Verenia 3D CAD provides the capabilities and the subject matter expertise to help manufacturers benefit fully from your solution.

For more information on Verenia CPQ and Verenia 3D CAD, contact info@verenia.com.

Tags: Product Configurator, CRM, 3D Images, CAD, Manufacturing Sales Process, Modular Product Family, Modular Product Families

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See how your organization can increase sales, reduce costs and differentiate your brand by using Verena's CPQ and CRM solutions
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Request a Demo
See how your organization can increase sales, reduce costs and differentiate your brand by using Verena's CPQ and CRM solutions
Schedule Demo