Paperless Parts’ 3D Part Viewer Gets Enhancements

Features include support for product manufacturing information data on model-based definitions, faster load times, and more.

Features include support for product manufacturing information data on model-based definitions, faster load times, and more.

Paperless Parts, an estimating and quoting software for job shops and contract manufacturers, has enhanced its 3D Part Viewer, a cloud-based, format-agnostic CAD file viewer. The 3D Part Viewer improves manufacturers’ ability to quote faster and more consistently by extracting the geometry of the parts they’re quoting, highlighting manufacturability challenges, and, through Paperless Chat, driving collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, such as machinists, tool providers, raw material suppliers and finishers, Paperless Parts reports.

Paperless Parts subscribers can invite all stakeholders to view, search and comment on 2D files (PDF, DXF, emails, videos, microsoft files, etc) and 3D files (all forms of CAD), eliminating the need for collaborators to purchase CAD software licenses or maintain an array of format-specific viewers.

“A lot of the inefficiency in manufacturing is caused by information asymmetry—designers are designing in 3D, their vendors are quoting based off of 2D PDF files and notes, and third-party suppliers are offering input via email. Putting together a holistic picture of a part from design to build is overwhelmingly manual, time-consuming, and the different stakeholders aren’t able to look at technical data in the same way, which leads to compounding errors and inefficiency,” says Jason Ray, founder and CEO of Paperless Parts. “Paperless Parts is designed to get everyone singing from the same sheet of music, and having a robust viewer that’s accessible to all parties is at the heart of that mission.”

By sharing files via Paperless Parts, customers can eliminate the need for expensive FTP point solutions and collaborate within their shop and with vendors, all in a secure environment with the ability to control access when sharing is no longer needed. The Paperless Parts Viewer also helps customers quickly identify manufacturability warnings such as tight corners, deep holes that require special tooling and bend reliefs.

The latest feature enhancements to the Paperless Parts Viewer include:

Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) on Model-Based Definition files (MBD) in the Part Viewer. With Paperless, users can now extract and display PMI—dimensions, tolerances, parallelisms, datums, text annotations—directly in their browser. Data is available from all files that can contain PMI, including STEP AP242, JT files, 3D PDFs and native formats from platforms like Solidworks, Catia, PTC Creo and Siemens NX.

Individual Face Colors: Face colors are used by designers to annotate features or manufacturing requirements and can impact the cost to produce a part. Viewing face colors in the Viewer allows estimators to quickly identify these nuances and price their quotes accordingly.

Support for Etching: While Paperless has identified etched surfaces in the past, new functionality collects them into a separate feature class in the geometric features panel of the Viewer. 

Faster file interrogation: Paperless Parts’ interrogation method identifies Design for Manufacturability Warnings and extracts dimensions and attributes used to drive automation in the quoting process. This change impacts both milling and lathe interrogation times.

Centralized viewing and search for related email and Microsoft Office Files: Users of Paperless Parts can now save and view all related documents directly in the Viewer, including text and image content of emails and Office file formats, including .msg, .eml, docx, pptx, and xlsx files. 

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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