CADshare uses Forge to develop a better way to sell, find, and buy spare parts for mission-critical machines.
CADshare was founded by a mechanical engineer who had firsthand experience with the challenge of identifying and ordering the correct spare parts for machines. Improving and digitising spare-parts workflows for buyers and sellers, CADshare makes it easier for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to publish and maintain accurate, 3D spare-parts manuals for customers.
It can take up to 10 days for an OEM to assemble a traditional parts manual for equipment from multiple information sources. Often PDF-based, these manuals include exploded CAD drawings as a visual way to help customers identify needed spare parts. But these drawings can be confusing and time consuming to interpret, and customers with customized machinery have difficulty simply finding the right drawing among many similar options. CADshare had a vision of improving the process by making it easier for OEMs to use their CAD design files to publish 3D, interactive parts manuals online.
How CADshare solved it with Forge.
At first, CADshare considered creating a custom viewer and developing a tool that would let it convert OEMs’ equipment models into lightweight 3D visualizations within CADshare’s cloud based systems. However, this would have taken many months to develop, and it would have added an extra conversion layer to the workflow. Instead, CADshare turned to Forge to provide a foundation for core capabilities.
CADshare uses the Forge Model Derivative API to prepare OEMs’ design files for viewing only. While preparing the files for viewing, the API extracts and manages the display of metadata, such as parts numbers and descriptions, automatically. The Forge Viewer displays the 3D models along with metadata in end users’ browsers. Supporting more than 50 file formats, the Viewer and Model Derivative API let CADshare work easily with models created in all commonly used manufacturing design software, plus many generic file types.
OEMs, including process equipment maker CDE turn to CADshare when they need to create accurate and intuitive online parts manuals. Using a cloud-based process, the OEMs generate parts manuals from their own design files in less than a day—a process that used to take up to 10 days. Faster to create, these manuals also offer better user experiences to customers searching for parts. Buyers simply log into the CADshare system and get access to the manuals for the specific equipment that they own. Then they can quickly navigate 3D assemblies for their machines to identify and order the correct spare parts directly from the OEM.
Forge highlights include the following:
- Cuts as many as 9 days from the spare-parts-manual creation process
- Translates all needed file types for viewing in 3D automatically
- Accelerates go-to-market and development time for new features
"Forge saved us 6 months of development time with the Viewer alone. With the time we save, we focus on building new features. Forge is like our canvas, and we innovate on top of it."
Chris Acheson, Founder and CEO, CADshare