A Visual Tour of the Digital Thread

Modern product development relies on a foundation of digitization. Each department takes the digital work of others and builds on it, enhances it, and adds value to it. Throughout the digital development process, this builds up a network of interdependent digital deliverables, each dependent on one another. This network is the Digital Thread.

The entire company contributes to the Digital Thread, but it undeniably starts in engineering. Engineering develops designs for parts, assemblies, systems, and products and documents their form, fit, and function in drawings, specifications, models, and simulations. These definitions become components in procurement contracts, specifications for manufacturing, the basis for service procedures and much more. These are the individual pieces of the Digital Thread.

Over the past decade, engineering has been exploring new forms of documentation. For many years, the single source of the truth for design has been the engineering drawing. However, the advent of 3D models offered an opportunity to change that. Today, many companies are replacing drawings with something called a Model-Based Definition (MBD).

This eBook provides a tour of how companies use an MBD throughout their organization to build the Digital Thread. 


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