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Manufacturing Engineers Download 52 CAD Models Per Year

The fastest way to obtain a CAD model of a product is to download it, ready made, from the supplier. But how often do designers and engineers do this and what is the long term trend?

For industrial suppliers (manufacturers and distributors) the answer is really important because if you can get your products ‘designed in’ by potential customers they will likely be purchased when that design is manufactured (see chart on the right or the full research results here).CDS CAD Download Survey - When you download a CAD model of a supplier's part, how often does the physical part get purchased?

CAD Market Research Specialist Business Advantage Group (BA) asks the following question annually in their worldwide CAD Trends Survey: ‘How often do you typically search for and download ready made 3D models to increase productivity in your company?’ The draft report results are published in this blog post with BA’s kind permission (the full and final report, covering many CAD trends, is available here).

The BA ‘Frequency of Downloading 3D Models‘ chart at the top of this blog post and the numbers below give the 2017 answer to this question. The numbers show a continuing annual increase in the number of ready made 3D CAD models downloaded by individual designers and engineers. In particular, Business Advantage point out that, year over year, there has been a “overall increase in the number of users downloading 3D Models at least once a month.” Averaged across all CAD users, more than 82% download at least one 3D CAD model a year, 63% do so at least monthly and 49% do so multiple times per month. For Manufacturing CAD users only the numbers are slightly higher, 82% download at least one ready made model a year, 66% do so at least monthly and 51% do so multiple times each month.

How Many CAD Model Downloads?

From the BA data we know the range of CAD model downloads by different CAD users so can estimate the weighted average of how many CAD model downloads are done. Firstly we look only at the 83% that actually download CAD models (i.e. we remove the 6% ‘don’t knows’ and 11% ‘never download’ from the sample) then we conservatively estimate that everyone who says they do more than 10 CAD downloads per month only do 11. The resulting conservative average downloads per person across all the 83% of CAD users that do CAD downloads is 49 CAD model downloads per yearSpecifically in Manufacturing, the same weighted average downloads per person is 52 CAD model downloads per year. If you want to know more detail, such as how these numbers vary by industry, region, country, CAD system in use or company size please contact Business Advantage.

Will CAD Model Downloads Work For You?

For many years, the best way to get your products ‘designed in’ has been to offer 3D CAD models of them for download from your website and syndicate them online (for example in CAD portals like 3DmodelSpace.com). Because the number of CAD model downloads continues to increase, so the value of your product CAD models available for download continues to increase too!

If you don’t already offer 3D CAD models of your products, how do you find out if this marketing approach will work for you? The above CAD Trends survey result is an average across a worldwide audience of CAD designers. To confirm if your specific customers and potential customers will download CAD Models of your products from your website we suggest answering these 3 questions, perhaps by surveying your customers to find out:

  • Have your customers asked for CAD models or drawings of your products? If ‘Yes’ consider how many haven’t bothered to ask but when they didn’t find them on your website they just went elsewhere?CDS CAD Download Survey 2014 - When selecting a supplier how important is it that the supplier offers downloadable CAD models of their parts?
  • If ‘Yes’ how do you meet that need today and what does it cost? Would it be less expensive or disruptive on your design team as a self help solution on your website?
  • Do any of your competitors offer online CAD models of drawings of their products? If so what has been the customer reaction – is it a competitive advantage over your company? For example, the chart above right shows the importance of CAD model downloads when selecting a supplier.

As always, if you’d like our opinion on your situation or want see an online demo, call or click either button below:

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