3D CIC – Reflecting on 2016 & Looking Ahead to 2017


With the new year upon us, and the 2016 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress in our rearview mirror, we’ve been reflecting on our initial year organizing 3D CIC. We were delighted with the quality of the speakers and ever so grateful to the sponsors who made the event so successful. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many new and old faces. Thank you to David Prawel at Longview Advisors for entrusting Action Engineering with 3D CIC.

Survey responses from 2016 attendees were very positive and constructive.

Opportunities to network and connect in an intimate setting with organizations and users on the front lines of similar Model-Based Definition/Enterprise (MBD/MBE) journeys, and vendors supporting those journeys, was overwhelmingly one of the most valuable aspects of 3D CIC 2016.

“It was very good to learn that most companies, no matter the CAD tool, are dealing with the same issues and challenges in the implementation and rollout of MBD/MBE.” 

“It was very interesting the different levels that each company had already started incorporating MBE and MBD. I found even more interesting that although each company had started developing a process there wasn’t a company that had all the answers and everyone had some lessons learned to share.” 

“Many companies are struggling in similar places, and that creates a community to work towards solutions.”

The synergy gained by coordinating 3D CIC with SOLIDWORKS MBD and PTC MBD user groups was valuable to many — and even helped justify travel for some. Pssst… you can look forward to the addition of an NX user group at the 2017 event.

“I hope that continues as it addresses two topics dear to my heart at one travel event.”

“This extends the value of the event by adding more value to the week.”

Common themes that participants want more information about:

  • Downstream MBD implementation in the manufacturing and inspection environment
  • MBD perspectives from part suppliers
  • Model re-use throughout the product lifecycle – from enterprise to authoring to supplier to manufacturing to quality to support and the integrated tool possibilities available
  • Interoperability, including STEP and the Quality Information Framework (QIF)
  • Quality management processes – metrology, American Society for Quality (ASQ), ISO/AS
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) – making this a language that everyone across the enterprise understands
  • Building an MBE competent workforce – education, training, certifications
  • Analytical aspects of MBD – early engineering validation using product and manufacturing information (PMI) to input GD&T into tolerance analysis, as one example
  • Follow-up from 2016 presenters on their MBE progression
  • More MBD/MBE implementation use cases, both the successes and challenges, including the culture change process within companies and how the practical challenges of MBD are being solved

While we may not be able to cover all of these topics during the 2017 event, we are taking this input into account as we develop the 2017 theme and assemble the speaker lineup. If you have solid speaker/topic recommendations, please shoot an email to Michelle Nordwald.


When asked if 2016 attendees would recommend 3D CIC to their MBD/MBE peers and colleagues, the response was overwhelming! 93% said YES. Not one respondent said NO. Those who attended 3D CIC clearly want more of their colleagues to be exposed to the visions and experiences heard at 3D CIC.

“I am already planning who I want to take with me next time.” 

“3D CIC was a fantastic educational and networking experience. I have so much valuable information to digest and will be happily spreading the word to several peers.”


Planning for 3D CIC 2017 has been underway literally from the moment the 2016 event ended. We’re not ready to divulge the details yet, but you can look forward to 3D CIC 2017 being held amid the fall colors again in beautiful Golden, Colorado.

“I found it refreshing to see a conference that had mostly practitioners presenting rather than an event for software companies to do their sales pitches. I loved the fact that different people were actually sharing their experience with their programs and projects.”  – Senior Program Manager

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more announcements about 3D CIC 2017!

3D CIC 2016 Orange Letters 1200 x 147 pixels

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