New target for CAD: Shop-floor manuals

Oct. 21, 2004
Software that turns 3D CAD models into 2D images let a consumer electronics company streamline production of user manuals and assembly instructions.

The Casio camera appears in different stages of assembly. The company uses Lattice3D software to assist with shop-floor manuals and instructions for those assembling products.

The software turns 3D models into images for the user manuals of consumer electronics, such as digital cameras

Casio Inc. estimates it has cut time spent on manuals by at least 50% thanks to Lattice3D XVL applications from Lattice3D, Los Altos, Calif., (lattice3d.com).

Graphics get created in a size and format that can go directly to other countries for use in local customer manuals. "This use of 3D data ensures that accurate representations of electronic products are standardized throughout the organization," says M. R. Kashiwakuma, Casio's manager of R&D.

Prior to using the image-processing software, the company generated customer and shop-floor catalogs in a sequential and more labor-intensive process. For example, a 3D design had to release to production before handmade drawings could be created for shop-floor manuals. Packaging and logistics groups would sit idle until data they needed came in.

The software quickly converts and compresses 3D images into an XVL file which can be used in operations such . as sales, customer service, technical publications and illustrations, and training. XVL files are just 2% of the original size or less. The software also lets users produce documentation, parts lists, assembly instructions and more in almost any format including spreadsheets, PDFs, and Internet formats.

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