Model Based Definition


SOLIDWORKS MBD (Model-Based Definition) lets you define and organise 3D dimensions, tolerances, datums, notes, Bills of Material (BOMs), and other annotations; customise publishing templates for manufacturing, such as Part or Assembly Specifications, Request for Quote (RFQ), and Incoming Inspection Reports. You can also publish to widely accepted formats, such as eDrawings®, STEP 242, and 3D PDF for clear 3D communications.

For easier adoptions of the model-based practices, several convenient capabilities have been included in every seat of SOLIDWORKS Standard. With SOLIDWORKS Standard, you can annotate a 3D part or assembly, organise the 3D definitions with annotation views and communicate in eDrawings all directly in 3D.

Check out the full capabilities below.
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Share and Archive intelligent and intuitive 3D data

Share and archive intuitive 3D data, PMI, views, and Meta properties, so that you don’t have to waste time in re-modeling based on traditional 2D Drawings. MBD seamlessly integrates with SOLIDWORKS 2D Drawings. The PMI and Views created in 3D are readily available for reuse in 2D, which can save you time and fit well into existing processes.​

Comply with industry standards

MBD helps comply with the predominant industry standards, such as ASME Y14.41, Military-Standard-31000A, ISO 16792, and so on. This compliance gives you the competitive advantages to win more contracts and deliver projects to strict requirements, on time and on budget.


SOLIDWORKS MBD publishes widely accepted file formats such as eDrawings and 3D PDF according to the predefined or customised templates.

Clean and Structured 3D Presentation

Beyond 3D PMI Definition, SOLIDWORKS MBD helps organise the rich data into clean and structured 3D presentations with different views and display settings. Intelligently show/hide 3D annotations while rotating the model to add extra clarity while respecting all the critical-to-function annotations.

Define PMI directly in 3D

Define PMI directly in 3D and avoid expensive, time-consuming, and risky 2D drawing detour. 3D PMI also helps speed up communication, cut quoting time, and reduce errors due to its 3D data interrogation, interactivity, and rich Meta properties.

Customise 3D Output Templates

Serve multiple deliverables and departments by customising the 3D Output Templates. You can build the layout, insert company or group logo, position the 3D View port and thumbnails, edit the text descriptions, embed Meta property links, and add tables.

SOLIDWORKS MBD helps you define feature-based annotations in Parts and assemblies (DimXpert), and import 3D annotations from common CAD formats for more efficient design.

When the number of 3D annotations becomes too many, you can show and hide annotations automatically as a model rotates, capture comprehensive settings with 3D views similar to visual bookmarks, compare 3D annotation differences between revisions to capture subtle but critical differences, and reuse 3D views in 2D drawings when necessary.

SOLIDWORKS MBD helps you communicate directly in 3D. If you like 3D PDF, the software can customise the templates, control accuracies and PDF sizes, publish BOM tables and notes, attach multiple files upon publishing, create and attach STEP242 files. SOLIDWORKS MBD can also output eDrawings or STEP 242 with software-readable annotations.

Unlike miscommunications in 2D drawings and manufacturing based on dated 2D drawings, SOLIDWORKS MBD facilitates 3D engineering communication with integrated 3D specifications, greater clarity, reduced ambiguity, and a shorter update path.

SOLIDWORKS MBD adds clarity in manufacturing communication with 3D integrated specifications, which can also drive downstream applications automatically, such as CAM and CMM programming. SOLIDWORKS MBD enables 3D annotations beyond geometry-based programming.

SOLIDWORKS MBD defines and organises intuitive 3D specifications integrated with models, which shortens the learning curve. The output of high-quality STEP 242 and 3D PDF complies with the Long Term Archival and Retrieval (LOTAR) standard.

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