BMW: Drawing-free development

BMW Group

Globally operating, Munich-based German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer

Projektlaufzeit: März 2012 - November 2015


The drawing-free process has been in use as the productive pilot in the Body Development department since May 2014. The ZfE process was brought to a successful conclusion in November 2015, and has since then been one of the processes in productive use.

It was in 2012 that the Body Development department approached us with the ´”drawing-free development” project. The department’s ultimate ideal was to establish the “drawing-free” strategy in the process chain. In concrete terms, this meant implementing all the technical measures necessary to be able to discontinue the use of drawings, creating all release-related requirements, and possibly also modifying the necessary processes and tools while taking the department’s approval process into account.


Throughout the entire duration of the project (March 2012 – November 2015) the range of tasks we performed included setting up the lead scenarios, working out necessary replacement processes, extending the CAD function (macro and application development), developing CAD methods for components and assemblies, and developing a standardised visualisation strategy. We also supported the optimisation of the workflow in PRISMA/TAIS.
To ensure the capability of the employees and anybody involved in the new process and new working method, we developed a special qualification concept. We used this concept for qualifying in-house BMW employees and selected BMW suppliers throughout the entire duration of the project.

The company benefitted from the use of ZfE in the following ways:

- Reduction or elimination of the cost of generating and maintaining drawings.
- Provision of machine-readable information for follow-up processes, including in a disclosed neutral format.
- Enhanced information opportunities for the user without additional costs being generated by using 3D.
- Standardised visualisation for all process chains involved by using 3D replacement formats, including some licence-free solutions (PDF, JT2Go)