Monday Feb 12th, 2024

Why You Should Include a 3D Model in Your RFQ

At Leech Industries, we believe efficiency begins at the request for quote (RFQ). A comprehensive RFQ package provides us with the information and clarity necessary to produce the highest quality, most accurate components.

The Ideal RFQ Package

Our team has the technology and expertise to produce accurate, timely quotes when our customers provide us with all available information about their components. The ideal request for quote package includes:

1. A Matching Drawing and 3-D Model

The 2-D drawing is essential, as it contains all geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, post-processing specifications, configuration requirements and all notes associated with how we need to manufacture a part. 

In addition to the blueprint, we prefer to receive the corresponding 3-D model, which provides our team with the 3-D representation of the component. This is particularly essential to include when working with complex part geometries or multi-component assemblies.

Most importantly, it’s crucial that the model and drawing match!

2. Statement of Work

This is extremely helpful to include when you’re dealing with complex parts or scenarios that require extra communication in addition to the part files themselves. A complete statement of work shows our team what part of the project we are responsible for when dealing with partial builds, sub-set drawing requirements or MRO-type contracts.

3. Any Supporting Documentation

Other useful information our team requires on the front end of the project includes:

  • Post-processing specifications referenced on the drawing
  • Quality flow-downs
  • BOM files
  • Volume projections
  • Anything else we should take into consideration during our fabrication and machining processes

Why We Work Best with a 3-D Model

At Leech Industries, we do our best work when we receive all information upfront in the RFQ. Here are the reasons we request everything, particularly 3-D models, at the beginning:

Seamless Integration with Our Quoting Software

The Leech team utilizes a quoting software, Paperless Parts, to streamline the quoting process and ensure accuracy. This solution allows us to perform geometric interrogations on 3-D models. These algorithms can capture part dimensions and identify potential risks in the form of design for manufacturability (DFM) warnings during the quoting process. Capturing this critical information before production allows us to resolve discrepancies in the model ahead of time, thus cutting time and resources in the long run.

3D Stock Photo 1

Supports CNC Programming

Our engineers utilize MasterCAM to program our CNC machines, many of which are 5-axis machining centers able to handle complex geometries typically found in the aerospace industry. The 3-D model is crucial as we use this model in our programming process to develop tool paths and machining programs. If we aren’t provided a model as part of the RFQ package, our engineers need to develop one as part of the programming process. While this certainly isn’t a problem, this additional step may increase component lead times.

Increased Efficiency

A major challenge of only being able to refer back to 2-D drawings is not having sufficient information regarding particular dimensions and geometries. When we only have access to a 2-D PDF, we may need to reach out to customers to request more information; this could delay the process as we wait for the necessary information. However, when we receive a 3-D model at the beginning, our teams can better visualize the part and get started on production immediately.

Gain Full Perspective on Assembly Component Interfaces

One feature that we use frequently in our quoting platform is the exploded view feature, which allows us to inspect the assembly condition of multi-component assemblies in real time. This is especially useful for more complex components that have helical coil inserts, dowel pins or multiple bodies coming together in an assembly. Being able to decipher how parts work independently and within their assemblies in a 3-D space allows us to quote more accurately and make more informed processing decisions.

Strategic Contract Manufacturing Services from Leech Industries

Our production manufacturing services are the most accurate and efficient when we have access to a complete technical data package. Since we strive to provide the greatest results to our customers, we prefer to receive a 3-D model with each RFQ.

What happens if you don’t have access to a 3-D model? Our team can produce many parts with just the 2-D drawing when various descriptors are included in the drawing, including material, size, type of plating, heat treating options and other key contractual requirements. However, when parts are complex and/or part of an assembly, we may need to ask customers for a 3-D model or build them ourselves using our sophisticated design and engineering solutions.

Whether you’re sending a full RFQ or utilizing our prototype manufacturing services, you can count on our team to provide the best possible outcome. As we always say, “Leave it to Leech!” Request a quote today. 

LEECH Industries

13144 Dickson Road
Meadville, PA 16335