Top 6 Benefits of outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting for engineers and architects
Published on March 27th, 2018
Updated on December 6th, 2023
Engineering and architectural companies struggle without the support of external design teams with rapidly evolving design technologies. Outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting empowers engineers and architects, providing specialized, scalable skills, slashing time and costs, and enabling a laser focus on core competencies.
Growing trend of outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting amid engineers and architects
Next generation manufacturing trends
The rise in automation and advanced technology has fueled the growth of outsourcing trends for engineering design companies, architectural firms, and metal fabricators. For example, CAD automation has made it easier to deliver personalized and highly complex designs more quickly. However, developing automation capabilities is no easy task; it requires specialized skills, technology, and software licenses. This is where outsourcing 3D CAD modeling proves to be a good option.
Simultaneously, cutting-edge technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are gaining prominence, particularly within the construction and manufacturing sectors. To leverage these technologies, manufacturers and contractors require AR/VR-ready CAD models. This, once again, necessitates special skill sets to convert native 3D CAD models into lightweight formats compatible with AR and VR headsets.
Benefits of 3D CAD designing
An excellent collaboration with a 3D CAD design services provider has become an indispensable requirement for manufacturers, design engineers, contractors, and architects. A 3D CAD design outsourcing company having global presence including the USA, UK, Canada, and Europe can assist with onshore and offshore CAD drafting and modeling. Some benefits include:
No gaps design communication
Ease in developing near-net shapes
Digitalized design development
Easy future referencing of designs
Reuse of design intelligence with CAD libraries
Top 6 Benefits of outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting for engineers and architects
Mechanical and architectural design firms have recognized the immense value of 3D CAD designs, opting to outsource 3D design work that consistently delivers unparalleled quality. Today, the majority of design engineers utilize cloud-based solutions to outsource their 3D modeling tasks, allowing them to focus on design optimization and innovation.
Benefit 1: Cost savings by outsourcing CAD design drafting
Bring down overall project costs
One of the most compelling advantages for outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting in these industries is the substantial cost reduction it offers over maintaining an in-house team. Let’s break down the cost comparison:
Salaries and benefits: Employing a full-time in-house CAD design team involves substantial salary and benefit expenses. These costs can be particularly high, especially for skilled CAD professionals.
Training and skill development: CAD software and technology are continually evolving. Keeping an in-house team up-to-date requires ongoing training, which adds both time and expenses.
Office space: Maintaining an in-house CAD team requires physical office space. Outsourcing allows you to free up this valuable space and utilize it for revenue-generating activities.
Cost efficiency: Outsourcing 3D CAD work significantly reduces labor costs. Companies can access top-tier CAD experts without the burden of full-time salaries and benefits.
Costs on training and skills: Keeping an in-house CAD team up-to-date with the latest CAD tools and techniques necessitates continuous training and skill development efforts. This ongoing commitment requires both time and financial resources. By outsourcing mechanical design drafting, you can sidestep these challenges.
Immediate access to expertise: Outsourcing partners employs professionals who are already proficient in the latest CAD software and practices, ensuring that your projects benefit from current industry standards.
No training costs: Outsourcing partners are already well-versed in the latest CAD tools and technologies. There’s no need to allocate resources to continuous training and skill development.
Minimal infrastructure costs: By outsourcing, you eliminate the need for expensive CAD software licenses, hardware, and maintenance.
Hardware costs: By outsourcing, you avoid the need to purchase and maintain expensive CAD workstations, servers, and related hardware. The outsourcing partner handles this investment.
Software costs: CAD software licenses can be pricey and often require periodic upgrades. With outsourcing partner, these costs are shifted to the service provider, freeing up your capital for other critical investments.
Benefit 2: Access to specialized skills
Get a pool of talented resource
Architectural millwork companies or metal fabricators need skilled resources to develop precise 3D CAD design. They must have the fabrication knowledge of the product and also hands on expertise for specific software like SolidWorks, AutoCAD 3D, Inventor, and Creo.
Outsourcing specific projects to the right talent unlocks the full potential of 3D CAD designs. Offshore CAD design companies offer engineers and architects the opportunity to tap into a pool of industry experts and experienced professionals. It gives:
Access to a global talent pool: Outsourcing opens doors to a diverse and global talent pool of CAD drafters. Engineers and architects can collaborate with experts who possess specialized skills in various CAD software, ensuring that projects are handled by individuals with the right knowledge and experience for the job.
Industry-specific expertise: Many outsourcing partners focus on specific industries, such as aerospace, automotive, or architectural design. These partners often have a deep understanding of industry-specific requirements and standards, making them valuable assets for projects that demand specialized knowledge.
Efficiency and quality assurance: Experienced CAD specialists bring efficiency to the design process. They understand best practices, shortcuts, and techniques that can expedite project completion without compromising quality. Their expertise also includes quality assurance measures to minimize errors and ensure that designs meet industry standards.
Staying current with technological advancements: Outsourcing partners are often at the forefront of technological advancements in CAD design. They invest in training and tools to keep their teams up-to-date. By collaborating with these professionals, engineers and architects can harness the latest innovations in their designs, staying competitive in their respective fields.
Benefit 3: Time efficiency
Time is the most critical commodity while outsourcing, especially for millworkers and metal fabricators as work on contracts. Each of these contracts have tight deadlines which if missed proves costly. Meeting project deadlines and client expectations hinges on efficient design processes. This is where outsourcing 3D CAD design services becomes a game-changer, offering engineers and architects a range of benefits that culminate in remarkable time efficiency.
An outsourcing CAD drafting company is well-equipped with collaborative tools and technologies that foster real-time communication and feedback. This enables seamless coordination among team members, whether they are located locally or halfway across the globe. Time zone differences can be a strategic advantage when outsourcing 3D CAD design services.
Round-the-clock work: Time zone variations enable work to continue round-the-clock. When one part of the world is wrapping up their workday, another part is just beginning. This continuous work cycle significantly accelerates project progress.
Overnight progress: Imagine sending your project requirements to an outsourcing partner at the end of your workday and waking up to find significant progress has been made while you slept. This time efficiency is a unique benefit of outsourcing that can drastically reduce project timelines.
Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously: Engineers and architects often face the challenge of managing multiple projects concurrently.
Dedicated teams per project: Outsourcing partners can allocate dedicated teams to handle different projects simultaneously. Each team focuses exclusively on one project, ensuring that work is not delayed or compromised by competing priorities.
Meeting tight deadlines and client expectations: Outsourcing partners are agile to respond to shifting project requirements and tight deadlines. Their consistency ensures that deliverables meet or exceed client expectations every time, reducing the risk of delays or revisions.
Benefit 4: Focus on core engineering and architectural competencies
Delegate tasks & advance on your core activities
The ability to focus on core competencies can be a decisive factor in achieving success for engineering design companies. Outsourcing 3D CAD design drafting services presents engineers and architects with a strategic avenue for honing their expertise and streamlining their operations, ultimately leading to enhanced productivity and project quality.
Expertise amplification: Engineers and architects are at their best when they can fully engage their expertise in solving complex design and structural challenges. Focusing on core competencies allows professionals to direct their skills, knowledge, and creativity toward creating innovative and efficient solutions for clients.
Strategic decision-making: When engineering and architectural teams concentrate on their core functions, they are better positioned for enhanced CAD project management to make informed, strategic decisions that align with their long-term goals. This includes refining designs, adopting new technologies, and staying ahead of industry trends.
Reducing administrative burdens: Managing an in-house CAD design team involves administrative tasks such as hiring, training, and performance evaluations. Outsourcing relieves businesses of these non-core responsibilities, freeing up in-house design managers to do more productive tasks.
Eliminating hardware and software management: Maintaining the necessary hardware and software infrastructure for CAD design drafting can be resource-intensive. Outsourcing partners shoulder the burden of managing and upgrading this infrastructure, leaving internal resources free for strategic endeavors.
Quality assurance: Outsourcing partners deliver high-quality CAD drafting with robust quality assurance processes in place. Their expertise ensures that CAD designs are thoroughly reviewed and adhere to industry standards, minimizing errors and rework. The end result is higher project quality and client satisfaction.
Client-centric focus: With non-core tasks outsourced, engineering and architectural firms can place a greater emphasis on client-centric activities such as client consultations, project customization, and addressing client concerns promptly. This customer-centric approach often leads to long-term client relationships and repeat business.
Benefit 5: Scalability and Flexibility
Quick ramp-up and ramp-down
For architectural millwork design companies and metal fabricators engaged in contractual work, the ability to adapt to fluctuating workloads is essential. By addressing seasonal peaks and valleys due to winning and losing of bids, they can maintain competitiveness and profitability. Outsourcing CAD work offers these professionals a strategic advantage by providing scalable and flexible team of resources to meet the demands of their ever-changing projects.
Seamlessly handling project spikes: Occasionally, projects may experience sudden spikes in workload due to unforeseen circumstances or project expansions. Outsourcing partners can swiftly allocate additional resources to meet these demands, preventing project delays and keeping clients satisfied.
Rapid and hassle-free scalability: Outsourcing offers unparalleled scalability. Whether your project demands increase or decrease, outsourcing partners can readily adjust their workforce to accommodate your requirements. This flexibility ensures that you always have the right level of support.
Cost-efficient resource management: Scaling up or down with in-house staff can be a costly and time-consuming process, involving hiring, onboarding, and potentially laying off employees. Outsourcing eliminates these hassles, enabling companies to efficiently manage resources in line with project needs.
Benefit 6: Risk Mitigation
Reduce risk with an offshore CAD team
Stakes are higher when archiertcural firms and fabricators engage in contractual work. The precision and quality of CAD design directly impact project success. Outsourcing 3D CAD design services becomes a pivotal strategy for risk mitigation, offering a range of benefits.
Outsourcing CAD drafting reduces the risks associated with in-house design errors as they heavily adopt automation and specialized tools for specific tasks. Additionally, given their longstanding experience in same type of work and domain, offshore CAD teams are more likely to identify flaws early. You can validate this by looking at the portfolio of the CAD design company before venturing into the partnership.
Some other benefits include:
Mitigating legal and HR complexities: Hiring and firing employees entail legal and HR complexities, such as contracts, severance pay, and compliance with labor laws. Outsourcing minimizes these challenges, allowing companies to focus on project execution rather than HR matters.
Risk mitigation: Fluctuating workloads can introduce project risks if not managed efficiently. Outsourcing partners are equipped to mitigate these risks by providing the necessary resources when needed, ensuring that project timelines are met and project quality is maintained. They also sign NDA with clients to offer the highest data security for design intelligence.
Unbiased review: Outsourcing partners provide an external perspective on design projects. This unbiased review can identify potential errors or oversights that might be missed in an internal review, further reducing the risk of design errors.
Rigorous quality control: Outsourcing partners often have robust quality control processes in place. CAD designs undergo comprehensive error-checking and review, ensuring that they adhere to industry standards and project-specific requirements.
Expertise in validation: Many outsourcing providers are well-versed in validation protocols and standards relevant to millwork and metal fabrication. They ensure that designs align with safety regulations, compliance mandates, and quality benchmarks, reducing the risk of regulatory issues.
Industry-specific knowledge for quality compliance:Outsourcing CAD solutions provider specialize in industry-specific CAD design. Their expertise ensures that designs comply with the unique standards and regulations of millwork and metal fabrication, mitigating the risk of non-compliance.
Outsourcing 3D cabinet design accelerates TAT and overall project costs: A case in point
A US-based furniture manufacturer, of kitchen and bathroom cabinets faced challenges in delivering detailed CAD shop drawings due to a skill gap and lack of resources. To close the skills gap an accelerate design drafting, they collaborated with HitechCADD services team.
A team of six AutoCAD engineers with expertise in cabinet design drafting was assembled to deliver cabinet shop drawings along with 3D design models. The project team studied the architect’s drawings, design intent, and manufacturing inputs, carefully planning the placement of products in kitchen sections.
Detailed drawings were developed, and communication with the client and end customers regarding design details, joineries, and hardware needs took place. Quality control was maintained throughout the process, with revisions addressed using red markups. Standard product blocks from an AutoCAD library were used to save modeling time.
The project resulted in a reduction of project TAT from 15-20 days to just 10 days, with 100% first-time-right (FTR) deliveries for most submissions, and reduced overall project costs.
By entrusting CAD design to experts who prioritize compliance, millwork design engineers and metal fabricators can instill confidence in their clients. The assurance of designs meeting industry standards and regulations strengthens client relationships and reduces the risk of disputes.
Outsourcing 3D CAD design services not only maintain excellent quality but are also cost-effective with hourly rates and other engagement models. Moreover, the drafters employed by professional 3D CAD design service providers excel in their field, ensuring both skillfulness and enhanced productivity.
By partnering with CAD outsourcing companies, design and manufacturing firms gain virtual assistance that enables them to stay ahead of competitors. This strategic collaboration allows them to harness the full potential of their design engineers’ talent and leverage emerging technologies like AR and VR. In this fast-evolving landscape, outsourcing is the key to achieving excellence and maintaining a competitive edge.
Usha B. Trivedi is an engineer and she contributes in-depth articles for mechanical and industrial equipment designs, furniture designs and fabrication sector. Her contributions are primarily focused on enabling engineering professionals, furniture manufacturers and fabricators to optimize design outcomes through CAD and CAE tools.