"Minimal Documentation" describes itself - it involves using the minimum amount of documentation (either 3D [bodies, assemblies,etc.] or 2D [conventional or CTF {Critical To Function} drawings]) to fully define a part. Two separate issues tend to get confused when discussing this topic:

  1. Full definition of the part
  2. 3D <--> 2D documentation tradeoff

These two do not depend on each other - you may fully define a part with scribbles on napkins, full 2D drawings, 3D bodies, or some combination of the aforementioned. The 3D <--> 2D documentation tradeoff does not determine the definition of the part, but may change upstream and downstream processes for dealing with the documentation.

Minimal Documentation's advantages include:

Minimal Documentation's dis-advantages include:

I will address these issues, present examples of 3D and 2D documentation used at the PMD division, and discuss successes, failures and challenges encountered when using the concept of "Minimal Documentation" in Sheet Metal and Plastic part documentation.

For further information about the author, see:

Marc J. Zeitlin

Copyright 1995 - 2000, All Rights Reserved, Marc J. Zeitlin