Case Study

Fictiv Collaborate

Lim innovations modular prosthetic device

What is Collaborate?

Collaborate is a free cloud-based communication app that makes it easy to coordinate with suppliers & accelerate decision making.

How we use it

Use cases:
1. Securely share files in one place
2. Clarify engineering intent with 3D annotations
3. Quickly unblock suppliers during production

Result: More efficient project management with over 200 global suppliers

Manufacturing is a collaborative partnership between hardware teams and skilled operators that requires strong communication — and lots of it. The more complex the part, the more back-and-forth required to communicate design intent, collect manufacturing feedback, and align on manufacturing operations.

Unfortunately, the tools available to hardware teams are not conducive to unambiguous, streamlined communication. Think CAD screenshots annotated in PowerPoint, sent via email, with 2D attachments from Drive or Dropbox.

That’s why we built Fictiv Collaborate, a cloud-based communication app that makes it easy to coordinate with suppliers and accelerate decision making. Collaborate makes it easy to:

  1. Securely share 3D models, 2D drawings, and other supporting documents in one place
  2. Discuss design intent & manufacturing feedback in the context of 3D
  3. Document decisions and track changes across versions

It’s kind of like Google Docs for 3D models (no software required) and today it’s completely free to use with any supplier outside of the Fictiv Manufacturing Network.

To prove it works, we use it with our own manufacturing network of over 200 global suppliers. Here’s an overview of how we use Collaborate today to radically streamline communications, save time, and reduce manufacturing errors.

1. Organize Drawings, Models, and Reference Documents in One Place

When multiple versions of multiple files are sent via email, we run the risk of manufacturers accidentally referencing the wrong model or drawing in production.

With Collaborate, we can securely organize all important files, including 3D models, 2D drawings, and other supporting documents, in one central place.

Collaborate also has version control capabilities so it’s easy to update a model without any ambiguity around which is the most recent version.

2. Clarify Engineering Intent with 3D Annotations

For complex parts or critical features, it’s important to give our manufacturing partners additional context around customer design intent.

To convey intent more clearly and accurately, we use 3D Annotations to place comments on a model using pin drop, surface selection, or cross sectioning tools.

3. Quickly Unblock Suppliers During Production

Similarly, when suppliers have a question about a spec or run into a machinability issue, they can use Collaborate to quickly ask our production team questions so we can help troubleshoot and move forward.

More Efficient Communication for Faster, Higher Quality Parts

Miscommunication is all too common in manufacturing. In fact, 66% of product developers and 76% of manufacturers said they’ve experienced a miscommunication in our 2018 State of Hardware Survey.

At the end of the day, the speed and quality of the parts we manufacture is heavily reliant on the efficiency and accuracy of our communication systems, which is why we’ve invested in improving communication channels with Collaborate.

For hardware teams looking to improve communications with suppliers, Collaborate is free to use and the workflow is simple:

  1. Create a Project and invite teammates
  2. Add 3D models, 2D drawings, and any other supporting documents
  3. Use 3D annotations to place comments & clarify engineering intent
  4. Invite any supplier to easily and securely view your files and comments, and share manufacturing feedback
Organized communication for global collaboration
Try it out - it's free!