Bastien Mazeran, Designated Support Specialist, at Autodesk on September 17, 2018
In the first article [Digitizing your manufacturing business with Forge] of our Forge manufacturing series we touched on how important it is to digitize your business to stay competitive. We highlighted three initiatives, powered by the Autodesk Forge Platform, you can take today to accelerate your journey to digital transformation:
- Digital cataloging [Recorded Webinar] [Digital Cataloging Article]
- Virtual Operations [Recorded Webinar]
- Interactive Instructions [Recorded Webinar] [Interactive Instructions Article]
In this article, we will dive into the first initiative: Digital Cataloging and how the Autodesk Forge Platform can enhance the experience of how your customers access and view your products’ catalogue.
If you prefer to watch the recorded webinar on the same topic, please go to this site, otherwise please read on.
In a not so distant past, the way products were documented was in the form of hardcopy booklets. Sharing critical product information with customers was definitely a challenge.
With the rise of the internet, online parts catalogues were built to make product pictures and specifications electronically available to customers, giving them easy access to product information from anywhere.
And today, thanks to the power of the Autodesk Forge Platform we can enhance your customers’ experience even further.
Above is an example of what the Autodesk Forge Platform can enable in your parts catalogue:
- Interactive 2D & 3D visualization
(with support for pan / rotate / zoom / section cuts, access to measuring tools and exploded views)
- Connected data
(with direct access to your CAD files’ metadata)
- Contextual information
(ability to visually toggle on / off geometry based on pre-defined filters)
The Forge platform is comprised of multiple Application Programming Interfaces (or APIs) amongst which two of them are needed to enhance your parts catalogue today:
The Model Derivatives API is used to generate 2D and 3D views of your product designs. It currently supports over 60 CAD formats and can also extract geometry and object property data. With this API, your design data can be quickly and easily integrated into your parts digital catalog.
As for the Viewer API it is used to display, within your parts catalogue website, the 2D and 3D views of your product designs.
With this Digital Catalog Forge initiative, you should expect the following benefits:
- Your customers get a better viewing experience with access to more information
- Your sales leads don’t have to explain the details when they can simply show it
- Reduce time and cost with creating content for your digital marketing team
If you want to learn more about the technical details of such a Forge implementation, please read on this next article [“A technical dive into a Forge powered parts catalog”].