twitter youtube facebook linkedin email
Connect with:

Under the Hood - All things PDM and PLM

3 Reasons You Need a Multi-CAD PDM Solution

Alexandra Maraldo
March 9, 2022

CAD integrations are a must-have with any PDM and with the growing complexity of products and the design process, having integrations with multiple CAD systems is becoming increasingly essential. Unfortunately, not all PDM solutions allow to be used for one product. Even if you only use one CAD system today, choosing a PDM solution with multi-CAD capabilities is important for many reasons.


User Adoption

You know that if new software is not easy to use you and your team are less likely to use it. Your suppliers and internal design teams probably all work on different CAD systems, but you need to make sure all your product data is centralized in a single location to ensure quality, compliance, and accuracy. Instead of converting native CAD files into neutral files and losing valuable data in the process, you need a PDM solution that will make all of their lives easier by integrating into their native workspaces. Maintaining your team’s natural state of work and making them more efficient rather than adding another step to their process and requiring them to spend more time on administrative tasks means they will be more likely to adopt the new PDM solution which, in turn, increases the value of the solution itself as it becomes a more robust repository for all your product data. By offering native integrations with all major CAD systems, Upchain is able to automatically pull CAD data into the platform without having to add more steps to the design process, making it easier to ensure your central source of truth is always up to date, and reducing the risk of human error in the process.

Reducing Waste

Reducing the amount of time, materials, and money wasted during the design and manufacturing process is a priority for many companies. While we know that changes made during the design phase are much less costly than those made later in a product’s lifecycle but ensuring that those changes are communicated out to all stakeholders can be a challenge, especially when different parts of the same assembly are being designed in different CAD systems. Multi-CAD PDM can help overcome this issue by bringing in CAD data for all parts to the same system, regardless of where it was designed, and allowing any user to investigate it within the PDM platform. It also means that any time a change is made, everyone involved in the project is notified within the system, so no one can say they didn’t know about a change. Ensuring these changes are communicated early and to all stakeholders saves the time and materials associated with mistakes and rework before they happen.
Native integration into multiple CAD systems also saves by making it easier to search for parts in a central system. By housing all your CAD data in one place and organizing it based on what best suits your business, your designers will be able to easily search for parts previously created and used in other assemblies for reuse. Not only does the reuse itself save time but, according to, engineers spend the equivalent of two months every year searching for product data across as many as 10 different systems. Centralizing your product data in one place can drastically reduce the time they waste searching.


Finally, and probably most importantly for your business, the ability to integrate data from multiple CAD systems makes your PDM solution infinitely more scalable. Whether you choose to outsource certain parts to a new supplier who uses a different CAD than your in-house team, or switch the CAD system you use internally, having a PDM solution that can manage your data no matter what system it comes from will help you scale more easily. What’s more, Upchain’s consistent interface across any CAD it natively integrates with means that your designers will not have to be retrained on Upchain just because they start using a new CAD system.

To learn more about these and other reasons why seamless integration with multiple CAD systems is important for your PDM solution, register for our upcoming webinar

Alexandra Maraldo

Alex is a marketing manager at Autodesk specialising in PLM and PDM solutions.