MBD Certificate Program

Model-based definition (MBD) is an emerging industry technique that uses 3D CAD models with annotations to communicate information between people and equipment instead of using drawings. This technique results in reduced variability during data translation, more accurate product definition information, and wider dissemination of product data through an increasingly digital corporate enterprise.

To register click here

What is the MBD Certificate Program?

The MBD certificate program (MBD CP) is a program that will:

  • Provide an overview of MBD so participants gain an understanding of how it is beneficial to the modern manufacturing environment.
  • Explain and demonstrate how to capture Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) in the selected CAD system
  • Guide participants through learning activities to gain real-world experience capturing information in an MBD format.
  • Allow participants up to four hours of direct interaction with the instructor while they complete the course.
  • Expose participants to the opportunities to use MBD data throughout the lifecycle of the product.

How is the class delivered?

The class is self-paced. Participants register at any time throughout the year and watch recorded lectures and demonstrations on their own schedule and will complete exercises at their own pace. Participants taking this option will still have access to the instructor through email to ask questions as they complete the material.

What CAD systems are used?

The MBD CP is currently offered with Creo Parametric 3.0, CATIA V5-6R2014, NX 12 and Solidworks 2016.

Do I need my own license of the CAD software to participate?

     You do not need access to your own license of the CAD software to participate. A virtual machine will be setup exclusively for your use while you are enrolled in the class, containing the CAD software for the course that you have enrolled in.

How much does it cost?

Self-paced classes are $2,000.00 per participant. Discounted rates are available when several employees from the same company enroll.*

Virtual Instructor lead classes are based on the number of participants from the same company attending that session. 

*Please contact Thaddaeus Blossom at  tblossom@purdue.edu to inquire about respective fees.

How do I register?

To register for the Model-Based Definition Certificate Program click here

How long will it take to complete?

The maximum amount of time required to view lectures, complete exercises, and take quizzes for each module is approximately 24 hours:

Module 1: Overview of MBD and PMI ~ 8 hours
Module 2: Transformation from 2D to 3D Product Data ~ 8 hours
Module 3: Guided Practice ~ 4 hours
Module 4: Model-based Data Exchange and Geometry Reuse ~ 4 hours

Participants completing all four modules will earn 2.4 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Who should take the MBD CP?

The class is targeted at CAD designers or others who are tasked with creating 3D CAD models that contain Product and Manufacturing Information. Other persons who will benefit from the certificate include Product Managers, Project Managers, Manufacturing Floor Personnel, and Quality Assurance or Inspection Engineers. Participants are assumed to have previous experience with CAD.

Why should I take training from Purdue instead of the CAD vendor?

Purdue’s goal is to help you understand current industry technology and best practices while earning a credential that can help advance your professional career.  Our courses focus on the capabilities of current CAD technologies while illustrating best practices. We are not an advocate for specific CAD tools in this course and will highlight real-world challenges and software limitations that you may encounter along your Model Based journey.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are recognized as qualified per the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). The class is taught by Purdue University faculty that instruct at the West Lafayette campus.

Is a more detailed description of each of the modules available?

See the following paragraphs for a more detailed description of the topics covered in each module.

Module 1: Overview of MBD and PMI

This module covers an overview of how MBD fits into the modern manufacturing environment via the use of PLM tools and methods. It also covers an overview of PMI, with emphasis given to GD&T and other model-based annotations. The role of product manufacturing information (PMI) and how that relates to the creation of the model or drawing will also be covered. Course topics include





  • Why is GD&T used?
  • CAD history - A brief overview of the evolution of the tools we use today and how this affects MBD
  • Dimensioning and Tolerancing Philosophy – The difference between drawings & models
  • Overview of Standards
  • Connection of MBD & PLM and the four digital components of the enterprise - PDM,SCM, CRM, ERP
  • Review of GD&T Language

Module 2: Transformation from 2D to 3D Product Data

This module provides a comparison between 2D and 3D product data techniques, particularly a discussion of the change in information flow and the fidelity of product data when using 3D model representations instead of 2D drawings. Course topics include:


  • Terminology and the relationships between 2D Drawings and MBD concepts
  • Creation and use of 3D annotations within the CAD tools
  • CAD tool configuration options related to 3D annotations
  • MBD schema recommendations

Module 3: Model-based Data Exchange and Geometry Reuse

This module is focused on the reuse of MBD product data outside of the design function of the product lifecycle. Students will be exposed to the various derivative file format options used in industry for moving CAD/MBD data, as well as the differences between MBD presentation and representation functionality. Course topics include:
  • Derivative MBD formats used throughout the enterprise based on the CAD model
  • Graphic vs. semantic transfer of MBD data
  • Applicable standards to support data exchange
  • Interoperability opportunities and challenges

Module 4: Guided Practice for Creating PMI

This module offers the opportunity for guided practice as a follow-up to modules 1 and 2. Students will bring drawings of a part with them to class (the instructor has final approval on selected parts) and learn to add appropriate annotations to that model according to the content learned in the preceding courses with the company's MBD schema in mind. The goal of this course is to provide an authentic learning experience for the students while having the advice and guidance of the instructor.


If you have any further questions about the course please contact Nathan Hartman at nhartman@purdue.edu

If you have any further questions or need assistance with registration contact Thaddaeus Blossom at tblossom@purdue.edu

To register for the Model-Based Definition Certificate Program click here