We often get asked about the IT structure and systems needed to make product configuration and process automation happen. How are different parts connected to each other? Which departments in the company uses which systems? And how do they relate to the flow of products from purchase to delivery? Have a look at this IT map for manufacturing companies.
In this map we have laid out the flow from order to manufactured product, as well as what’s usually needed to take the customer’s data and manufacture their product.
It all starts with the customer and the external customer facing systems that let the customer configure a product and request a quotation for it.
The data flows from the customer facing channels into the internal systems, but also back to the customer in the form of a quotation and later, an order confirmation.
In order to produce what the customer has ordered, many internal systems are involved. We have listed the relevant ones and where in the chain of events that they are used.
At last the manufactured product comes out and gets delivered to the customer.
Use the map as a tool to analyze your IT structure and see where different solutions should fit. Do you have any questions or do you want to know more about how visualization and configuration work with other systems? Contact us!
With the increasing demand for customized products, providing your customers with a web-based and easy-to-use configurator for your product is profitable in many ways. Instant quotations, significantly reduced strain on the sales and engineering personnel, and high-quality input for manufacturing are just some of the benefits!
We are constantly working to improve the DynaMaker cloud service and lately we have been focusing extra hard on usability for developers.
The most important changes are listed in the docs under Changes 2020-10-20 and can be summarized as:
Since old projects need the possibility to always carry on there is no automatic upgrade performed on your projects. You need to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want the latest features and we will assist you with the upgrade!
Are you working with doors, gates or other forms of openings in buildings? We have a nice template to get you started with DynaMaker!
When enabling parametric configuration on your homepage you can let the user do the measurements themselves. With rules restricting and validating the input, you can control what sizes and resolutions are allowed, limiting mistakes and errors.
You can allow direct download of a quotation drawing (PDF/DXF) that is auto-generated with the exact measurements and easily integrate your configurators with your e-commerce with the help of our plugins and integrations.
If this looks useful for you, please reach out to email@example.com and let us show you how we can help guide your clients and automate your quotation process.
A DynaMaker template project that generates a motor bracket that fits the NEMA standard for stepper motors. With very few inputs the user can modify the installation size and picking the right standard without having to know anything about the NEMA specifications.
You can navigate the model with the middle and right mouse buttons.
Does this template look useful to you? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you started with this!
This is one of many template projects available for a quick start with customization in DynaMaker. It’s a simple one-step configurator that enables parametric customization of a greenhouse with automated CAD exports. See the video below for an example of how it could work for your e-commerce!
The CMS platform WordPress is one of the most popular ones to build your homepage on the web. We thought it might be suitable to make it easier to embed a Dynamaker project direct on a WordPress homepage. Therefore we have just launched a plugin of our own to WordPress!
Most online applications work together with other systems and solutions to help users design and customize products online. Therefore they almost always have to be connected to a homepage, e-commerce, ERP, customer portals and similar to do their intended work.
As a fast and standardize way of connecting the applications your create with DynaMaker to these type of platforms we have now released plugins in the developer dashboard!
First out is the two plugins SendGrid and Auth0, providing e-mail service and authentication for your project.
These two provide a quick way of handling user interaction when you only have a homepage and dont yet have a full fledged e-commerce platform or customer portal taking care of things like theese.
How to use SendGrid plugin in a DynaMaker project
Open your project in DynaMaker
Edit UI in your DynaMaker project and create a checkout button in your project that should trigger an email to sales
Create an account at SendGrid and create an API key there
Create an e-mail template at SendGrid of how you e-mail should look and
Go back to DynaMaker and activate the SendGrid plugin in your project dashboard.
Add your api key to the plugin input field.
Open Edit UI in the DynaMaker project and go back to your checkout button
Import PLUGINS module under the “edit imports”
Access the SendGrid plugin api with PLUGINS.SENDGRID.sendMail( … ) with the proper templateId and content matching what you setup in SendGrid
Pres SAVE & UPDATE and test the checkout button in the editor
When working with an all-in-one cloud service like DynaMaker you can pretty much follow these 10-steps to develop your first CAD configurator for web, e-commerce or CPQ. All the technical aspects can be found on docs.dynamaker.com or by a discussion with our support team. The hardest part is usually doing things in the right order.
Development process in 10 steps
A.1 – Sign up for a free account on DynaMaker and go through our docs & tutorials docs.dynamaker.com A.2 – Request template projects from the support team (see examples on youtube.skymaker.se or start page) A.3 – Explore the template projects and get inspired to the best approach for your product A.4 – Draft a first prototype of the user interface in DynaMaker to find out what parameters should be configurable A.6 – Draft a first prototype of the main assembly of components with the major parts (both upload static CAD files and create some parametric CAD components in DynaMaker) A.7 – Show your prototype to your internal team and discuss the solution A.8 – Keep developing until you have a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that can start solving some of the user cases (don’t wait too long or add too much stuff) A.9 – Introduce the MVP to the intended users to get early feedback and adoption of using a new tool started (it takes time..) A.10 – Keep adding new features in parallel with ensuring that more users/customer uses the visual product configurator
Requirements for an online CAD configurator
When you look at a configurator that runs in the cloud you need the following parts to work together. DynaMaker will handle all those three in a single platform. But the principles stated here apply no matter what platform you choose.
A client-side module with support for CAD that the users interacts with
A server-side module that hosts the application and provides additional functionality like authentication, saving and loading, etc.
A set of rules and formulas for the product configuration
Part 1 – Client-side module
The client-side mainly focuses on:
How the interface should look (placement of buttons, toolbars)
What the user can interact with (buttons, rotation of model)
What steps are needed to configure a product
Visualization in 2D or 3D
Presentation of relevant data to the user (dimensions, values)
Part 2 – Server-side module
To make things available on the web you need some kind of server to host the files and provide protected functionality like user handling, security, saving and loading a configuration, connections with other software, and much more. This is only exposed to the client-side through an API and can be composed of pretty much any programming language available.
Developing the server-side is hard and requires an experienced developer to ensure that it’s secure, can handle the load and is possible to maintain over time. The server-side is handled automatically in the DynaMaker cloud service.
Part 3 – Product rules and formulas
Last but not least you need a set of rules for your product configurator to work. Maybe you already have them written down in the product catalog? Or expressed in an excel sheet somewhere. These need to be translated to web-compatible formulas and code (client-side or server-side).
The rules and formulas can be distributed either to the server-side module (secret formulas) or the client-side module (compiled but available), or both, depending on how the product configuration is set up.
If you want code examples on how this can be set up on DynaMaker you can check out the tutorials under docs.dynamaker.com
Building a online tool for just switching predetermined sizes is easy. Add a few 3D-models with some nice textures and suddenly you have very visual way for the customers to test different sizes.
But from that simple product picker you can then allow export of 2D-drawings with dimensions, open up for patterns of multiple panels, and allow different downloads for adding to your own 3D-projects. Endless possibilities!
Send us some links with your preferred sizes and we will set you right up with a solar panel online configurator from one of our templates.