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 is usually the hardest part.
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