I emedical device designncourage you to check out this link to a blog post by Jennifer Heron at GrabCAD.com on using 3D models as manufacturing control instead of drawings.

For at least the past two decades, product components have been designed in virtual 3-dimensional space, using various computer aided design tools. Where orthographic drawings were once needed to communicate how parts were to be made, that requirement is now long past. Yet, designers and engineers are still required to generate drawings to obtain quotes and as part of the transfer to manufacturing process. This is a time consuming step that has become obsolete. In medical device design, it only adds to device cost, in an environment where there is tremendous pressure to reduce cost.

Medical device design companies already have the ability to include all manufacturing control information directly in part and assembly files using Model Based Definition (MBD). Suppliers and manufacturers need to adapt their procedures to embrace this new reality, otherwise they are going to find themselves at a decided disadvantage.

Engineering drawings are going the way of carbon paper and mimeograph. The sooner the better.