What journey do engineers typically take on

From design through to purchase

The website is a CAD-content platform for engineers and designers around the world who are looking for standard CAD models certified by industrial suppliers.

Design professionals visiting the platform have free and unlimited access to millions of CAD models, which can be downloaded in 70 different CAD formats.

The platform has continually grown since its creation in 2001 to reach an impressive 4.2 million registered users.

To figure out why design professionals are flocking to the TraceParts platform, you need to understand exactly what type of journey they take when using the platform.

Engineers journey

Step 1 – Finding solutions for a design project

Engineers and designers have a number of responsibilities. Whether authoring specifications, carrying out simulations or designing and assembling prototypes, engineers cannot devote much time to finding parts for their design.

That is why they will look for “prebuilt” CAD models instead of redesigning commercial off-the-shelf parts. Using up-to-date and manufacturer-certified products not only ramps up the design process, but also reduces the risk of introducing errors and inconsistencies.

Designers and engineers may first start looking for parts on the web or directly on

  • On the web

When engineers search for CAD models, their first instinct is to enter the part number of the required product and the supplier’s name in a search engine, or type the product name with the keyword “CAD model”.

With its millions of pages indexed by Google, the website achieves excellent search engine rankings.

That explains why 67% of the traffic on our website comes from search engines.

In 21% of cases, people visiting land directly on the datasheet of the product matching their web search.

  • On

When design professionals visit the TraceParts CAD-content platform, they can choose from several options for looking up parts.

According to a recent survey among our website’s visitors, most people (63%) use the TraceParts search engine to find the required CAD data. Design professionals prefer searching through a supplier’s catalog (14%) or the TraceParts classification, i.e. by product family (14%).

Step 2 – Viewing the part in 3D

Once the part has been found, the WebGL 3D viewer developed by TraceParts reassures designers and engineers that the selected part is suitable for their design project.

Professional designers can obtain different views of the part (front, rear, top, isometric, etc.) with different renderings (solid, wireframe, transparent, etc.) to quickly and easily analyze every aspect of the part. Engineers and designers can also display the dimensions directly in the 3D viewer. 

The exploded view function displays the parts of an assembly separated by distance but positioned so that they show how they are assembled. 

Once designers and engineers have finished viewing the part in 3D, they can take a screenshot for easily sharing the required information for their projects.

Step 3 – Downloading the part

Once engineers have found the required part, they can simply sign into their TraceParts account and choose from a list of 70 CAD formats for downloading the part.

The downloading process is extremely fast.

Subsequently, engineers have access to a folder where they can import the part into their design software.

They can design the rest of their prototype and focus on their project’s production, volume and constraints.

Step 4 – Integrating the part

All the parts used in the design project, including those downloaded from the website, are incorporated into the engineer’s product BOM (bill of materials).

The BOM is an extensive list of all the items, parts, raw materials and assemblies that the engineer needs when manufacturing the product.

In case of a part downloaded from, engineers have access to:

  • Product images and descriptions
  • Installation instructions
  • Links to specific products on the supplier’s website, including e-shop and e-commerce applications
  • Technical documents for selecting and assembling products, and maintenance instructions

The engineers using TraceParts do not need to spend hours trawling other sources for additional information: they have all the right product data in the appropriate nomenclature, which can be exported to their purchasing or procurement department.

90% of the parts downloaded are subsequently purchased!

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About the Author


TraceParts is one of the world’s leading CAD-content platforms for Engineering, Industrial Equipment and Machine Design. TraceParts brings highly targeted Lead Generation marketing services to hundreds of customers of all sizes and from all industries, via powerful cloud-based API and SaaS applications such as 3D part libraries, product catalogs and configurators.