2015 industrial sales and marketing report reveals engineers purchase 16.7 parts per 3D CAD model download

Survey report of engineers reveals sales and marketing insights into the needs of designers

When engineers download: how many parts do they buy?

CADENAS, known for their digital 3D catalog software platform for manufacturers, eCATALOGsolutions, has recently surveyed engineers from more than 500 companies with the goal of discovering the specific data that designers need from component manufacturers. The results reveal the preferences engineers have when selecting parts suppliers as well the sales and marketing value native 3D CAD models provide to manufacturers.

CAD Downloads Lead to Volume Purchase

One of the most revealing questions in the survey shows the true value of a digital 3D catalog for manufacturers.

Engineers were asked:

“When you specify a supplier part for a design, what quantity is typically purchased for production?”

From the responses we can conclude that, on average, a downloaded 3D CAD model will lead to a volume purchase of 16.7 parts on average. When a CAD model is downloaded is it often used as a component that is specified in a master design which leads to a production manufacturing run. This data is key for manufacturers calculating ROI and far exceeds the “one to one” download to purchase ratio often used as a rule of thumb.

The 2015 industrial sales and marketing report highlights

  • Digital behaviors that drive sales for component manufacturers
  • What engineers want from a manufacturer’s website
  • What technical resources engineers need to make purchase decisions
  • How digital downloads effect volume sales


Many manufacturers looking to better meet the digital needs of engineers have implemented the eCATALOGsolutions industrial marketing platform, by CADENAS. This cloud-based digital 3D catalog enables manufacturers to provide configurable digital product models to their potential customers, expediting the specification process and driving sales.

“This data proves what many of the leading industrial manufacturers already knew. Downloads drive sales,” says Rob Zesch, President and COO of CADENAS PARTsolutions LLC. “In the past we knew that about 85% of the time, a downloaded CAD Model would result in at least single part purchased. This is a fantastic return on investment, by its self. But now, engineers are telling us, much more than we had previously thought, that they are using each downloaded part for a design supporting a production run. The data shows that on average, each of those downloads which specifies an exact component into a design, commands an actual purchase of 16 parts. Manufacturers who provide this service are reaping the benefits, while those who don’t could be missing out on significant sales.”

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