Engineering for manufacturing is the process of providing the information the manufacturer needs to produce the product. Typically, that information takes the form of 3-D CAD files. These files define every part with all the detail necessary for the manufacturing process. The files also display the assembly of those parts to show the complete product, list a bill of materials (BOM), and show an exploded view. The manufacturing process to be used to make each part requires that each part be design by an engineer who has a thorough understanding of that manufacturing process. In addition to designing a part that can be produced, good engineering for manufacturing focuses on cost reduction and reliability. Reducing the parts count and simplifying the assembly process play important parts of engineering for manufacturing.
Plastic injection molding factories used to require 2-D control drawings, but most now only require 3-D CAD files to make their molds today. The molds are CNC-cut directly from the CAD files. Some industries do require full sets of 2-D drawings, which can be expensive to produce. Many sheet metal vendors specify 2-D drawings with tolerances specified for all parts and also require that the Bill of Materials and the exploded view accompany the drawings.