Often underestimated, the bill of materials (BOM) is arguably the most important component for manufacturing. A bold statement? The BOM is the most critical communication piece in getting something manufactured.

What is a bill of materials?

I know what you are thinking, no way it’s more important than the 3D model and/or drawing. But hear me out. And yes I understand in most instances the BOM is derived from the 3D model. The bill of materials is more than just a simple list of parts. It is the ingredients in the hierarchal recipe of producing (and repairing) the equipment and machinery you design. It is the listing of the material, sub-assemblies, purchased items, and everything else that goes into the product.

The BOM acts as a key communication piece between the various departments. It contains the items designed by engineering. A BOM provides the list of items to be purchased and the items that must be manufactured. It contains the identifiers (part numbers, stock numbers), the descriptions, quantities, purchasing details, manufacturer information, costs, and other key attributes.

I’ve seen it multiple times where the material is ordered, received, assembled, and shipped to the customer all without the drawing being opened one time.

Bill of Material Management

Proper bill of material management is significant, yet done poorly in too many instances. So what can we do? In this series, from a mostly Autodesk view, I will dive deep and present as many nooks and crevices that I can find that touch the BOM.

  • What is a BOM? and why is the Bill of Materials so important?
  • Building BOMs with AutoCAD
  • Building BOMs with AutoCAD Mechanical
  • Bill of Materials and Inventor
  • Inventor 2022 Instance Properties
  • Using Vault Professional to Manage Your Bill of Materials
  • Fusion 360, Fusion Teams, and the BOM
  • To affinity and beyond with BOMs, ERP, MRP, PDM, PLM, and whatever acronyms we can find

Feature Image: Pedro Ribeiro Simões