Issue #539 : : December 4, 2007
In this issue:
Out of the Inbox and the other regular columns.
Write the editor. Make him smile.
Through Paypal, consider donating $25 in support of upFront.eZine. Or else.
We're trendy. We have a Weblog. WorldCAD Access.
Today PTC completes its acquisition of CoCreate. Mike Campbell is PTC's senior vp of product management, and he called upFront.eZine to explain some of the finer details of the CoCreate acquisition.
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Did CoCreate approach PTC? PTC has a group that always scours for possible acquisition targets.
Why CoCreate? CoCreate was attractive because:
Will CoCreate headquarter locations (Germany and USA) remain in place? Yes.
Will CoCreate technology be integrated into Pro/Engineer? There may be some technology sharing, but the immediate list of priorities is:
Does CoCreate have PLM or not? PTC characterizes Model Manager as "workgroup PDM [product data management]". CoCreate had been working on PLM, but wasn't there yet. PTC's grand master plan is "Product Development System," which means that all its software packages work together -- intergral and scalable.
The marketing departments of CAD software companies like their oft-repeated terms, which the jouralistic side of this industry sometimes refer to as 'jargon du jour' (of the day). That because as marketing people come and go, a lot of CAD reporters have been around for decades.
We have seen marketing terms come and go, terms like:
I am awaiting the first CAD vendor to make "cloud computing" part of its marketing vocabulary. Here's the potential, as imagined by Robert X. Cringely:
"Cloud computing can be anything from putting your entire business on other people's computers to running a huge Photoshop job from the lobby computer at Embassy Suites..."
Running huge PhotoShop jobs: what does that remind you of? Huge CAD rendering jobs; huge FEA jobs... My guess is that Dassault will announce it first.
You can read Mr Cringely's column "Google's plan to host ALL our applications" at www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20071026_003304.html .
"Another open source 3D printer is Fab@Home from Cornell University <fabathome.org>. Many organizations worldwide have purchased the snap- and screw-together kit and are using it for experimentation.
"The syringe-based extrusion system accepts a wide variety
of materials, including silicone rubber, cake icing, chocolate,
cheese, and peanut butter (the non-crunchy variety). Also, it has
been used to produce electronic devices, including a battery and
actuator. (The battery powers the actuator.) I'm intrigued by it."
The editor replies: "I wonder how far 3D printers will go for consumer in-home use. I sometimes wonder if they'll hit the sort of limitations faced by virtual reality and tablet PCs: they work in certain vertical industries, but fail to achieve widespread breakthrough."
Mr Wohlers responds: "The initial home users will be practicing professionals. As 3D printers drop in price to under $500, we'll see some parents buying them for their kids (and themselves), for the same reason they bought Erector Sets and the Creepy Crawler Thing-Maker toy in the 1960s. Kids like to make things and these low-cost 3D printers will be the ultimate personal factory.
"See the following blog commentaries for some additional thoughts on the subject, in case you're interested:
Research and Markets finds that high-end MCAD is in its death spiral, at least in Europe: "The mid range segment, that has already clearly overrun the value of the High-end segment, representing more than half of the whole MCAD market, is growing at +20% annually, leaving behind the high-end segment with an annual decrease of 5%." The details'll cost you e1950 (about US$2,900) at www.researchandmarkets.com/product/3cb5a1/mechanical_computer_aided_design_mcad_europe
SpaceClaim relents and offers its software with a perpetual license: US$2,250. Shipping you the CD is extra. Until year's end, the company offers the license at half-price. Details at www.spaceclaim.com/v2/default.aspx
Geometric releases GeomCaliper v2.1 for Pro/ENGINEER
($1,995 and up), software for checking the thickness of model parts.
15-day eval from geomcaliper.geometricglobal.com
SolidWorks Keyboard Shortcuts Card ($4.95) from Sheet Metal Guy updates all shortcuts for SolidWorks 2008. www.sheetmetalguy.com/solidworks/solidworks_keyboard.htm
Realworld Imagery ships its 'Foreground Plants—Zones 8-12 Color' collection of high-resolution tropical plant partials in bloom, for architectural visualizations. Image sizes are 2000 - 4,000 pixels, in 32-bit TIFF format. Thumbnails at www.imagecels.com/thumnail/222/rwi222.html
Mill Creek Systems makes available RAS/Edit v3 for editing raster images in MicroStation and PowerDraft XM and V8.5. 30-day demo at www.millcreeksystems.com/rasedit_v3.0.0.phtml
CD-adapco releases STAR-CD V4.04, which integrates flow, thermal and stress analysis. www.cd-adapco.com
ALGOR upgrades its namesake software ALGOR to v21 with
behind-the-scenes representation of the CAD model, and meshing algorithms
for better mesh matching and automatic contact in complex assemblies,
Numerical Innovations launches Fab It! 2008,
customizable CAM software with the Universal Scripting Engine for
writing custom scripts in C/C++, Python, Perl, and TCL.
Graphisoft is using TNO's [Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research] new Semantic Web technology in its CAD software. Product Modelling Ontology lets you make and adjust designs faster, and automatically calculate consequences. [Further details are murky, as TNO wasn't keen to provide more info to me.] www.tno.nl
Safe Software introduces a free FME FDO Provider for AutoCAD Map 3D 2008. [I have no idea what that means; something to do with data import, I gather.] www.safe.com/fmefdo
Noesis Solutions announces OPTIMUS 5.3 for dealing with noise effects. The new release completely implements the Taguchi method, and handles nested workflows and multi-objective optimization. www.noesissolutions.com
Scan2CAD v7.6 (raster to vector conversion) adds support for Vista, as well as load and save in PDF format. www.softcover.com
SolidCAM launches InventorCAM 2008 with 100+ new features, including support for 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator mouse. Integration into Inventor 2008 means full associativity between CAD model and NC tool path. www.InventorCAM.com
Carve, don't layer. 2Bot announces ModelMaker for Architects, a machine that carves topographical models and architectural pieces out of blocks of wood or foam. Says 2Bot, "Rapid Prototyping machines...still required a lot more manual labor or lengthy CNC programming times that required expertise and skill." www.2Bot.com
RDV Systems unveils Rapid Road Safety Analyzer. www.rdvsystems.com
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These news items were posted during the last week at the WorldCAD Access blog < worldcadaccess.typepad.com>:
3Dconnexion's line of 3D mice now supported Autodesk's 3ds Max 2008 and Maya 2008. The mice also support Linux through a downloadable driver. www.3Dconnexion.com/support
Seminars & Conferences
PLM Road Map 2008 is Sept 23–24, 2008 in Plymouth MI USA. www.cpd-associates.com/index.cfm?content=include_conference08.cfm
The IFC-BIM Exchange Support Forum reopens at http://www.buildersnet.org/IFC-BIM/
Catalog Data Solutions launches CDS Spare Parts Catalog for on-demand business models at http://www.catalogdatasolutions.com
NormDesk Network calls itself "the first Web-based CAD application in the world." [I dunno about that; any challengers out there? Any case, I can't really figure out the Web site:] http://www.cadcorner.com
People/Companies on the Move
Dassault Systemes renames its recently-acquired Seemage as "3DVIA Composer V6R1." Former ceo Chris Williams is now general manager of Enterprise Products Applications, 3DVIA. www.3ds.com/3dviacomposer [For those wondering about the "V6" moniker, it's what Dassault calls its Internet-related CAD products.]
Dassault Systemes appoints Monica Menghini as ceo of 3dswym, 3D experiential marketing.
PTC completes its US$250-million acquisition of CoCreate.
Brand New CAD Books/eBooks
I've just release two "new" CAD reference books:
-- 'Inside AutoCAD LT 2006, Volume 1: 2D Drafting' is a beginner's tutorial for learning AutoCAD LT, Autodesk's cheapest CAD package. This PDF ebook works equally well with LT 2007 and 2008. It's 224 pages long and is priced at US$22.40. You can learn more about it from www.upfrontezine.com/ilt6-1 .
-- 'Inside AutoCAD LT 2006, Volume 2: Management & Customization' is the intermediate and advanced LT user's reference to CAD management and LT customization. Also works equally well with LT 2007 and 2008. At 158 pages, it's priced at US$15.80. Full table of contents and sample pages at www.upfrontezine.com/ilt6-2 .
I put quotations marks around "new," because these two CAD reference books used to be a paperback book titled 'AutoCAD LT 2006: The Definitive Guide' from WordWare Publishing. I split it into two ebook to make it cheaper to buy just one part of the book, as well as easier to download as a PDF file.
Letters to the Editor
"The Q/Q seat growth for Inventor was 17%. Year over year
it was 3%, but revenue was -- as you reported -- up significantly
more than that."
The editor replies: "I worked from the numbers in media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/11/117861/Q308/FactSheet_Q3FY08.pdf , as follows:
= 3% growth."
Mr Anagnost responds: "747,000 is the total installed based (educational + commercial). The number you reported represents 3% growth in the total installed base. Which is accurate."
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"Recently read these, which I thought you might be interested in:
Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable'
Both are by Nicholas Nassim Taleb."
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"I've been a subscriber of yours for 9 years or so. I've
always appreciated the information, thank you."
"Thanks for a great newsletter."
Spin Doctor of the Moment
"[Surfacing computing] can be in every desk. It can be in
every table, it can be in every whiteboard, every mirror. Give us
a 5- to 10-year time frame and we will wonder why our tables used
to just sit there and not do anything for us."
"Every business thinks they can be a destination on the
Internet, but the reality is that consumers only have so much time
available to hunt down content they want; it's just the tyranny
of too much content."
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