t h e b u s i n e s s o f c a d
Issue #747 | August 21, 2012
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In This Issue
1. SolidWorks Gets into the Electrical Vertical
2. Out of the Inbox, and our other regular columns.
From the editor: Our October vacation plans firm up: October 2-3 in Amsterdam for the Bricsys Developer Conference, following by three weeks in Germany.
SolidWorks Gets into the Electrical Vertical
Eric Leafquist is product manager for SolidWorks Electrical with a background in electromechanical design, and his job is to get the product launched. He last week delved into the details about this month's launch of Dassault Systemes' newest vertical.
Most of the technology comes from Trace Software, although some was already present in SolidWorks. It comes in two versions, 2D and 3D:
Figure 1: SolidWorks Electrical (background) constructs schematics in single- (left) and multi-line (right) styles, and link to 3D models in real time (foreground).
upFront.eZine: How much was done by Trace?
Eric Leafquist: All of the 2D product. We liked its ease of use, great user interface and multi-user concurrent design capabilities in particular. We thought there were too many modules that complicated selection for users so we merged all of the 2D modules into one product, and added the integrated link to SolidWorks Enterprise PDM.
upFront.eZine: But wasn't much of what is in Electrical 3D already in Solidworks?
Mr Leafquist: The 3D routing part was there before. Under the hood, we included the Trace technology, which builds on the SolidWorks routing technology and adds new aspects such as new alternate ways to route wires in 3D, spacing of components, and segregation of low voltage wiring from high voltage ones.
upFront.eZine: If SolidWorks Electrical 2D is standalone, can it export its schematics to SolidWorks without Electrical 3D, or to other software, such as through DXF?
Mr Leafquist: It can export project documentation as DWG, DXF, and PDF but needs to have SoldWorks Electrical 3D to bring the data into a 3D model to enable maximum design benefits.
upFront.eZine: Some electrical designers already use SolidWorks, so are you targeting new customers now?
Mr Leafquist: We are expanding the tools available to existing SolidWorks users by adding the 2D schematic solution. Now we can target a broader audience, with the fully integrated schematic and 3D modeling solution, plus additional functions.
upFront.eZine: Does Trace keep selling theirs?
Mr Leafquist: Yes, their 2D product.
upFront.eZine: If SolidWorks Electrical is Trace, why would someone still want Trace instead of yours?
Mr Leafquist: They have some specialty products that we are not interested in; we prefer the general products. We are focusing on the core customer base.
upFront.eZine: Do you consider AutoCAD Electrical one of your competitors?
Mr Leafquist: We have all kinds of competition. At the low end, it comes from our own DraftSight product for basic 2D electrical design. We believe users of all other electrical system design tools could benefit from the functionality in SolidWorks Electrical products.
upFront.eZine: Is this a sign of more verticals coming out for SolidWorks, such as piping?
Mr Leafquist: We are always concerned about major gaps in the solutions available to our customers, such as in this one in the electrical design space. When we surveyed customers, we found that satisfaction was low for commonly-used electrical design tools. However, I would not call us vertical-focused [for every possible discipline].
Mr Leafquist: SolidWorks Electrical 2D is $5,995; it is stand-alone and does not need SolidWorks. Electrical 3D is $5,995; it runs inside SolidWorks but does not include SolidWorks.
upFront.eZine: I don't know how this sort of software should be priced, but it seems high to me.
Mr Leafquist: The price is comparable to other products and probably at the low end for the number of features it offers.
upFront.eZine: Release date?
Mr Leafquist: It is about to ship.
== Professional 3D File Conversion/Viewing/Rendering Software ==
For over 2 decades Okino (Toronto) has provided mission-critical 3D conversion software used extensively by tens of thousands of professionals. We develop, support and convert between all major CAD, DCC & VisSim formats. Robert Lansdale (CTO, firstname.lastname@example.org) tailors each package to the specific conversion requirements of each customer.
Popular formats include 3ds Max, Maya, C4D, LW, ProE, SolidWorks, Inventor, SketchUp, DWF/DWG, DGN, CATIA, IGES/STEP/Parasolid, 3D PDF/U3D, JT, FBX, Collada & more. We know data translation, and provide immaculate developer-to-customer relations.
Out of the Inbox
Luxion introduces KeyShot 3.3 with [we had to wade through to the 6th paragraph to find out what's different] with updates for recent CAD software, DuPoint paint names, and a color picker. Also new is KeyShotVR for displaying 3D rendering in HTML5-compatible Web browsers, like Chrome; the company points out that it does not use WebGL, and so the quality is higher. http://keyshot.com/vr/KeyShotBike/KeyShotBike.html
Mike Whusberg of Geometros Company writes to report that, "We have a good news: we released the iOS version of sgCore. Users can download sources for the demo application from http://www.geometros.com/ios/index.htm." sgCore is a C++/C#/objective-C geometry library for iOS, OS X, and Windows.
NVIDIA is shipping -- well, letting you download, actually -- CUDA 5 Release Candidate for Linux, OS X, and Windows from http://developer.nvidia.com/cuda/cuda-pre-production. The real version ships -- opps, is downloadable -- later this year.
IntelliCAD continues to thrive in its niche, and here's proof: AViCAD 2013 = IntelliCAD + process piping tools is due in October running on IntelliCAD 7.2 core architecture. Details of what'll be new here: http://news.yahoo.com/avicad-2013-faster-better-cad-technology-built-upon-094616989.html
StrucSoft Solutions releases CMS Viewer ($500) for viewing and verifying the content of DSTV- NC structural steel component files before cutting the pieces too short. Two-week demo from http://www.strucsoftsolutions.com/Contact.asp (after registration and a call from their salesman).
On the free side of things, JETCAM of Monaco gives its maintenance customers QuickCost for costing sheet metal components based on material and machine runtime costs. Video demo at http://www.jetcam.com/quickcost.php.
GibbsCAM 2012+ from Gibbs and Associates has speed and performance improvements, a rendering option for multi-axis parts, iand mproved cutting strategies. http://www.GibbsCAM.com
Siemens PLM Software's RobotExpert software duz robotic simulation and programming for SMBs, such as pick-and-place, arc welding, polishing, and gluing. http://www.siemens.com/plm/robotexpert
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