the business of cad


Issue #779 |  June 11, 2013
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In This Issue


1. Drawings = Data


2. HP's newest large-format printers were designed by users

   - Q&A

3.  Out of the Inbox, and a few other other regular columns.


This issue sponsored by:

The third North American Revit Technology Conference held at the Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, 11-13 July 2013.



This is your opportunity to learn from some of the world's top instructors and industry experts, to share ideas and insights with an international community of your peers, and explore the latest trends and technologies. The conference provides the perfect environment to cultivate important business and professional contacts that can benefit your company and your career.


Drawings = Data

I s'pose we could ask CAD vendors if they hand over customer data through FISA [USA's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, first implemented in 1978 under president Jimmy Carter], but they would have to deny it. One blogger recommended that the best way to ask the question is as follows: "Have you received court orders under 50 USC 1881a (a.k.a. FISA Section 702) for communications data?" But the latest revelations show that data are being taken from Internet companies without their knowledge.


We could ask, but we'd be no further ahead. Nevertheless, if someone did bother to ask CAD vendors about their FISA involvement, it would be fun fisking the responses from them.


Would the US government want to peruse our drawings? The Chinese government apparently is very interested in them, because drawings = data. The worst part of FISA is that CAD vendors are unable to reassure customers that their data are safe from governmental parsing.


If nothing else, this whole FISA scandal reminds us to not store documents on the cloud. A portless desktop, disconnected from the Internet, remains the most secure location on earth.


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HP's newest large-format printers were designed by users
Ramon Pastor, vp of large format printing at HP, reported that since 1991 HP shipped three million printers, some 8x more than the next competitor. I think that 1991 was when HP first began selling inkjet printers; the number would be much larger if they included pen plotters.


HP is facing a problem. Customers say that the image quality and speed of its printers are good enough, so how can the company encore its current line of Web-connected printers? Well, they researched users to find what pain points they might be experiencing, including those that go beyond printing.


What is the ideal design of a large format printer? HP gave customers cardboard and tools so that customers could build and change models of large-format printers. HP was more interested in the insights customers had in how they designed their cardboard printers. These are shown as the little notes in figure 1.

Figure 1: Customers with their cardboard printer designs and insights

Here are the results of the study. Large-format printers should have...

1. A robust stand -- so that it does not move (see figure 2, left image)
2. A small footprint -- so that the printer does not take up space in the office
3. Two media rolls -- so that two different types of media can be used without switching (center image)
4. Media rolls at the front -- so that loading of new media is easier, and the printer can be pushed up against the wall
5. A cover that protects the media -- so that expensive media, like glossy paper, is not damaged
6. Glass cover -- so that users can see right away what is happening to the printer
7. Touch screen controls -- to mimic the direct interaction of smartphones and tablets
8. Organized output -- so that drawings are organized, and not curled (right image)
9. Ergonomic height -- printer is not too tall or too short

Figure 2: Development of the wooden model of an ideal printer. Left to right: Stand, body, completed model

Since customers today cannot use wooden printers nor can HP sell them (as Mr Pastor put it), the model was transformed into real printers: 36-inch DesignJet T920 ($5,395) and T1500 ($7,495). They share the following features (see figure 3):

Figure 3: The new DesignJet printer

So now all of HP's competitors know what to do!



Q: Did the users have any input to the design of the ink cartridges?
There will be low-fill cartridges for customers who don't print a lot and so can pay less, and higher-fill ones with 130-150cc for those who print more.


Q: Is ePrint free or a paid service? Are there time limits to prints uploaded to the ePrint service?
ePrint is completely free, and there are no time limits.


Q: When will these printers be available?
June 10 in Europe, and July 8 in the USA.


Q: Which operating systems do the drivers work with?
Any operating system, whether Windows or Mac OS X. [Linux was left off the list.]





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Out of the Inbox

Vectorworks Architect achieves IFC Coordination View 2.0 certification from buildingSMART International. The certified IFC exporter will be available with Service Pack 4 later this month.


nVidia is demonstrating PTC Creo 2.0 M060 software operating in a virtualized environment via nVidia's GRID virtual desktop technology. You'll need an NVIDIA GRID K2 board along with Citrix XenServer, and Citrix XenDesktop. http://nvidianews.nvidia.com


Siemens PLM Software releases JT2Go app for Windows 8, downloadable from Windows Store. [I think they are the first CAD vendor with a shipping app specific to Winbdows 8.] View JT files on the go at http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/jt2go/cba82781-772c-46c5-83ea-463a4afe8b4b


Open Design Alliance releases Teigha v3.9 with multi-threaded DWG file loading and rendering, ACIS updated to R23, and first release for Java. http://www.opendesign.com

On the Blog
Here are items that appeared recently on our WorldCAD Access blog at http://worldcadaccess.typepad.com:


Letters to the Editor

Re: All the Nitty-gritty Details About Russia's Brand-new 3D Kernel

"I am reading the info on the Russian kernel and wondered about the cloud? Have they adapted this to be cloud-ready?"
      - Chris Williams, ceo


The editor replies: "You're right, there was no mention of this. As best as I can tell, Russians are not keen on the cloud, other than what exists now. Perhaps it comes from their (bad) experience of centralized government. (There is one cloud-based app from Russia that I know about, the DEXXA PLM system from ASCON.) I'll ask around."


Mr Williams responds: "Interesting analogy."


David Levin replies: "According to the development team, RGK currently does not support a ready-to-use cloud-based solution; however, the system architecture provides all requirements necessary to support clouds, such as thread safety, separate sessions, multiple documents, algorithm parallelization, and some others."

Notable Quotable

"The press, doing its job, is 'reckless'. Glad we've got that cleared up."
       - Felix Salmon, @felixsalmon

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Entire contents copyright 2013 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide. Letters sent to the editor are subject to publication. Article reprint fee: $840. All trademarks belong to their respective holders. "upFront.eZine," "The Business of CAD," and "WorldCAD Access" are trademarks of upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity and brevity. Translations and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.


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