CAD Tech News (#11)

19 Feb, 2015 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ SolidWorks Stays on Course as Bassi Takes the Helm

The new CEO vows to respect the company's legacy while embracing its future.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Gian Paolo Bassi, new CEO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks.
Gian Paolo Bassi, new CEO of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks.

SolidWorks World 2015 drew an estimated 5,500 attendees — the folks that keynote speaker and former MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis termed "the most obsessive power users" — to Phoenix, Arizona, last week. Although "passionate" might be a more flattering term, there's no question that many in the SolidWorks community — which numbers 2.8 million worldwide, including educational users — feel strongly about the 3D MCAD software. That depth of feeling was echoed by new CEO Gian Paolo Bassi, who assured the crowd that despite his new role, "what has not changed is my passion and love for SolidWorks, my love for this community."

Bassi, who was previously the vice-president of research and development, is taking over the role from Bertrand Sicot, who is now vice-president of the Dassault Systèmes Value Solutions sales channel. Although such a handoff can sometimes signal a big shakeup, the message during the conference was that this change in leadership does not foretell significant changes in the company's goals or vision.

Bassi was especially careful to emphasize that SolidWorks will continue to invest in the desktop platform as long as there is customer demand for it, and not force users onto cloud-based tools before they're ready. "SolidWorks with the architecture that you know and love today will be here," said Bassi. "We are here for the long run." He compared the multi-platform development of the software to a car manufacturer's simultaneous development of gas, hybrid, and plug-in electric models, each of which meets particular customer needs. Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is editor in chief of Cadalyst.

▶ Herrera on Hardware: Do You Have the Power? Part 2

Don't make an aftermarket upgrade; choose the right power supply unit for your workstation configuration from the get-go.

By Alex Herrera

It may not epitomize cutting-edge technology for CAD computing, but there's more to the role and selection of a workstation-caliber power supply unit (PSU) than meets the eye. While it's not directly responsible for delivering the computation and visualization throughput modern CAD workflows demand, as your workstation's power plant, it's what enables all those high-performance components under the hood — the central processing units (CPU), graphics processing units (GPUs), memory, and storage — to get their job done.

PSU Technology and Design Continue to Advance

Workstation vendors in particular have been improving the PSU on two primary fronts: efficiency and serviceability. Typically measured in how much DC power is output as a percentage of how much AC power is input, PSU efficiency tends to vary by load (i.e., current draw, where a mid-range load tends to be more efficient than a very low load or a load approaching the PSU's rated capacity). A rating program jointly funded by electric utilities, called 80 PLUS, has become the de facto standard for assessing and branding power supply efficiency.

The PSU will almost always be emblazoned with the logo corresponding to the 80 PLUS level it achieved. And if you want to be sure of what you're getting when shopping, refer to the online datasheet or the vendor's custom system configuration. Read more »

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Alex Herrera is a consultant focusing on high-performance graphics and workstations.


Alert! Windows 10 Coming Soon
CAD Manager's Toolbox: It's on its way, so take a quick look at Microsoft's new operating system now. Read more »

How Will You Buy CAD Software in 2016?
Autodesk and other software developers are moving toward subscription-only access to software. The time to plan for the transition is now! Read more »

Never Lose Track of Your AutoCAD Drawing Again!
Remembering which directory your open drawing file came from can be daunting. Sure, we can use SaveAs to check out the drawing directory — but why waste time doing that? Join Lynn Allen as she shows you a better way! Watch the video »

Viewing the Future of Monitors for CAD
Will new technologies replace the familiar hardware on your desktop? Monitor makers share their predictions. Read more »


REAL 2015
February 25–26, 2015
San Francisco, California
REAL, billed as the first reality computing conference, is a new event that will see the convergence of the professional 3D sensing and 3D making industries. Read more »

One-Click 3D Model Creation with the Multidrive
February 26, 2015
11 a.m. PT
NextEngine presenters will show webinar viewers how to fully automate the scanning of 3D objects using the NextEngine Multidrive, a dual-axis turntable for model creation from small parts. Read more »

NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference
March 17–20, 2015
San Jose, California
This graphics processing unit (GPU) developer conference covers a wide range of topics and industries. Attendees will learn about NVIDIA's latest technologies, as well as the newest developments from industry leaders in sectors ranging from automotive, healthcare, and finance to media and entertainment. Read more »

SPAR International 3D Measurement and Imaging Conference
March 30–April 2, 2015
Houston, Texas
This event will draw professionals from diverse markets to discover the latest advances and technologies in 3D data capture, processing, and delivery to drive efficiency, improve workflows, reduce project timelines, save money, improve safety, and mitigate risk. Conference participants represent 3D markets including process and power, civil infrastructure, building, and architecture. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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