CAD Tech News (#26)

17 Sep, 2015 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ To Catch More Design Ideas, Siemens PLM Software Crafts a Tool Anyone Can Use

The new Catchbook app makes dimensionally accurate sketching accessible — and affordable — for CAD users and nonprofessionals alike.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

In the early stages of the design process, when forms are just starting to take shape and various concepts are jostling for attention, many people reach for whatever's at hand — an art program, PowerPoint, even the proverbial napkin — to sketch out their ideas. At this stage, a full-on 3D CAD package may be too much tool for the job, slowing down rapid-fire brainstorms and excluding team members who lack CAD expertise.

The non-CAD alternatives, however, pose their own problems, and no one likes wasting time on effort duplication. "You don't want to create a drawing, then have to recreate it in CAD," noted Paul Brown, senior marketing director at Siemens PLM Software. "You want to get people's ideas and then be able to do things with them."

In recent years, an increasing number of software tools have been developed to improve on these options. They're typically simpler than standard CAD solutions, but better equipped for design tasks than office productivity software — or napkins. (For more information, see "Cadalyst Labs Report: Conceptual Design Software Tools.")

This fall, Siemens PLM Software will add to those growing ranks with Catchbook, a 2D sketching app for Windows-, Android-, and iOS-based smartphones and tablets. Users can create and annotate drawings; import and trace over photographs; and share their work with collaborators.

Catchbook, unlike art-focused sketching apps, also provides support for accurate dimensions that are preserved when the data is moved into a CAD program. "The key thing that we bring to everything is that underneath [the surface of Catchbook] are engines that drive proper geometry and relationships," Brown explained. "That was the gap that we saw, that's the missing link: size and scale."

When geometry is edited, Catchbook updates dimensions automatically in real time. Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.
When geometry is edited, Catchbook updates dimensions automatically in real time. Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.

Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.


Get AutoCAD to Set Your Current Layer for You
Let's face it, we are constantly changing our current layer while drawing. What if we could get AutoCAD to change our current layer for us? Watch the video »

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Updated Autodesk Software Costs Calculator
With the updated licensing announcement comes a new spreadsheet to help you plan for future expenses. Read more »

CAD Manager Column: Autodesk VP Explains Software Licensing Policy Changes
To gain more insight into Autodesk's switch to rental-based licensing, we sat down with Vice-President Andrew Anagnost. Read more »

CAD Cartoon
Check out the latest CAD Cartoon from Roger Penwill and Cadalyst. Read more »


Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Certificate Program
September 21–25, 2015
Boston, Massachusetts
CIMdata, a global PLM strategic consulting and research firm, offers a three- or five-day program to prepare PLM professionals to address the challenges commonly faced in PLM strategy development and implementation. Read more »

17th Annual International Wohlers Conference
September 23, 2015
Dusseldorf, Germany
This year's conference, titled "Global Visions of the Future," will be a part of three days of conference sessions at Euromold. Jeff Kowalski, senior vice-president and chief technology officer at Autodesk, will serve as keynote speaker at the Wohlers conference. Read more »

The New Frontier: Managing ECAD Manufacturing Output with IPC-2581
September 23, 2015
9 a.m. PT
This PTC webinar will discuss IPC-2581, a vendor-neutral output format that contains everything needed to manufacture and assemble designs. Read more »

3D Scanning for CAD
September 24, 2015
11 a.m. PT
This NextEngine webinar will demonstrate the workflow of scanning and converting mesh scan data into editable CAD solids in programs such as SolidWorks, Creo, and Inventor by using RapidWorks software. Emphasis will be on reverse engineering and manufacturing applications. Read more »

e-SPECS for Revit Live Webinar
September 30, 2015
2 p.m. ET
This InterSpec webinar will discuss the company's e-SPECS for Revit for automated and coordinated specifications with Autodesk Revit. Topics include automated spec sections from Revit models, viewing specs and cut-sheets directly in Revit, keynote coordination, building information modeling (BIM) validation reports, and more. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

Add comment

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition