MCAD Tech News (#353)

25 Sep, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Siemens PLM Shares Strategy and a Glimpse of What's Ahead

As it remains focused on continually shoring up Teamcenter's core architecture, the company announces plans for Industry Catalyst add-on apps designed to address the needs of specific markets.

By Nancy Spurling Johnson

In the realm of modern manufacturing, fast has been key: Product developers can't be slow to market and expect to survive. But today you also have to be smart. That requires building on a platform of best practices and solid business strategy while understanding and responding to the needs of customers.

Interestingly, that's precisely the approach of Siemens PLM Software in developing Teamcenter, a product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that supports manufacturing customers. The foundation of the software is a "future-proof architecture" — a platform that is open and interoperable as well as scalable, offers flexible deployment options, and is upwardly compatible to protect customers' long-term investment in the software.

Steve Bashada, senior vice-president, industry strategy, said, "We want to ensure future proofing, that our product releases are smooth and fast" and help customers execute key processes and move forward without complex system configuration.

Bashada was addressing attendees at the annual Siemens PLM Software Analyst and Media Conference in Boston this month. He explained that 70% of manufacturing practices are common across all users and can be addressed by a single platform PLM solution, while the other 30% are specific to a given customer and typically require customization. But that is changing with the company's announcement of its Industry Catalyst Series, offerings that consist of a prepackaged combination of industry best practice guides, templates, and software designed to accelerate PLM deployment and tailor the system to the needs of specific industries while reducing the need for customer-specific customization.

"What we hope to see happen is to reduce the 30% customer-specific practices to 10%," Bashada said, "with 20% being industry specific. ... We hope that the industry-specific adoption improves in this way.

"At the end of the day," he continued, "the most important thing is the industry solution itself."

Siemens PLM also announced a new product in the Teamcenter portfolio called Active Workspace, a personalized environment for instantly accessing 3D information. Working in conjunction with other Siemens PLM Software technology, Active Workspace is designed to bring together this information in instantly available, visual representations that support decision-making. Read more »

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Nancy Spurling Johnson is editor-in-chief of Cadalyst.

Add Your Plugin to an AutoCAD Menu

Load and run a plugin the quick way — without typing.

By Andrew G. Roe

In my previous article about AutoCAD programming, we learned how to use the .NET programming environment to create an AutoCAD plugin — a custom command that can be run directly from the AutoCAD environment. The plugin included a custom command that created a circle object and some accompanying text simultaneously. We used AutoCAD's NetLoad command to load the plugin, and we typed the custom command name (CreateMyCircle) at the Command line to run it.

Although that approach served the purpose of demonstrating plugins, in reality most AutoCAD users would rather not expend time and effort typing in the Command line. Let's look at how we can use some of AutoCAD's built-in customization tools to add our plugin to one of AutoCAD's pull-down menus. We will create an AutoCAD script file to set some key parameters for our custom command, and we will use AutoCAD's Customize User Interface (CUI) dialog box to assign our custom command to a menu. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Andrew G. Roe is a registered civil engineer and president of AGR Associates, Inc.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Third Annual Design Innovation Summit
October 1–23, 2013
Multiple U.S. locations
The third annual CATI (Computer Aided Technology, Inc.) Design Innovation Summit is an interactive, one-day learning experience focused on helping attendees design and make better products. This year features a SolidWorks-focused training agenda. Read more »

PLM Road Map 2013
October 9–10, 2013
Chicago, Illinois
PLM Road Map 2013 is a strategic conference focused on how companies are successfully employing PLM (product lifecycle management) strategies and enabling solutions to meet challenging product development, manufacturing, and deployment issues. Read more »

Autodesk University 2013
December 3–5, 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada
This annual conference is designed for users of Autodesk software, including architects, engineers, and designers. The event comprises more than 650 classes, networking receptions, and an exhibit hall featuring more than 150 Autodesk authorized developers, solution providers, and strategic partners. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


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