MCAD Tech News (#354)

9 Oct, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Cambashi's Observatories Focus on the Expanding Universe of Technical Applications

Tony Christian, director of independent market research firm Cambashi, expects to see steady growth in the global demand for CAD, PLM, GIS, and related software.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Cambashi is a UK-based research and analysis firm that focuses on the business value of information technology — including CAD and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. The company's market data offerings include the Cambashi Market Observatories, a portfolio of research reports covering various aspects of the global markets for design, engineering, PLM, and systems engineering applications. For example, the Provider by Industry Observatory explores the competitive landscape for solutions providers in categories including AEC, automotive, and consumer goods; the Country Observatory examines market demand by region.

In August, the company released the Q2 2013 editions of these reports. They indicate that in 2012, technical application spending in emerging countries grew 12% to $1.7 billion. This group includes the fast-growing BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India, and China — as well as a second set of nations that account for 11% of technical application spending in emerging countries: Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Turkey. The research also predicts continued growth on technical application investment in these emerging economies, driven by the modernization of manufacturing and construction and the expansion of industrial capabilities.

Following that release, Cambashi Director Tony Christian shared his perspective on the global market for technical applications.

Cadalyst: What kinds of software do you cover in your research?

Christian: We use the term technical applications to define the scope of the market that we study — we haven't been able to come up with a better one yet! The scope covers CAD, CAM, simulation, analysis, PLM, and associated data management applications and geographical information systems [GIS] across all manufacturing (discrete and process), AEC, and utility industries. In fact, the scope also includes visualization technologies used in film TV and computer games applications — there is increasing overlap of these and the applications used for virtual visualization of products or buildings. Hence the difficulty in defining an all-inclusive term!

Which type of software is the biggest contributor to the growth you report?

At the highest level, both AEC and manufacturing had single-digit growth worldwide in spending on technical applications (AEC, 7%; manufacturing, 6%). We split AEC into twelve different "categories" of application and manufacturing into eight; at this level of individual categories of application, for AEC the strongest growth was in applications that support infrastructure planning (12%) rather than, say, facilities management (3%). On the manufacturing side, the strongest growth areas were in simulation and analysis applications (10%) and applications that support schematic representations (for example, control diagrams, electrical diagrams, wire harnesses, and pneumatic diagrams) of designs (also 10%). Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's senior editor.


First Look Review: Autodesk ReCap

Powerful pair of tools easily turns laser scans and photographs into quality visualizations and high-resolution 3D models.

By Patrick Davis

Highly Recommended

On the heels of its successful launch of 123D Catch, a mobile app for consumers that turns photographs into 3D models, Autodesk this year introduced ReCap — a pair of reality-capture applications for professional designers, architects, and engineers who want to create intelligent 3D models from photos and point cloud data. Using these tools, which are said to be the first to bring together laser scanning and photogrammetry technologies, you can visualize massive point clouds as realistic surfaces and interact with them, doing CAD-like operations such as selection, tagging, moving, measuring, clash detection, and object extraction, all with native points.

ReCap is designed for use in Autodesk design and creation suites. ReCap Pro, which is included in Autodesk 2014 suites, is a data-preparation environment designed to enable faster, better visualization of point clouds inside those applications. It runs on the desktop and provides functionality similar to other point cloud–viewing applications — that is, you can index, combine, view, and edit point cloud data, including light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data, prior to importing it into other Autodesk applications.

ReCap Photo turns photos into high-resolution 3D data that you can visualize and share. It is available via the Autodesk 360 cloud service and is freely accessible to any 2014 design suite user.

Autodesk ReCap Photo

Autodesk ReCap Photo creates high-resolution, textured 3D data from a series of photos taken from different angles around an object. The software leverages the Autodesk 360 cloud to process and store the photos and data. Unlike 123D Catch, ReCap Photo does not limit the number of photos you can submit and processes photos in full resolution for a more accurate 3D model. The geometry generated from the photos is a mesh rather than an ACIS-like solid. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Patrick Davis is a virtual design and construction manager for Atkins North America and an Autodesk Certified Instructor for Revit Architecture.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Let's Go Design: Sheet Metal and Weldments
October 14, 2013
2 p.m. ET
This free webinar from Fisher/Unitech will demonstrate how SolidWorks can be applied in the sheetmetal and weldments field. Topics will include managing structural members with weldments and managing formed parts. Read more »

Westec 2013
October 15–17, 2013
Los Angeles, California
At Westec, sponsored by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers, attendees will meet experts who can help apply cutting-edge equipment, make sense of lean methods, and manufacture with composites, titanium, and other advanced materials. 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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Free E-Book: Engineering Survival Guide
What does the future hold for engineers? One thing we know for sure: It will change! A free 40-page e-book from Lifecycle Insights, Engineering Manager's Survival Guide, outlines the trends and technologies that are shaping engineering and what you can do to support your future in the field. To get it, simply complete this 20-minute survey on Simulation Driven Design.

Stand Up for Job Satisfaction
If CAD management frustrations have pushed you to the breaking point, you can face the problem head-on — but understand the risks first. Read more »

Prepare Perfect Polar Arrays in AutoCAD
Join Lynn Allen as she finishes off her trilogy of array video tips by showing you the ins and outs of polar arrays. Watch the video »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Using Joints in Autodesk Inventor 2014
Don't get bent out of joint about the new tool on the Assemble tab — learn how to use it to your advantage. Read more »

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