31 Oct, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

Behind the scenes in the world of CAD

My Lifecycle versus Yours

Using WikiScanner (, a free online application that identifies anonymous Wikipedia edits by their originating IP addresses, you can take a peek at the tug-of-war that software vendors have been playing with PLM.

On June 15, 2005, an IP address registered to PTC added the sentence "PTC is the main player in the market." It has since been removed.

In April 2006, a UGS IP address added several external links about the JT format championed by UGS. They describe JT as "the common language of PLM."

On December 13, 2006, a Dassault IP address contributed that "3DXML format is an opened 3D visualization format licensed by Dassault Systemes with public XSD definition."

Nothing was attributed directly to any Autodesk-registered IP address. However, on June 29, 2005, someone from Fleishman-Hillard, Autodesk's then PR firm, added Autodesk to the list of major vendors.

One of the most intriguing revisions came from an IP address linked to Comcast Cable (Gresham, Oregon). On January 14, 2007, it changed the line "Many software solutions . . . " to "Many Garfield the cat solutions . . . " The current entry for PLM shows no trace of the mischievous feline.

Animated Libraries

Think libraries are just for reading and borrowing books? At the Texas Tech University (TTU) main library, students can sign up for the use of a machine, check out tutorial materials (DVDs, CDs, and videos), learn to use professional CAD packages, or work on animation projects. The 3D animation lab is in room 205. The facility houses eight workstations with 30" monitors and Wacom Intuo 9" x 12" tablets.The software collection in the lab includes Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, trueSpace, Google SketchUp Pro, AutoCAD, Autodesk Viz, Autodesk Map 3D, Autodesk Civil 3D, and Houdini.

Quick Poll
Quick Poll

Preordered 3D Printer

Desktop Factory, a new startup, announced that it's beginning to accept reservation orders for its new low-cost 3D printer, the Desktop Factory 125ci. You'll need to put down a 10% deposit ($495) to be the proud (but expectant) owner of one of the first 1,000 units rolling out in 2008. The machine is currently in beta and will sell for $4,995.

The 3D printer measures approximately 25" x 20" x 20" (about the size of a 20" CRT monitor) and weighs less than 90 lbs. The build area is 5" x 5" x 5".

Cathy Lewis, CEO of Desktop Factory, is confident that "the Desktop Factory 125ci, with its promise of affordable, accessible 3D printing, will far exceed our initial sales projections."

Colorful Projection

Canon, known for its printers and cameras, recently released a pair of projectors, the REALiS SX7 and REALiS X700. The company is pitching them to "users demanding brilliant color, including education, medical imaging, professional photography and graphics, CAD/engineering, and digital signage." The REALiS SX7 features "outstanding support of Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces, which are of vital importance to professional disciplines demanding precise color matching," Canon pointed out. And that makes the unit ideal for fields where exacting color reproduction is required. Canon expects it'll appeal to CAD/CAM labs.

Cadalyst contributing editor Kenneth Wong explores innovative use of technology.

About the Author: Kenneth Wong

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