30 Sep, 2005 By: Sara Ferris Cadalyst

A behind-the-scenes look at the CAD world.

MCAD midrange market heats up

Europe makes up 42% of the †10 billion (about US$12 billion) global PLM software market, according to market research firm 01consulting. The biggest chunk of the market, MCAD software, is estimated at †1.6 billion (US$1.9 billion) for 2004. Growth there is fueled by the midrange segment, which grew 20% last year. 01consulting expects growth in the midrange to continue at a 25% clip in 2005, bringing its total value close to that of the high-end software segment.

Toxic deadline

Though regulatory requirements are viewed as a key reason to adopt a PLM system, manufacturers don't appear to be all that concerned with them. Close to 40% of American manufacturers have yet to comply with the European Union’s RoHS and WEEE directives, according to the Alliance of Service Providers and Manufacturers. The RoHS Directive takes effect July 1, 2006, and limits the amount of toxic substances that can be contained in electrical and electronic materials imported into the European Union.

No dummy

Greg Jankowski, author of Cadalyst’s online Solid Thinking column, has written SolidWorks for Dummies ($29.99), now available from Wiley Publishing. SolidWorks is the first 3D mechanical design application to appear in the For Dummies series, which now covers more than 900 topics.

Dual-core dividends

UGS reports that running its multithreaded NX software on multicore processors from Intel and AMD can boost performance up to 50% on some tasks. Functions that showed the most gain include geometry creation functions such as Boolean operations, offsetting complex surfaces and generating draft and taper. Geometry analysis and hidden-line removal were also quicker.

CAM combo

Vero International, a supplier of CAD/CAM software for the mold and die market, acquired SMIRTware, a developer of die design software for the automotive industry.

Going green

GeoPraxis Inc. changed its name to Green Building Studio, also the name of its Web-based building energy analysis site. The company will continue to offer engineering services under the name GeoPraxis.

ISO okays format

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) approved the PDF/A format as a standard for long-term archiving of electronic documents. The format ensures that the visual appearance of documents is preserved independent of the tools and systems used to create them.


Eurocom introduced what it calls the world’s first dual-core FX2 notebook computer with possibly the world’s oddest name: the D900K F-BOMB. The portable powerhouse is designed to be a desktop replacement, with a 3.6GHz 64-bit AMD dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and 17” display screen. Perhaps the name is a reminder not to drop the F-BOMB.

Erik Buell, chair and CTO of Buell Motorcycle Company, at think3s Industrial Designers Society of America conference event in Washington, DC.
Erik Buell, chair and CTO of Buell Motorcycle Company, at think3s Industrial Designers Society of America conference event in Washington, DC.

Industrial design initiative

Icsid (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) formed a new network, Icsid Corporate Innovators, for design-related companies “dedicated to corporate and academic collaboration, promotion of industrial design issues globally and cooperation in developing new directions in the world of design.” Software developer Alias has joined as a founding partner, along with design firm Continuum and manufacturer Tupperware.

Bentley opens books

Though as a privately held company it’s not required to do so, Bentley Systems reported earnings of $302 million for fiscal year 2004. That’s an increase of 17% from 2003; after adjusting for exchange rates and acquisitions, organic growth rate is 8%. Nearly two-thirds of its revenue comes from software subscriptions.

PLM market yardstick

The MCAD/PLM software market grew 14.5% to $3.87 billion in 2004 for just the top four firms, according to Wohlers Associates and Cyon Research. Net income for the four—Autodesk, Dassault, UGS and PTC—amounted to $487 million, up from $271 million in 2003.

About the Author: Sara Ferris

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