31 May, 2006 By: Sara Ferris

Behind the scenes in the world of CAD

PDM Purchase

SolidWorks acquired GCS Scandinavia of Sweden, developer of Conisio enterprise product data management software.

Big-Screen Bankruptcy

Elumens, a manufacturer of lens-based hemispherical projection systems for design visualization, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court. George Forbers, vice-president for business development, resigned and formed Immersive Display Solutions, which will offer Elumens' entire line of single-projector hemispherical displays, including the VisionStation and VisionDome series.

 Do you access the Internet at work?
Do you access the Internet at work?

Web Support Winner

CAD software developer think3 once again earned honors in the Ten Best Web Support Sites competition sponsored by ASP (Association of Support Professionals). The 2006 award marks the fourth time in six years that think3 has received this honor. With it, think3 becomes the only small company to join the ASP Hall of Fame.

Better Late than Never

MSC.Software finally filed its tardy financial statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Reports for 2002, 2003 and 2004 were submitted, and a 2005 report is coming soon.

Turnover at the Top

David Opsahl joins Actify as CEO. His CAD resume includes stints with ComputerVision and Technomatix. Chris Jones, previously president of SmarTeam Europe, is now president of the company, which makes 3D model-publishing software. The two replace outgoing president and CEO Randy Ochs.

First Quarter Revenues Add Up for CAD Vendors
First Quarter Revenues Add Up for CAD Vendors

Trade Show Turnover

Reed Exhibitions sold its National Manufacturing Week event to Canon Communications, which operates the Atlantic and Pacific Design & Manufacturing events.

In the Clouds

3D digitizing software developer Geomagic secured a U.S. patent for its process of automatically generating 3D digital models from scanned point-cloud data. The company holds four other patents, including for morphing technology, color scan-data processing and automatic polygon-to-NURBS conversion. It also has several additional patent applications pending.

Management Takeover

LightWork Design, a supplier of component software for 3D graphics rendering, was bought by VSI, an entity created by a management team. VSI now owns LightWork Design and MachineWorks, a LightWork Design spinoff that develops CNC simulation tools.

Geospatial Gatherings

GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) and ACSM (American Congress on Surveying and Mapping) will co-locate their 2008 annual conferences, now scheduled for March 9–12, 2008, at the Seattle Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.

Beta Barrier

After years of development, Bentley Systems' Generative Components tool for structured architectural design is now available in beta format, but potential users need to complete a training program before they can get a copy. General release is expected later this year.

Data Demands

Kubotek USA recently surveyed job shops and second- and third-tier suppliers. Of the 571 respondents, 37% said the use of particular CAD tools and formats are main factors in gaining a customer's business. The majority—84%—share CAD files with multiple clients. When asked what format customers request most often, respondents listed formats from 21 different CAD tools, with AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER and SolidWorks the top three. "These companies face a disproportionate amount of pressure and high financial burdens to secure new business and continue to meet client demands—and the smaller the shop, the bigger the problem,"concludes Kubotek.

About the Author: Sara Ferris

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