31 Dec, 2006 By: Sara Ferris

Behind the scenes in the world of CAD

Support Group

Under a new technology agreement, PTC will use Autodesk's RealDWG toolkit to incorporate DWG support in its products, and Autodesk will use PTC's Granite modeling kernel to implement support for Pro/ENGINEER files. PTC's Asa Trainer says the integration will span multiple areas of the PTC product family: "This will likely include improved Pro/ENGINEER interoperability with AutoCAD and the introduction of an Interface for Inventor as well as improved support for Autodesk products within PTC's PDMLink Workgroup Manager and ProductView visualization products."

Everyone Wins

To avoid further litigation costs, PTC and its former reseller Rand settled their long-running squabble with neither side admitting liability for any claims made. Rand sued PTC for $100 million in 2003 after PTC took steps to broaden its reseller network and amended its existing agreement with Rand. PTC then countersued, alleging breach of contract and unfair business practices.


Integration Initiative

IBM plans to create a Product Development Integration Framework, an open standards-based platform designed to better link the design and development of products with core business processes. Eight software developers have signed on to build applications around this platform: Agile, Centric, Engineous, Geometric Software Solutions, MSC.Software, PROSTEP, PTC and UGS.

Going Vertical

UGS launched a new Web portal ( structured by vertical markets. Eight subsections cover aerospace and defense, automotive and transportation, consumer products, federal government, healthcare, high tech and electronics, machinery and industrial, and retail and apparel.

New Licensing

Ashlar-Vellum introduced an annual enterprise-wide licensing option for its CAD products. Organizations can license versions for their preferred platform, including Windows, Macintosh and—coming soon—Linux.

CAM Consolidation

VI Group, parent company of Vero International Software, acquired Camtek, the developer of PEPS CAM software for mill-turn, wire EDM, five-axis laser cutting and tube cutting.

Portfolio Purchases

Primavera Systems acquired ProSight, a developer of portfolio analysis solutions, and Pertmaster, which develops risk analysis and mitigation solutions. Their products will be marketed as stand-alone applications that integrate with Prima-vera's existing products.

News from Autodesk University

New collaboration tool? Crescendo Design demonstrated how it's using the Second Life virtual world to present plans to clients. The firm imported Architectural Desktop plans and elevations to show a client a proposed design at various locations on the property.

Test kitchen. Autodesk CEO Carl Bass encouraged attendees to check out Autodesk Labs (, the company's "home for new prototypes, experiments, applications and technologies."

And the winner is. CO Architects of Los Angeles won the first Autodesk Revit BIM Experience Award, which recognizes innovation and excellence in implementing the Revit software platform. Autodesk plans to pick a winner each month.

On the manufacturing side, the winner of the Inventor of the Month trophy is QED, a manufacturer of professional and consumer lighting devices.

Back to school. The new Invest in Education program enables customers who purchase five new seats of Autodesk Manufacturing software the option to grant a 25-seat classroom lab of Autodesk software to any postsecondary school.

Open wide. Last year at Autodesk University, Autodesk released the source code for its MapGuide project to the open-source community. This year, the company reports that the MapGuide Open Source community has grown to include more than 600 members, and the source code has been downloaded 23,000 times.

About the Author: Sara Ferris

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