MCAD Tech News #158

16 Nov, 2005 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Cadalyst MCAD Tech News Growing Our Profession

One of today's greatest engineering enigmas
is cultivating future engineers

One of the biggest problems facing engineering in the United States today doesn't involve a calculator or graph paper. It involves attracting people to the profession in the first place and retaining them once they arrive. This isn't exactly a new problem, but it seems to have become magnified in the past decade or so.

Does engineering today hold the lofty position it enjoyed in this country in past generations? It sure doesn't seem so. The United States graduates only a fraction of the engineers of countries such as China and India, and the disparity grows every year. Figures don't lie: The U.S. graduates about 65,000 engineers each year, compared with about 325,000 in China and 350,000 in India.

Having said this, I'll also add that the numbers aren't the entire story. Quantity doesn't always equate to quality -- and then there is the issue of culture. For example, China in particular is an autocratic culture, and its engineers don't necessarily act without direction from an authority figure. In the U.S., engineering jobs typically encourage independent thinking and action. So although India and China might have an enormous supply of trained engineers who are willing to work as hard as but for less money than their U.S. counterparts, those overseas jobs also might not demand the highest levels of skill and aptitude.

All that aside, however, why is the number of prospective U.S. engineering students so low? I attribute a big part of it to U.S. students slipping downward in math and science. Read more >>

First Look Review: Mastercam Design LT
3D Wire-Frame Modeler

How much should you spend on design software? For those on a budget, Mastercam has just released Mastercam Design LT, and it offers real capabilities.

Mastercam Design LT, formerly known as Mastercam Draft, is not a solid or surface modeler-it's a 3D wire-frame modeler. Mastercam rebuilt the sketcher interface so that it now has a streamlined, context-sensitive property bar that it calls a ribbon bar. When a command is activated or an entity selected, new tools become active and ready for use. Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Alias Design MasterClasses
December 9, 2005
, Atlanta, Georgia
December 13, 2005, San Francisco, California
Presented by industry experts, 90-minute sessions will focus on tips, tricks and techniques for modeling and rendering in Alias StudioTools, as well as techniques to improve users' speed and efficiency.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

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