MCAD Tech News #162

4 Jan, 2006

Untitled Document

2005 Into 2006

A review and preview of significant happenings in the CAD marketplace

On many different levels and in many different ways, 2005 was an interesting year for the CAD/CAM/CAE marketplace. No single event outshined the rest, but a number of things indicated that this market continues in its perpetual state of flux.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the events that proved significant last year and will probably remain so this year.

Continuing CAD Consolidation
Some of the major CAD players made a number of acquisitions. Among the most notable were PTC’s acquisition of Arbortext and Autodesk’s acquisition of Alias. Like most acquisitions, these two will provide additional breadth and depth to the purchasers’ existing product lines, as well as introduce those companies to new markets and customers. In the next year or so, I fully expect some second- and third-tier CAD vendors to be merged or outright acquired by some of their bigger brethren. It’s becoming a more competitive market for CAD vendors every year, making it tougher to attain and retain customers.

PLM Moves ‘Downmarket’
It was only a matter of time before PLM vendors realized there was a market for their products beyond billion-dollar companies. Many of these same vendors realized in 2005 that it might be easier to sell ten seats to 1,000 companies than to sell 1,000 seats to ten companies -- thus the recent focus on SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses). In other words, SMBs are getting the recognition and respect they deserve. This move was long overdue, and virtually every PLM vendor has jumped on the bandwagon, finally.Read more >>

Cadalyst Labs Review: Alibre Design Xpress —
Free Parametric Solid Modeler

by Pat Davis

Alibre is giving away fully functional copies of Alibre Design Xpress, a light version of its flagship product Alibre Design. Xpress is a parametric modeler for mechanical design and manufacturing that can be used to create solid models, build assemblies and then generate 2D drawings. Xpress is in the same product category as SolidWorks, Mechanical Desktop, Inventor and Solid Edge, but as a free product its toolset is far less sophisticated than those found in the other parametric modelers. The company originally included banner advertising under the pull-down menus to offset the cost of the free software, but at the end of October, they were removed. The company says enough people are upgrading from the free version to full versions that it doesn't need the extra cash flow.Read more >>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events
SolidWorks World 2006
January 22-25, 2006
Caesar’s Palace Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
International user conference and exhibition.

National Manufacturing Week
March 20-23, 2006

Rosemont, Illinois
Conference and exhibition for U.S. manufacturers, offering information, contacts, technology, products and services to grow business and compete globally.

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

what's new at
Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

Cadalyst All-Stars — Top Products in 2005: A salute to excellent performance.

MCAD Modeling Methods — Download, Don't Draw (Column): Don't waste time -- download ready-made 3D models online for accurate and efficient modeling.

Inventor In-Depth (Tutorial): Easily publish models for people who don't have Autodesk Inventor.

On the Job (Case Study) — PLM Assists Environmental Law Compliance: Top Taiwanese electronics maker extends PTC Windchill to meet new regulations.