MCAD Tech News #173

19 Apr, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

AutoCAD 2007 Hits the Streets

Is this long-time 2D tool ready for conceptual mechanical design?

AutoCAD 2007 is the 21st release of Autodesk’s flagship product, and the company is emphasizing its new abilities: conceptual mechanical design and visualization. It’s still primarily a 2D tool, although it does offer some significant 3D enhancements this time around. As a matter of fact, the focus of this release is definitely on new features and enhancements to 3D design and visualization capabilities.

3D Capabilities

Many of the 3D capabilities of AutoCAD 2007 are borrowed from Autodesk Inventor, and it’s no coincidence. This release of AutoCAD has a strong Inventor-like look, feel and behavior. A couple years ago Autodesk designed AutoCAD Mechanical’s structure similar to Inventor’s feature tree -- its first real attempt at making 2D AutoCAD users more comfortable in a 3D world. Autodesk hopes that a customer who is comfortable and familiar with at least some aspects of a 3D user interface and feature set will ultimately transition to the more 3D-capable Inventor product line. This comfort level is important because just about every vendor, including Autodesk, realizes that the biggest untapped potential customer base for 3D is current AutoCAD users. What this all means, though, is that AutoCAD 2007, with its 3D, textures and lighting capabilities, can be used for true conceptualization and visualization more than any previous version. Read more>>

Tech Trends: Windchill Behind the Great Wall -- PTC and IBM to peddle PLM in China

By Kenneth Wong

On January 25, two weeks before the thunderous roar of firecrackers ushered in the Year of the Dog, PTC and IBM declared an alliance to go hunting jointly for PLM sales opportunities in the Dragon's domain. A Chinese astrologer might herald this collaboration as a propitious partnership, characterized by the canine mascot's faithfulness, loyalty and devotion. But I'm a pragmatist and a cautious journalist, pathologically skeptical of sound bites (it's an occupational hazard for those who routinely read press releases), so I feel I ought to find out what's behind the initial public relations sizzle.

All Roads Lead to IBM
"In China, even though PTC is reasonably well accepted in the engineering community, it's not necessarily in the engineering community that major purchase decisions are made," said David Weisberg, a consultant and analyst at Cyon Research. "And let's face it -- IBM is a much more recognizable name everywhere
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Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Part Modeling for Productivity
April 25, 2006, 10 a.m. PT
Web seminar sponsored by Dassault Systemes on part modeling tools.

Optimizing the Product Development Process with Integrated Design Analysis and Advanced Simulation
April 27, 2006, 10 a.m. PT
From Dassault Systemes, Web seminar on how to develop processes that best use CATIA V5 integrated design analysis tools.

Accelerate Your Ideas -- Autodesk’s 2007 product release for MSD
May 2, 2006
Santa Clara, California
Autodesk and Ideate will demonstrate the newest Autodesk Inventor 11, Autodesk Vault, AutoCAD Mechanical 2007 and AutoCAD Electrical 2007.

PTC User Conference
June 4–7, 2006
Dallas, Texas
Technical presentations and hands-on training for Pro/ENGINEER, Windchill and Arbortext software users.

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

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

April Tutorials Now Live Online: The latest editions of all your favorite Cadalyst tutorials for AutoCAD as well as SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Inventor, Alibre Designand more are now live on

Get the Code for April!  Cadalyst’s April code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. This month's $100 winner is AutoCAD Excel Interface from Q.J. Chen, a routine that transfers text information stored in a grid layout (table) into an Excel worksheet by just locating the corners of the table.

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