MCAD Tech News (#216)

1 Aug, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

The End of an Era

A look at the MCAD industry makes the author wonder, where have all the product guys gone?

When the MCAD industry was born a few decades ago, virtually all of the founders who later went on to become their company’s president or CEO were intimately involved with creating the core technology that would later become viable, marketable products. Times have changed and those days are largely gone as fewer and fewer heads of MCAD companies are involved at all with product development, much less able to actually use the products they represent and sell in the design and engineering space.

Way Back When
More than 40 years ago several parties and educational institutions were working diligently on the notion of using computer graphics for mechanical design. One of the pioneers who got mechanical CAD off the ground in the 1960s was Patrick Hanratty. While working at General Motors’ Research Laboratories, he was instrumental in creating Design Automated by Computer (DAC), the first true, production-ready manufacturing system based on computer graphics.

Although DAC was a success, GM eventually chose a different direction for its mechanical design, engineering, and manufacturing software. Hanratty decided to strike out on his own and founded his own company, ICS, that developed a production drafting package. Unfortunately, however, the package was never widely accepted because it was written in a proprietary language and ran on computers that were not regarded as mainstream at the time. Read more>>

MCAD Modeling -- Optimizing Your Model

By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

The company I work for employs approximately 250,000 people worldwide. It's a fairly big company by any standards. Of course, not everyone works in such a big company. Many people work in a company where the same person is responsible for model design, creation, analysis, sourcing, and drafting. If you are one of those workers, you've got a heavy load, to be sure.

The debate about 2D versus 3D rages every day. For most things, I tend to drop heavily on the 3D side, but I realize that 2D retains a definite place. In a company where you are forced to wear so many hats, how do you manage it all? Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

VisMasters Design Modeling & Visualization Conference
August 9-11, 2007
San Diego, California
This two-day event focuses on the business, art, and technology of design visualization, bringing together like-minded designers and industry leaders from around the world to share their accomplishments and vision for the future. Session topics are intended to benefit architects, designers, students, and professional visualization artists. Read more>>

PLM Road Map 2007
September 19-20, 2007
Plymouth, Michigan
At PLM Road Map 2007, sponsored by CPD Associates, Donald H. Brown, industry analysts from CPDA, key industry players, and front-line implementation experts will discuss their experiences in addressing strategic PLM topics. Find out firsthand which issues are currently confronting end users. Read more>>

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