MCAD Tech News (#218)

15 Aug, 2007

MCAD's Changing Source

Longtime users may be surprised to learn what is driving the new MCAD technologies.

Back in the dawn of the MCAD era, virtually all of its original core technologies were developed as academic research projects or theses by masters and doctoral program candidates. Once out of the research labs, MCAD programs began to proliferate as entrepreneurial endeavors with a few successes and several failures. Because of the computational hardware required, hardware vendors saw a great opportunity and got involved, developing and selling CAD software that ran only on their machines; you really couldn’t buy one without the other.

Then along came the PC. That breakthrough changed a lot of things, the more significant of which were providing a more level playing field for software developers and giving customers more choices. They no longer were held captive to a specific hardware platform. Though still bound to a given operating system, the PC provided users with more freedom as it became ubiquitous and more affordable.

During this evolutionary period, the focus of most MCAD software development was on products that could handle the mathematically complex mechanical design and engineering problems. The task of solving these problems fell on the shoulders of developers creating applications that were themselves technically complex, with much of the burden being transferred to users. At that time, math begat math. As user interfaces evolved, they became more user friendly and the resulting digital models were more aesthetically pleasing, although far from photorealistic. Eventually that began to change, too. Read more>>

PLM Strategies: Putting People and Processes before Technology

By Kenneth Wong

At the CATIA Operator Exchange (COE) conference that took place at Las Vegas' Rio Hotel (April 29–May 2), the deputy chief information officer of an automotive supplier revealed that innovation might be too rich for his blood.

If you let engineers innovate, they will innovate -- by God, they will," he exclaimed, rolling his eyes. His weary tone suggested he'd had more than his fair share of innovation. The other IT executives seated next to him chuckled and nodded to show they shared his pain. One added helpfully, "Innovation is fine, but somebody has to pay for that." Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Southern California CAD Summit
August 23, 2007
Anaheim, California
Presented by U.S. CAD (formerly L.A. CAD), this day-long event includes more than 30 industry-specific classes for professionals in the fields of architecture, MEP (manufacturing, engineering, plumbing), civil and structural engineering, geospatial, design visualization, manufacturing design, and electrical design. Read more

Autodesk Manufacturing DevCamp
September 17-19, 2007
Portland, Oregon
The Autodesk Customization and Application Development Conference is a three-day developer conference held with the engineering teams that develop the Autodesk products. Attendees will get chance to hear directly from Autodesk business and engineering management, spend time with Autodesk engineers, and network with others. Read more

August 11-15, 2008
Los Angeles, California
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGGRAPH sponsors SIGGRAPH 2008, where an estimated 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents are expected to gather for technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the Web. Read more

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