MCAD Tech News (#252)

15 Oct, 2008

Promoting Education, Part 3: PTCp>

As do many of its competitors, PTC provides a number of resources to education at many levels.

By Jeffrey Rowe

Jeffrey Rowe photo

As many of you already know, I've been a long-time proponent of technical education at several levels, secondary school through college and university, as well as associated extracurricular activities. I'm happy to report that the MCAD community has become increasingly more involved in education with greater commitment — and impressive results.

In April, MCAD Tech News #238 discussed the educational programs and products offered by Autodesk. In August, MCAD Tech News #249 looked at education from SolidWorks' point of view. This time around, I spoke with Mark Fischer, director of the education program for PTC. He provided insight into the comprehensive educational programs that PTC offers.

PTC began its educational program in 1999 in the United Kingdom by providing Pro/DESKTOP design software at no cost to secondary schools. Since then, the company has expanded its education programs globally and has continually upgraded its offerings, now providing comprehensive education solutions to meet the needs of secondary schools and universities. PTC's educational program is currently active in 28 countries, involving more than 23,000 teachers.

PTC Products and Programs for Education
Today, PTC provides Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire v4 (a 3D MCAD program), Mathcad (engineering calculation software), and Windchill (online collaboration, PLM software) to secondary schools, colleges, and universities. PTC also provides a complete curriculum that is tied to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) national standards, assessments, online training resources, and certification. Fischer said that PTC is somewhat unique because its education programs are more of a community relations or philanthropic pursuit rather than a revenue generator. "We want schools to get the best software possible and we don't want them to have to worry about the budget; that is why our programs are free or at a low cost," he said. Read more »

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Cadalyst contributing editor Jeffrey Rowe is the principal of Cairowest Group, an independent industrial design, mechanical engineering, and technical communication consulting firm with offices in Colorado and Michigan. You can reach him by e-mail at or by phone at 719.221.1867.


MCAD Modeling Column:
Assault with a Deadly CAD File

By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

Are you MENSA material? I'm not. Puzzles irritate me. My wife loves to sit for hours figuring them out. I throw puzzles against the wall and go find something more fun to do. I guess I'm not the "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" type. Actually, I'm the type who uses the computer-game cheat books. I don't play games for the intellectual stimulation; I play them for fun.

It's interesting then that I chose to go into 3D modeling. How so? Let me ask you, How often have you had to use someone else's model and you felt as if you were taking a MENSA test? You can't do this, you can't do that. The model explodes. Does that sound familiar? Just about anyone who deals with 3D models has problems from time to time. It's not their fault (usually). It's just that using models from who-knows-where can be challenging.

No one has it in for you. When you get a model from someone, he or she usually doesn't intend to cause problems. But unless everyone does everything exactly the same way, variation will be commonplace. Until the 3D modeling police make people do things the so-called right way, people are going to do their own thing. It's human nature. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

2009 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Conference
May 17-20, 2009
Estes Park, Colorado
Longview Advisors invite anyone interested in improving the efficiency of their global product design, development and manufacturing operation, to engage in a series of presentations. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on