Jeff's MCAD Blogging

Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design and engineering. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CG, CAD, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design community. As editor of ShareCG, … More »

MCAD Mystery: Whatever Happened To . . . ?

 
July 30th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

If you’ve been around the technical/engineering software business as long as I have, as with any business, nothing stays the same. This includes founders, executives, and other major players who were once prominent in the industry, but for many reasons have moved on. Some, to other companies in the industry, some to other industries, and some who have just plain disappeared. History never stands still and the CAx industry is no exception.

Although it’s a bit dated and based on a research project, check out the video below for a very short recap on the history of CAD:

A Short History of CAD

During the coming weeks and months we’ll try and track down players who were formerly very prominent in the MCAD arena and see what they’re up to now. Some of these folks include:

  • John Walker – Autodesk
  • Mike Riddle – Autodesk
  • Carol Bartz – Autodesk
  • Dominic Gallello – Autodesk
  • Dick Harrison – PTC
  • Steve Walske – PTC
  • Jim Meadlock – Intergraph
  • Joe Costello – Think3
  • Pat Hanratty — MCS
  • Martin Newell – Ashlar
  • Jon Hirschtick – SolidWorks
  • John McEleney — SolidWorks
  • Jeff Ray – SolidWorks
  • Jason Lemon – SDRC
  • Fontaine Richardson – Applicon
  • John Wright – United Computing (later Unigraphics)
  • Thomas Curry – MSC Software
  • Robert Bean – CADKEY

Obviously, this list only scratches the surface of possibilities. If there is anyone currently or formerly renowned in the CAD/CAM/CAE/CAx industry you would like to see us track down and update what they’re up to, send an email to me at jeff@ibsystems.com with a subject line that reads, “Where Are They Now?”, and we’ll do our best to respond in an upcoming blog on a person’s whereabouts and more recent accomplishments.

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PTC Strengthens IoT Position By Acquiring Axeda

 
July 25th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

It appears that PTC is wading deeper into Internet of Things (IoT) waters with the announcement that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Axeda Corp., a pioneer in the development of technologies that connect machines and sensors to the cloud. Paying approximately $170 million in cash, PTC’s primary motivations behind the acquisition are Axeda’s innovative technology, customer base, and partnerships that could directly complement the PTC ThingWorx business across the entire Internet of Things technology stack.

Axeda IoT ROI and Value Curve Overview

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Hexagon Acquires Vero: Metrology Meets Manufacturing

 
July 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Hexagon AB, a provider of design, measurement (metrology), and visualization technologies has acquired Vero Software, a provider of CAM software.

Hexagon AB is a global technology group headquartered in Sweden and was founded in 1992. The diverse provides products for designing, measuring, and positioning objects. Surveyors, government agencies, mapping companies, construction, and security and defense related industries are the primary customers of their services.

Although the following video doesn’t have an audio track, it does demonstrate one of Vero Software’s technologies, WorkNC, that is part of the acquisition by Hexagon.

WorkNC CADCAM and Vero Software – EMO Show 2013

One of the Hexagon’s main focuses is on precision measuring technologies and is divided into three business areas: Geospatial Measuring (Surveying and GPS), Industrial Metrology (Hexagon Metrology), and Technologies. The company markets its products and services under more than 35 different brands worldwide.

Hexagon’s operations encompass hand tools, fixed and portable coordinate measuring machines, GPS systems, construction machine control systems, level meters, laser meters, total stations, sensors for airborne measurement, aftermarket services and software systems.

Hexagon’s macro products are used within construction and engineering industries, while micro products are used primarily by automotive and aerospace industries, medical industries and design industry. Hexagon’s other operations focus on supplying components primarily to the heavy automotive industry as well as key components for industrial robots.

Vero Software is a leader in CAD CAM software. Vero develops and distributes software for aiding design and manufacturing processes, providing solutions for the tooling, production engineering, sheet metal, metal fabrication, stone and woodworking industries. Several well-known brands in Vero Software’s portfolio brands include Alphacam, Cabinet Vision, Edgecam, Machining STRATEGIST, PEPS, Radan, SMIRT, SURFCAM, VISI, and WorkNC, along with the production control MRP system Javelin.

Despite the diversity of Vero’s applications, they all address the rising challenges of achieving manufacturing efficiencies.

The acquisition strengthens Hexagon’s software offerings, providing the means to close the gap of making quality data fully availableby extending the reach of the newly developed MMS (metrology planning software) to include CAM (manufacturing planning software).

Subject to regulatory approval, Vero Software will be fully consolidated as of August 2014.

This constant flow of acquisitions sure make for interesting times. For example, earlier this year CAE giant ANSYS acquired SpaceClaim, and now Hexagon acquires Vero. As much as anything, I think these acquisitions illustrate the desire for technical organizations to diversify when it makes sense for symbiotic relationships. Instead of trying to corner a market by acquiring all competitors, more and more technical software acquisitions seem to be happening with technologies that complement existing product offerings, not just expand similar lines of offerings.
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Deloitte University Press Launches Free Online Course on Additive Manufacturing

 
July 17th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

This week Deloitte University Press announced the launch of a massive open online course (MOOC) on the business implications of additive manufacturing (AM). Entitled, “3D Opportunity: The Course on Additive Manufacturing for Business Leaders,” it is the first course of its kind to be offered by a large professional services firm and is designed to help educate the market on the business drivers behind additive manufacturing/3D printing.

3D opportunity: Deloitte’s MOOC on additive manufacturing (3D Printing) for business

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Dassault Systemes Expands Multi-Physics Simulation, Acquires SIMPACK

 
July 15th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Dassault Systemes announced this week that it has acquired simulation technology provider SIMPACK in an all cash deal. The transaction was completed on July 10, 2014. Not surprisingly, financial details of the deal were not revealed.

With the acquisition of Munich-based SIMPACK, Dassault continues to expand its multiphysics simulation technology portfolio to include multi-body mechatronic systems.

SIMPACK has more than 130 customers in the energy, transportation (primarily automotive and rail), and biomedical industries, including Alstom, Bombardier, BMW, Daimler, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN, and Vestas.

SIMPACK Multibody Simulation (MBS) – Engine Chain

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Is 3D Printing Really A Miracle?

 
July 9th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Is 3D printing truly the miracle it’s purported to be?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself numerous times, especially when I see yet another announcement from a hardware or software vendor or service provider that is often hype and little else. A lot of companies (and their marketing/PR/communications engines) count on the fact that just about anything that states or implies “3D printing” is going to automatically generate “a buzz” of notoriety, and maybe even some venture capital.

On one hand, yes, 3D printing has shown great promise and results. But, on the other, it’s largely wait and see.

Many have been lured into the promise of 3D printing with sensationalistic demonstrations as shown in the following video.

3D Printing: Make Anything You Want

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CAD/PDM Software Evaluation: PTC Creo/Windchill PDM Essentials

 
July 1st, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.

Overview

PTC Windchill PDM Essentials is intended to bring collaborative engineering to smaller companies for organizing and managing product content so that they can improve design reuse, broaden access to product information across roles, and ensure control over design versions and release processes.

PDM Essentials is basically a role-based, template-based, pre-configured bundle in an optimized Microsoft Windows environment.

PTC Windchill PDM Essentials is a scaled-down version of PDMLink, Windchill’s primary data management solution, allowing smaller firms to manage CAD data and product development-related Microsoft Office documents.

Windchill PDM Essentials Quick Tour Video

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Skipping School To Innovate

 
June 27th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

During the course of a year I get the opportunity to attend several events and meet a lot of new people involved with various aspects of design, engineering, and manufacturing. This week I attended an event called “3D Printing Day @ CSU.” Held on the campus of Colorado State University, it showcased the Idea-2-Product Laboratory, the brainchild of its director, and our good friend, Dr. David Prawel. It was a combination seminar series and tours of the Lab where a number of 3D printers were demonstrated.

One of the most interesting and compelling seminar talks was given by Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year-old from Mancos, CO who graduated from high school last month. His talk was on his experience with 3D printing, prosthetics, and telerobotics

Easton LaChappelle – Montage

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SIMULIA Simulates 3D Heart That Helps Define Future Diagnosis and Treatment

 
June 24th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

For a truly unique spin on solving an age-old problem, Dassault Systemes recently unveiled the first 3D realistic simulation model of an entire human heart. Developed with a multidisciplinary team of heart experts to help combat cardiovascular disease, the Living Heart Project is launching the next frontier in diagnosing, treating, and preventing heart conditions through personalized, 3D virtual models.

The Living Heart project, launched in January 2014, unites cardiovascular researchers and educators with medical device manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and practicing cardiologists on a shared mission to develop and validate personalized digital human heart models and establish a unified foundation for cardiovascular in silico medicine. These models can serve as a core technology base for education and training, medical device design, testing and regulatory science—thereby creating a path for rapidly translating cutting edge innovations into improved patient care.

At the center of the project is a 3D heart model powered by SIMULIA applications to develop a comprehensive 3D heart model, capturing the electrical, mechanical, and fluid behavior of the heart in a realistic way. Other DS products used for the project included SolidWorks for modeling the heart and 3DVIA was used for animations and demonstrations.

SIMULIA Introduces the Living Heart Project

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PTC Live Global 2014: IoT and PTC Creo 3.0 Take Center Stage

 
June 19th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Along with over 2,000 other attendees, we just returned from the PTC Live Global 2014 conference and exhibition in Boston. It was a very good show at a very good venue — the Boston Convention Center.

The two biggest things we noted at the conference were PTC’s involvment and commitment to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of PTC Creo 3.0. We also noted a more upbeat crowd attending the show this year than in years past. The attendees we spoke with said the lighter attitude was due to PTC’s announcements, PTC’s corporate direction, and an economy that continues to slowly improve.

PTC Technology Update – PTC Live Global 2014 Keynote

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