MCADCafe Weekly Review June 13th, 2013

I just returned from the PTC Global conference in Anaheim where I was treated to a truly immersive virtual experience.  David Blacklock of VIRTALIS demonstrated their Active Wall where I got the chance to get my virtual hands dirty by virtually building a wind turbine … blade by blade.

VIRTALIS allows you to take any model and then interact with it in an immersive 3D environment where you’re able to walk around and examine the life size model and then use your ‘hand’ to interact with the projected 3D model just as if it were the real thing.

There are a wide array of applications for this new technology in many fields including the mechanical and manufacturing space.  You could, for example, be immersed in a virtual manufacturing floor and then operate the machinery as a learning experience, or you could use their system to examine and get your ‘hands’ on a virtual prototype before finalizing your CAD design.

Watch this short video to get a glimpse of the VIRTALIS ActiveWall and then navigate to the VIRTALIS web site to get more ideas on ways you can use this modern age tool to meet your every day engineering and presentation needs in an engaging new way.



By David Heller

2013 PTC Live Global Conference Highlights
June 13, 2013  by Jeff Rowe

Along with about 1,900 attendees, we just returned this week from the 2013 edition of the PTC Live Global conference and exhibition in Anaheim, CA. We saw and heard several interesting things from PTC employees, partners, and customers.

Let’s start off on Day 1. After a short introduction, PTC’s president and CEO, Jim Heppelmann took the stage with the song “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath blasting. What’s that about? The early focus of his address was the focus of not only PTC, but just about every other software vendor – mobility.

This dramatic change of tune comes just a couple of years after Heppelmann derided the notion of software as a service and cloud computing as nothing more than “vapor.” Today, mobility to PTC, according to Heppelmann, consists of products being delivered as a service, with the line blurred between product and service.

Click on this link to view Jim Hepplemann’s keynote address at the PTC Live Global event.

He then introduced the concept of reverse innovation to accommodate different unique requirements for different customers. Interesting concept, but I need to get more details on exactly what this means.

He went on to say that for products in general, value is shifting away from hardware to software, especially embedded software. Increasingly, products are defined, upgraded, and updated via software. Traditional hardware manufacturers are beginning to employ more software engineers than mechanical engineers. As handy as these software innovations might seem, do they offer too many choices and ultimately frustrate customers and drive up costs? The verdict on this remains to be seen, but I tend to say, “yes,” too many choices can be overwhelming, especially for products that are meant to be simple.

What he was getting at, though, is that increasing numbers of CPUs and software mean “smart” products connected to the Internet. In other words, an “Internet of things,” thanks largely to increasing connectivity.

With 10 Creo apps currently available, and although the next release of Creo (3.0) won’t be available until early next year (Q1?), a few hints were given about what it might look like. Think scalability and interoperability – more on that later, though. PTC says that today, one in four Pro/ENGINEER users has upgraded to Creo, but sees adoption rate at 50% uptake by the end of this year. That seems just a bit optimistic, but potentially doable.

I’ve just begun with the highest of highlights about the conference and the future as PTC sees it. Over the few weeks I’ll discuss some of the most significant announcements coming out of PTC’s user conference with regard to new products/technologies, corporate direction, and customers’ reactions. From what I witnessed this week, PTC’s future looks brighter than it has for quite some time.


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